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Article: Schooled by Springsteen: 3 Things You Can Learn About Life from The Boss

Schooled by Springsteen: 3 Things You Can Learn About Life from The Boss

First things first: I was never a fan of Bruce Springsteen Until recently. It took me some 30 years — totally aging myself (gracefully) right now — since his Born in the U.S.A. first took the country by storm and I first saw his “Dancing in the Dark” video on MTV that just seemed to play over and over again to my dismay, before I finally got him, The Boss. Through my teen years into my twenties and on, I was too wrapped up in New Wave, then Industrial, anything and everything 4AD then Indie Rock and so forth, to get into the American rock that Springsteen produced. It wasn’t until I lived in Montreal and found his songs on so many of my friends’ playlists there (Springsteen along with Montreal-based Arcade Fire, who are very much influenced by Springsteen’s music) that slowly but surely he got under my skin. I was missing out. (And he’s quite the hunk, too, isn’t he?) And beyond his music, there’s much to appreciate and learn from. So here’s my list in honor of this great musician and inspiring individual:

SCHOOLED BY SPRINGSTEEN 3 Things You Can Learn About Life from The Boss

1. “Wear pants that fit.” Seriously, I don’t know of any other male public figure’s butt that was as popular then or now than his. Can you? But what I mean by this lesson is don’t put yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable or don’t try to do things that compromise who you are. Springsteen, from what I’ve read, has always remained true to who he is, and what he believes in. I dig that.


2. You can rock at any age. Now let me take this a step further. Whether you’re a teenager or in your sixties, whether a musician or mother, I think Springsteen would say that you can rock at whatever you do. P.S. I’m officially obsessed with “Girls in Their Summer Clothes,” and I appreciate that his video features girls and women of all ages on the beach without being sleazy about it.
3. Be persistent. It wasn’t until The Boss’s third album that his popularity soared. Don’t give up on your dreams or what you believe in.


What did  Bruce Springsteen teach you about life?


“don t waste your time waiting” from “Badlands”

Taisuke Ebinuma

Be passionate for others and express what you feel


Accept Saints & sinners.

Dan Michel

In 1993, I was just 15, my father had died just one year ago. I had no interest about anything, the school was just the place you had to go to leave the time slip away. One day one of my 8 brothers asked me if I wanted to go to a concert. That day changed my life, I learnt what was passion, I had a reason to learn to speak in English,I needed to understand the lyrics that that man sang. 20 years after that milestone in my life, I’ve had more luck in my life and now it’s me who takes my old brother to Bruce’s concerts. I’m willing to do the same with my 5 year old boy.

Brais Pazo

“It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive” Which I have always taken to mean enjoy your life to the fullest. Life is way too short so you need to make the most of it.

Tracy Yeoman

That I was born to run,but, stop and smell the roses…. its okay to dance in the dark,just be sure you don’t trip over something, and finding someone who’ll prove it all night is a good thing….

marcy leigh

It’s true! Love dies. That’s a fact! When my daughter died I thought that was it. That it was all over for me.
But it’s also true if you stay in there & don’t give up,
and that’s not an easy thing to do , someday love comes backs. It’s different- but it does come back.

Katie Charles

I ain’t a beauty, but hey I’m alright . . .


many, many things, but mostly: someday we’ll look back at this and it will all seem funny. It applies to good times and bad times. Always have hope because: this is a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win.. and how not to give directions: Take a right at the light keep going straight until night….

Valerie S

1. You learn more from a 3 minute record… Artists own the pulse/reality of humanity and society… Systems and organizations own the manufactured ideals

2. There’s magic in the night…still going strong and trying new things and still being vulnerable and open to love at 64 years old

3. People find some reason to believe… At the end of it all we are all hoping for the same thing- purpose – promise – a reason

Erin Counter

I learned about the train that goes to the land of hope and dreams. The train carries everyone, both saints and sinners. Everyone can get aboard the train – you don’t need no ticket.

Part of the lesson is that “faith will be rewarded.” But beyond that optimism is the need to struggle to make our dreams occur. You just have to not surrender, keep your high hopes, and do what needs to be done. Like the firefighter in The Rising, you have to prove your worth, all night, every night. The Promised Land is out there.

Brian Rosman

There’s been a number of times when I tend to doubt myself and doubt whether or not I can achieve my dreams but when I listen to Bruce’s music, his album Born to Run especially, I am reminded to never give up on my dreams. And that just because I’m from a small place, doesn’t mean I can’t make a huge impact.

Alex Mackenzie

“If there’s something you need… Just raise your hand!”

Anna Wakefield

Question everything, blind faith in your leaders will get you killed


You learn more from a 3 minute record: Bruce taught me English, American history and music.
Trust none of what you hear, and less of what you see.
He taught me how to love and win, and to handle loss.
Shackled an drawn: a shovel in the dirt keeps the devil gone.
We are alive: when you’re here and we’re here, they’re here.
How to travel over rocky ground.
Love for the USA: nobody crowds you and nobody goes at it alone.
Love what you do and you’ll do what you love.
Rise up !


Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true, or is it something worse?
Life ain’t fair, but keep dreaming it will get better. Do not think of the worst.


Have always listened to Bruce Springsteen, since the 1970’s. We are near the same age, and his expressions have reflected our generation trying to grow up in a very different world. Being hard working regular people is good. Being true to that measures our integrity. Thank you, Bruce.

Kathy Raabe

No one is going to give you anything that is worth receiving. You need to earn it, work hard and don’t give up. However don’t forget where you came from and don’t forget to give back.

Stefan Roffis

He has a gift for articulating, through lyric and sound, essential experiences we all go through at some point in our lives. The timeless radiates through the particular whether it be a story, character, word or melody. Integrity, Faith, passion, grit and tenderness, hope, the light that shines through the dark and shadowy lands. Plus I just like to rock and roll sometimes!

Sandra Taylor-Petersen

Bruce has taught me:
1) to dance and sing with passion
2) to embrace your sweet side (ie: “I’m on Fire”)
3) take the time to look good no matter what age

Jessie Curell

I learned that I am not alone. Bruce told me he and many others have had feelings of doubt, depression, lost love and fear.

Scott Kneiding

I’ve learned that no matter what life deals you, you’ve got to stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive!

I’ve also learned that, like Bruce, you have to continually challenge yourself, push yourself out of your comfort zone and always, always bring your best. I can’t wait to impart these lessons on my baby girl, due in December!

Anthony Nuff said


That you don’t always have to be the forerunner or have a lot of accolades to be great at what you do. As long as you are passionate about what you do you will do great things. The man has yet to have a number one single. Oh..and that people from NJ are pretty bad ass :)

jenn messing

It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive!

Barbara james

Bruce Springsteen is one of the most influential persons in my life. In fact, he tells me advices every day. His poetic lyrics are that valuable. Our Boss from NJ tells me things that I’ll keep in my heart forever.

1. Bruce has schooled med to live in the moment. You only live RIGHT NOW and there is only the present you can do anything about. Just live your life and do whatever makes you happy to create those precious moments. The moments won’t be everlasting. They may just last for a night, some hours, minutes or even seconds. Consequences may appear, but hey, what’s funny about thinking of all the consequences that may happen? Maybe that’s why Bruce nails EVERY single one of his concerts? For instance; Thunder Road and Born to Run bring up this subject:

“Tonight we’ll be free
All the promises will be broken”

“I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight in an everlasting kiss”

From the interview at Jimmy Fallon this year in January, Bruce also said these wise, wise words:

“It’s not the time in your life; it’s the life in your time”

You got it, Bruce!

2. Bruce also told me to go out for a car ride when I feel down or want to flee the fu*king reality. You’ll never know what the car ride will bring, but it’s at least an escape from the existing reality. The feeling of secede your hometown, your daily situation, your feelings or whatever; just be on the road for a complete different destination. And no worries. You can find a lot of “reality-escaping” car rides in Bruce’s lyrics. The album “Nebraska” is loaded of them.

3. No matter what you’re doing, always give 100%. “Walk tall, or don’t walk at all”, do you get it? Spare no efforts. If you’ve seen Bruce live, then you know what I’m talking about. Bruce sets the house on fire every single time he sets his feet on a stage. It doesn’t matter if there are 50 or 500000 persons in the audience! Bruce always delivers with extremely high quality. Bruce also goes 100% in for taking good care of his fans. He talks with them, writes them autographs and meets them with a smile on his mouth. If you relate this into our daily life; who doesn’t love people who takes good care of their fellows and always gives 100% no matter what?

I’m proud of having Bruce as my idol and teacher!


Bruce has taught me how to properly count to 4, because he does it cooler than anybody!

“1! 2! 3! 4!”


Bruce has taught me about myself, I have listened to and grown with him since my first introduction to his music in the 70s. His music – so relate-able and genuine, got me through many times in my life….some good, some bad. Resilience, love, patience, tolerance, acceptance and understanding are essential to growth and survival – Bruce has sung to me about these qualities for years……….Show a little faith there’s magic in the night ~ No matter how bad things may look, they can and will get better. Have faith and hang in there!!

Linda Sass-Hickey

This section from Badlands means everything to me – I beleive in the LOVE that you gave me / I believe in the FAITH that can save me / I believe in the HOPE and I preay that someday it may raise me above these Badlands… I apply this to my marraige, to Bruce (cause his music has spoken to me and saved me) and to live in general. I want me kids and now my grandskids to know that Love, Faith and Hope should guide them through life.

Joe Lewis

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