I am related to many people for whom this song is very much a story that reflects their life experience. I'm posting it as my Musical Monday selection for Labor Day to recognize everyone whose plans for life were derailed but still worked hard to make the best of the result. More than any other musician I know of, Springsteen is able to capture the essence of the harsh and unforgiving world of the working poor, and he is in top form in this song. He is at turns hopeful, angry, defiant, and resigned, running through an entire lifetime of joy and anguish in just under seven minutes. The River is, in my opinion, Springsteen's greatest song, albeit one of his most desperate and melancholy ones.
Bruce Springsteen Musical Monday Home