Hometown blues

This is the town where nothing happens;
You’re safe to stroll the streets at night.
The town that never makes the papers;
Where nothing’s wrong and not a damned thing’s right.

This is the town you’ve never heard of;
Nobody ever Came From Here;
A place to hide in unseen silence
Where dreams can quietly disappear.

This is the town that took my best years;
The place I never meant to stay,
Swore I’d leave soon as I was able
But put down roots in anyway.

This is the town that keeps on growing
Outwards while its old heart dies;
With each new car and new home sowing
Another seed of its own demise.

This is the town I ended up in
For want of any better plan.
I’ve paid my way and raised a family,
Done what’s expected of a man.

This is the town that’s closing in now;
No wide horizon, open sky.
A place you’d never lose your heart to.
Somewhere to live. But not to die.


Went to see Blinded by the Light yesterday; a great movie full of familiar images and resonances for anyone who, like me, grew up in a nondescript town in the 1980s (and still lives in one, albeit elsewhere, 30 years later) and listened to Born in the USA on repeat. Sat up half the night scribbling afterwards: proof (if it were needed) that for some of us, Bruce Springsteen is still very much The Boss. N.


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