A Cautious Man
October 05, 2008
Sunday Night Afternoon Springsteen
... "On the Streets of Philadelphia" edition.

This is a little early, because it's a long watch. Yesterday afternoon, Mr. Springsteen headlined a "Get Out the Vote" rally in Philadelphia, to encourage a last push for voter registration before the deadline.

As described by Backstreets.com -

After the introduction by a wisecracking Governor Ed Rendell, Springsteen and his acoustic took the stage for a seven-song, 45-minute set that opened with "The Promised Land." "Great to be here in my home away from home, Philly," Bruce told the crowd -- a huge turnout on this Ben Franklin Parkway esplanade -- adding later, "I tried this four years ago... this time, we'll win it!"

Songs included the relevant-as-ever "The Ghost of Tom Joad," the invitation of "Thunder Road," the determined rallying cries of "No Surrender" and "The Rising," and for fun, "a song I played many, many times at the old Main Point," "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street."

Toward the end of the set, the crowd broke into a spontaneous "Yes we can" chant, Bruce adding some percussion on his guitar before offering up one more, a regular from the '85 stadium tour, Woody Guthrie's stirring "This Land is Your Land." And one final message to the throng of voters in Philly: "It's up to you now."

The video (from a local television station's site) is about forty minutes long. So, I suggest that you make your self comfortable, perhaps procure a tasty beverage for yourself, and enjoy the show.

Click here to start (there's an ad, then the show).

I especially like the way he used one of his oldest songs, "Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street", with special emphasis on this line -

The Daily News asks her for the dope
She says "Man, the dope's that there's STILL HOPE!"

Oh, and there was a speech, which is on the video. This is the text, courtesy of BruceSpringsteen.net -

"I am glad to be here today for this voter registration drive and for Barack Obama, the next President of the United States.

"I've spent 35 years writing about America, its people, and the meaning of the American Promise. The Promise that was handed down to us, right here in this city from our founding fathers, with one instruction: Do your best to make these things real. Opportunity, equality, social and economic justice, a fair shake for all of our citizens, the American idea, as a positive influence, around the world for a more just and peaceful existence. These are the things that give our lives hope, shape, and meaning. They are the ties that bind us together and give us faith in our contract with one another.

"I've spent most of my creative life measuring the distance between that American promise and American reality. For many Americans, who are today losing their jobs, their homes, seeing their retirement funds disappear, who have no healthcare, or who have been abandoned in our inner cities. The distance between that promise and that reality has never been greater or more painful.

"I believe Senator Obama has taken the measure of that distance in his own life and in his work. I believe he understands, in his heart, the cost of that distance, in blood and suffering, in the lives of everyday Americans. I believe as president, he would work to restore that promise to so many of our fellow citizens who have justifiably lost faith in its meaning. After the disastrous administration of the past 8 years, we need someone to lead us in an American reclamation project. In my job, I travel the world, and occasionally play big stadiums, just like Senator Obama. I've continued to find, wherever I go, America remains a repository of people's hopes, possibilities, and desires, and that despite the terrible erosion to our standing around the world, accomplished by our recent administration, we remain, for many, a house of dreams. One thousand George Bushes and one thousand Dick Cheneys will never be able to tear that house down.

"They will, however, be leaving office, dropping the national tragedies of Katrina, Iraq, and our financial crisis in our laps. Our sacred house of dreams has been abused, looted, and left in a terrible state of disrepair. It needs care; it needs saving, it needs defending against those who would sell it down the river for power or a quick buck. It needs strong arms, hearts, and minds. It needs someone with Senator Obama's understanding, temperateness, deliberativeness, maturity, compassion, toughness, and faith, to help us rebuild our house once again. But most importantly, it needs us. You and me. To build that house with the generosity that is at the heart of the American spirit. A house that is truer and big enough to contain the hopes and dreams of all of our fellow citizens. That is where our future lies. We will rise or fall as a people by our ability to accomplish this task. Now I don't know about you, but I want that dream back, I want my America back, I want my country back.

"So now is the time to stand with Barack Obama and Joe Biden, roll up our sleeves, and come on up for the rising."



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