Born to Run

Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen, 1975). There are many songs, particularly from the 1970s, that seem to channel On the Road almost perfectly, in another place, another time. “Born to Run” is an epic poem about the restlessness that fuels the American dream: a wish to go somewhere else, to literally run away and fulfill those “dreams and visions” with abandon into the unknown. Of course, the trip includes your Marylou (Springsteen’s is a girl named Wendy). This is great American poetry, as good as William Carlos Williams (Spring and All), Jack Kerouac (Lonesome Traveler), Allen Ginsberg (“Howl,” “America”) or Bob Dylan (“Tangled Up in Blue”) in its uncanny capturing of the music of the American landscape: 

In the day we sweat it out on the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through the mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway nine,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected, and steppin' out over the line
H-Oh, Baby this town rips the bones from your back

It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
`Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run

A road of fulfilled and broken dreams:

Girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors
And the boys try to look so hard
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
I wanna die with you Wendy on the street tonight
In an everlasting kiss
The highway's jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybody's out on the run tonight
But there's no place left to hide
Together Wendy we can live with the sadness
I'll love you with all the madness in my soul
H-Oh, Someday girl I don't know when
We're gonna get to that place
Where we really wanna go
And we'll walk in the sun
But till then tramps like us
Baby we were born to run