In January, Bruce Springsteen released his eighteenth studio album, High Hopes, and has been on tour supporting the new release since then. This past month in Charlotte, North Carolina, he played a track off the new record entitled "The Wall." Listen to it above.
Bruce prefaced the song with the story behind its creation. He was inspired by three close friends he had growing up in New Jersey, brothers Ray and Walter Cichon, and the drummer of his first band, Bart Haynes. Ray and Walter were in a band called the Motifs and Ray would tutor Bruce in guitar. Walter Cichon was, according to Springsteen, "The first person I ever saw who felt like a real rock star to me." Walter Cichon and Bart Haynes were killed during the Vietnam war, and "The Wall" is a protest song written with their memories in mind.
The song is very somber and slow, letting the lyrics be the main focus. Springsteen laments in the first line that "cigarettes and a bottle of beer, this poem that I wrote for you, the black stone and these hard tears" are all that he has left of his lost friend. He goes on to vividly describe a scene at the Vietnam War memorial, where dog tags, flowers, and blood red ribbons scatter the ground. The song has a clear and strong anti-war message, and Bruce's vocals pack enough emotion, especially when he wails at the end, that the listener will immediately be dragged into the story.
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Source: Bruce Springsteen YouTube