Songs Without Borders by Paul Gregory Alms

Songs Without Borders

Paul Gregory Alms on Why Springsteen's "The River" Couldn't Be Written Today

It was 1984 and I was twenty-one years old. My favorite song was "The River" by Bruce Springsteen. It had become so at the end of a road trip with friends from Chicago to Lincoln, Nebraska, in a rusted-out Volkswagen Beetle. As we came into Lincoln at sunset, "The River" came on the cassette player and it seemed to fit our journey perfectly. Though we could not have said so at the time, it matched not only the car trip but also our lives. Soon we would graduate from college, begin to get married, and go on to jobs and other pur . . .