As the famous story goes; just after the events of September 11, 2001 a fan in a car sees Bruce Springsteen, stops, rolls down his window and says “we need you now”; kind of like the commissioner shining the giant Bat-light into the sky. Bruce began writing for what would become The Rising. Although some of the songs were written prior to those events and some were not about those events, the collection of songs is cohesive and inspired. It was also an exciting release because it was the first non-live album with The E Street Band since 1984's Born in the U.S.A.
The cd opens with a great song Lonesome Day; which on the surface seems to be kind of a break up song, but I think it sets the tone for the 911 theme... "A little revenge and this too shall pass, This too shall pass, I'm gonna pray, Right now all I got's this lonesome day".
The next song is directly about the events, Into The Fire. The song is about a firefighter that goes up into one of the towers; "The sky was falling and streaked with bloodI heard you calling me then you disappeared into the dust, up the stairs into the fire"; but like the rest of The Rising the tone is hopeful "May your strength give us strength, May your faith give us faith, May your hope give us hope, May your love give us love".
Empty Sky is another song that deals with the loss; "I woke up this morning I could barely breathe, Just an empty impression in the bed where you used to be"; Your Missing - "Pictures on the nightstand, TV's on in the den, Your house is waiting, your house is waiting, For you to walk in, for you to walk in, But you're missing"; in the title track The Rising, Bruce again captures the image of a firefighter climbing to his death; "Lost track of how far I've gone, How far I've gone, how high I've climbed, On my back's a sixty pound stone,On my shoulder a half mile line" but again hope and redemption flows "Come on up for the rising, Come on up, lay your hands in mine".
The song My City of Ruins was written prior to 911 about the decline of Asbury Park, New Jersey, but transposed into a song about the events in New York; the song was played on the benefit show America: A Tribute to Heroes:
The Rising was Bruce's great tribute to 911, Bruce's great comeback with The E Street Band and Bruce's great album on the 00's.