"The Rising" by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, is etched in my mind as part of my childhood. It reminds me of days filled with playing in the sandbox in our backyard, watching the commuter train through the hole in the fence, and sitting in the hot tub on the back porch with my dad and younger sister.
My dad is passionate about music. There's always music on in my house, and it's something I associate so closely with home and with my dad. Bruce Springsteen is his favorite. He plays Springsteen songs all the time at home, in the backyard, and in the car. He even sang a Springsteen song at my aunt's wedding. Springsteen is a significant figure in my life as his music influenced both of my parents. While I know the music and the chorus of most Springsteen songs, I was especially drawn to "The Rising" when I was 4 years old. I loved it so much I learned every word. As a kid, I liked the beat and the instruments the band used in the song. I was also intrigued by the uplifting chorus which was my favorite part of the song. I could be heard singing "Come on up for the rising, come on up lay your hands in mine... " wherever I went. I had no idea what the song was about at the time, but I knew it had an empowering message. Something about the song made me happy as a child, and I believe that even back then I knew the song was about love. I would sing it with my dad all the time, and I couldn't help but smile as I sang along with him.
As I've gotten older, I love the song even more because I know the meaning of the song, what it was written about, and the healing powers it possesses. The song was written about a firefighter during the September 11 attacks in New York. Springsteen, a native of New Jersey, used music as a way to help families processes the tragedy, begin to heal and be strengthened. Springsteen wrote the influential song, and the entire album, about this event in order to show our country that we are stronger than terrorism and most importantly, hate.
When I hear the song today I think about the different meanings it has for every individual living in this country, and I think of the importance it has in my life as well. In 2013, the song took on a new meaning to me in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. That tragedy hit close to home for me because some of my family members ran the race that day and experienced first hand the chaos and fear of terror.
Music is an important part of my life and family. Even though songs mean different things to different people, music brings everyone together. For me, "The Rising" is a song that makes me think of the resilience of the American Spirit; but also of a girl and her dad, bonding over a song they both love, and fond memories of home.