Springsteen’s Statutory Anthem “I’m On Fire”

Posted by admin - 07/11/11 at 05:11 am

Yeah, the sleeveless staring? That doesn't help this NOT be creepy, Boss.

I wrote about Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” a while back as a fine example of something from your youth that you used to enjoy, but now if you actually listen to it, it raises some questions. I listened to that song for almost thirty years, and only recently realized that a girl who carries used condoms around in her pocket should probably be avoided.

Another one of those moments popped up yesterday, as the great shuffle feature brought up Bruce Springsteen’s 1985 song “I’m On Fire.”

“Hey little girl is your daddy home? Did he go and leave you all alone?”

For the rest of the song Springsteen continues to talk about how this girl makes him all sweaty and burn-y, as her forbidden fruit makes his loins tingle.

So what are we to assume here? Is this a song about a guy trying to pick up an underage girl? An ode to statutory rape?

This one might be easy to just ignore, except just two songs earlier on the album was “Working On The Highway,” a song clearly about a guy busting rocks on the highway because of his underage lusts. That song was originally titled “Child Bride,” by the way. This subject material isn’t out of the ordinary, it’s already appeared on the same side of the album.

So there are two interpretations here as I see them. Springsteen’s song could be about an actual underage girl, and he could be macking the big-time perv on her.

The alternative? Bruce was puling a Barney Stinson, and running the old “Daddy’s Home” routine.

— Reid Kerr has also noticed you can easily sing “Froggy Went A’Courtin'” over this song, and it fits perfectly.

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