the greates Springsteen song

Bruce Springsteen has a lot of great songs with a lot of great renditions, but the one song that I can listen to over and over and over is I’m On Fire, despite the very dated '80s production. I think the brevity of the song is a huge plus; it makes me want to hear it again.

Kitty’s Back (Live)

The Wild, The Innocent & The E-Street Shuffle is my favorite album, but I couldn’t pick just one Springsteen song. Love Backstreets. And Reason to Believe. And It’s Hard to be a Saint in the City. And Cover Me. And on an on…

Blinded By The Light, but only when done by Manfred Mann.

Downbound Train is another favorite.

(Cover Me is excellent as well. Thanks for the reminder, Blank Slate)

I have many favorites, I especially like “Darkness On The Edge Of Town”, but for me it must be something from “Nebraska”. I listened to that album a few days ago after quite a long time and was once more overwhelmed by the impact of this record. I had goosebumps, once again, all throughout the whole album. It’s hard to pick one song from it, they are all fantastic, but if I must, I choose the aforementioned “Mansion On The Hill” or the very haunting “Nebraska” (“Well sir I guess there’s just a meanness in this world” maybe is my favorite closing line in a song)

Had that as my ringtone for a while when I was coaching girls’ softball.

My wife suggested that the unwashed might take it the wrong way.

Incident on 57th Street

Just to be different - “Mary’s Place”

*Roy Orbison singing for the lonely…
Yeah I could go with this one as well.

Personally, Thunder Road is my favorite, to the OPs question, I don’t know the answer, but his older stuff from Greetings from Asbury Park, Born to Run, and Darkness on the Edge of Town are, imo, his best work.

As far as favorite songs, I’m trying to cut down to the top 50. On the other hand, I think his line with the most punch is from The River: “Is a dream a lie when it don’t come true, or is is something worse?”

I really like two associated with films: “Dead Man Walking,” and “Philadelphia.” And songs like “Sinaloa Cowboys,” off Ghost of Tom Joad. So, the mellower stuff, the downtrodden character studies with political overtones.

My personal favorite Springsteen song has always been “New York City Serenade.” I like the somewhat odd jazzy-folk tone, the cryptic stories, and the improvisational feel of the song as a whole. It’s one of the most unique and distinctive songs in his catalog.

Because The Night…not with him singing it, mind you, but it is my favourite song of his (or half-his, as the case may be).

I grew up in Central Jersey (yes, it’s really a region). I’m younger than Springsteen, but grew up in a very working-class neighborhood, so lots of his songs touch attitudes and sentiments that were still very much part of my youth. “The River” is a version of the story of so many people I knew that it feels like the most personal to me, even if it doesn’t describe me.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it many times in the future. “Then I got Mary pregnant, and man, that was all she wrote,” is one of the saddest lyrics ever written in popular music. From that point on you can predict to a high degree of certainty how the singer’s life is going to spool out; it’s practically inevitable, and it’s that inevitability that make sit so sad.

The line you quoted above carries quite a punch, but for me it’s not quite as potent, because it’s backward-looking; the singer is regretting how things turned out. The real tragedy, to me, is that inflection point where one unintended action dramatically alters the future. The time for dreaming is over and responsibilities, both self-imposed and outwardly-imposed, will determine the course of the future. For both good and ill.

I feel like I need to have two answers to the OP’s question, divided by category. My favorite poetic, atmospheric, deep-thinker, is “The River.” But (at least right now) my favorite straight-ahead rocker is From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come), which I didn’t even know until recently was a Springsteen song; I’d always heard Dave Edmunds’s cover. Now that I’ve heard the Springsteen cut, I can’t believe I never realized it was one of his songs.

Seconding Rosalita: it’s the only Springsteen song that makes me feel something deeply rather than simply being fun.

This is my first thought. I was almost afraid to mention because folks here seem to think it’s pervy sounding :o People, “little girl” does not literally mean he is addressing a child.

I also have a soft spot for My City in Ruins. I remember the first time I heard it was when he performed it on the 9/11 benefit concert. Absolutely gutted me.

This line has me singing Rodgers and Hammerstein (Younger than Springsteen, are you/softer than starlight, are you). :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s hard to pick one, and as time passes different songs of his rise to the top for me.

I will say, though, that Thunder Road has lately become my number one. Like others have said in this thread, the lyrics are evocative, poetic and concise. It’s got a great build; instead of verse/chorus/verse/chorus, the whole song is on a crescendo trajectory. The form, like the characters in it, has forward momentum that blares into a triumphant sax solo at the end.

Also, like most of the other songs on Born to Run, it’s enhanced by the rest of the album. The whole thing fits together beautifully. To some degree, picking a favorite song from the album is like picking a favorite chapter from a great book; it’s a subdivision that is of limited utility.

Since no one has mentioned it yet, I’ll add Bobby Jean as a contender: And I’m just calling you one last time/Not to change your mind, but just to say I miss you, baby/Good luck, goodbye, Bobby Jean into one of my favorite Clarence melodies. And I love that this song is clearly about a love and a friendship that isn’t primarily or necessarily sexual or about attraction; Springsteen often writes about relationships and feelings in ways that other rock writers ignore.

Born to Run. It’s got everything.

Thunder Road is a close second.

“Glory Days” is the highest-rated Bruce Springsteen song in the world-famous Ponch8 Music Rating System.

On a side note, during my sophomore year of undergrad, I lived on the same dorm floor as a guy who was the kicker for his high school’s football team. He worked this fact into almost every conversation (like how Al Bundy would always mention the time he scored four touchdowns in a single game). My friend and I decided that “Glory Days” was this guy’s theme song.