Just last week, Bruce came to Baltimore and took requests from the audience for songs to sing. One of the few requests he accepted was this song, with which he helped bring a contemporary sound to a timeless classic.
Who doesn’t know this version of the song that was written and performed way back in November of 1934? Springsteen first did his rendition in 1975, and ever since then, just about every one of us has grown up cheering on his bantering with Clarence and the crowd.
For me, it’s memories of driving around in my first car lovingly named Deuce, a 1968 Ford Falcon that had seen so, so many better days. When I was a member of the Smile Merchants, traveling to area hospitals and day-care centers during the holidays (not one of them to be outdone by our trip to Hopkins Children’s Hospital, where we were lost for hours while trying to get home), Deuce played Bruce loud and often to and from all of our shows.
It’s that playfulness, that good spirit, that fun that he has with this song, his band, and the entire audience (as well as all of us who continue to listen) that makes me love this song so much. To love what you do (and do what you love) — that is the secret to our happiness — today, tomorrow, and all of the glorious days yet to come.