Music Monday – You’re Missing

Well, he’s certainly not a new artist, but he still brings the same passion to his concerts that he did over 40 years ago when he was just starting out.

And while he may be best known for playing lead guitar with the E Street Band in front of sold-out stadiums, he’s also just as mesmerizing when it’s just him and a piano on stage.

And that’s what I’m showcasing in today’s Music Monday post, Bruce Springsteen singing You’re Missing on Saturday Night LIve back on October 5, 2002.

I’ve included the song in an earlier post I did about my top five musical performances on Saturday Night Live, but I really did not talk too much about the song itself.

Every time I hear Bruce sing this song, tears come to my eyes. I envision a family waiting for dad to come home from work, but it’s not meant to be. Although Bruce first cut the song in 1994, it didn’t appear on any album until 2002. Bruce rewrote the song in response to the events of 9/11, and You’re Missing is the most poignant of all the songs on The Rising album (in my opinion). Here are some of the lyrics:

Coffee cups on the counter, jackets on the chair
Papers on the doorstep, you’re not there

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

Children are asking if it’s alright
Will you be in our arms tonight?

Morning is morning, the evening falls I have
Too much room in my bed, too many phone calls

Bruce’s beautiful words paint a picture of routine, everyday life – coffee cups and TVs – but life will never be the same for this family.

Here’s how another writer describes it:

Most illustrative is the song “You’re Missing,” in which we hear the heart-wrenching story of a surviving wife faced with the necessity of telling her children that their father is dead.  There is no political statement attached, there is only the artistic expression of the encounter between human beings and the real force of evil in the world.  Springsteen has no interest in abstract, hubristic ruminations about evil; he provides straightforward accounts of flesh and blood reactions to it.  And these reactions always occur in a specific, concrete setting – in this case, the household as the most intimate of places.  His descriptions are often peppered with textured mundane detail, as though to emphasize the importance of that place.

Here’s the video of his rehearsal performance for his Saturday Night Live appearance, followed by the live performance. Remarkably, there is only a three-second difference between the two performances. Which shows that he puts as much into his practice as he does into the real thing. I guess that’s part of what makes him great.

I’ve also included the lyrics in between the two videos so you can read or sing-a-long if you choose.

Shirts in the closet, shoes in the hall
Mama’s in the kitchen, baby and all
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you’re missing

Coffee cups on the counter, jackets on the chair
Papers on the doorstep, you’re not there
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you’re 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, you’re missing
You’re missing when I shut out the lights
You’re missing when I close my eyes
You’re missing when I see the sunrise
You’re missing

Children are asking if it’s alright
Will you be in our arms tonight?

Morning is morning, the evening falls I have
Too much room in my bed, too many phone calls
How’s everything, everything?
Everything, everything
You’re missing, you’re missing

God’s drifting in heaven, devil’s in the mailbox
I got dust on my shoes, nothing but teardrops

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