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13 Bruce Springsteen Quotes and Lyrics to Live By

From his self-assured debut album Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. to the solemn and reflective Nebraska, Bruce Springsteen’s music has painted a portrait of the American spirit for more than half a century. “The Boss” is often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, winning 20 Grammy Awards throughout his career, on top of the esteemed Presidential Medal of Freedom (in 2016), and a place in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame (both in 1999).

Famously hailing from New Jersey, the musician helped pioneer the heartland rock genre, often using character-based storytelling to paint pictures of the American working class while invoking a relatable feeling of yearning and hope. In ambitious classics like “Born to Run” and “Dancing in the Dark,” Springsteen motivates us to hold nothing back, warns us to resist fear, and urges us to take risks to achieve our greatest goals. In that spirit, here are 13 of the most hopeful, aspiring, and dream-driven quotes and lyrics from Springsteen’s legendary career.

So walk tall / Or baby, don't walk at all
— “New York City Serenade,” 1973

We gotta get out while we're young / `Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run
— “Born to Run,” 1975

You spend your life waiting for a moment that just don't come / Well, don't waste your time waiting
— “Badlands,” 1978

Is a dream a lie if it don't come true / Or is it something worse?
— “The River,” 1980

Well, now, everything dies, baby, that's a fact / But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
— “Atlantic City,” 1982

You can't start a fire without a spark
— “Dancing in the Dark,” 1984

This house is haunted and the ride gets rough / You've got to learn to live with what you can't rise above
— “Tunnel of Love,” 1987

God have mercy on the man / Who doubts what he's sure of
— “Brilliant Disguise,” 1987

When it comes to luck, you make your own
— “Lucky Town,” 1992

Success makes life easier. It doesn’t make living easier.
— “Q Magazine” interview, 1992

Fear's a powerful thing, baby / It can turn your heart black, you can trust / It'll take your God-filled soul / And fill it with devils and dust
— “Devils & Dust,” 2005

To the dead, well it don't matter much about who's wrong or right
— “Gypsy Biker,” 2007

You can't be afraid of getting old. Old is good, if you're gathering in life.
— “The Guardian” interview, 2010

Photo credit:  Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/ Alamy Stock Photo

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About the Author
Sean Neumann
Sean Neumann is a writer and reporter based in Chicago, Illinois.
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