Tuesday Tune: ‘Livin’ In The Future’ by Bruce Springsteen

Song: “Livin’ In The Future”

Artist: Bruce Springsteen

Album: Magic

This past Saturday, I was fortunate enough to attend Philcon in Cherry Hill, NJ. You may ask: “Shouldn’t Philcon take place in Philadelphia?” My best answer to that question is that hotel rates are cheaper across the river in Cherry Hill and that renaming the event “Cherrycon” would mistakenly draw unsuspecting bakers and Warrant fans.

Anyway, I was in the audience for an excellent panel entitled “Why Aren’t We Writing About The Future Anymore?” There was lots of great commentary by Sci-Fi Authors Cory Doctorow, David Louis Edelman, and Gregory Frost.

This got me thinking about songs with “Future” in the title.


A quick iTunes search yielded several interesting candidates, but I decided to pick “Livin’ In The Future” from Bruce Springsteen’s Magic album for this week’s “Tuesday Tune”.

I’m not sure what inspired The Boss to write this song but the lyrics seem to imply a story taking place in some sort of post-apocalyptic future. Here is a sample lyric:

“The earth it gave away The sea rose towards the sun

I opened up my heart to you It got all damaged and undone

My ship Liberty sailed away On a bloody red horizon

The groundskeeper opened the gates And let the wild dogs run”

Pretty dark stuff, huh? The music, however, is anything but dark. It’s downright jubilant. It sounds like classic 70’s era E-Street Band, complete with wailing saxophone, twinkling keyboards, and rootsy guitar fills. Was this a deliberate artistic decision? I’m not sure, but it sounds pretty good to me.

Can you think of any other songs where the lyrics are in contrast to the music?

Are there any other Bruce Springsteen songs that explore Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, or other literary themes?

Why is Warrant such a criminally underrated band?