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We continue exploring the far too relatable songs of Bruce Springsteen, bringing you five more shiver-inducing tracks that are quietly horrifying.

Springsteen has written A LOT of softly scary songs. We’ve been exploring many of them in-depth throughout this five-part series. Links to the previous three articles appear below. In part four of the series, we explore five more sinister songs that The Boss has gifted — and sometimes tortured — us with.

Note: The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is provided at the end of this article. If you need help, SKIP this article and call NOW.

The Soft Horror of Bruce Springsteen (Part 1)

The Soft Horror of Bruce Springsteen (Part 2)

The Soft Horror of Bruce Springsteen (Part 3)

1. FURTHER ON UP THE ROAD

This song is both chilling in its softly morbid imagery and its soft (potential) threat. The narrator of this gritty, from the gut song seems to be courteously tipping his hat to an enemy promising “we will meet again, and when we do…I’m going to kill you.” It’s also possible that this narrator is the grim reaper and/or god. We don’t know. We only know that we will meet him again… Further On Up the Road.

2. BLOOD BROTHERS

This song brings the quiet horror home. Blood Brothers is a song about one of the most common horrors that can softly creep up on someone — losing a childhood (best) friend. I’ve lost a few. I’m sure you have to. It hurts every day. One minute you’re bound by something stronger then steel…the next you’re not bound at all. The reason for this? Well, according to this song, “We got our own roads to ride.” Sometimes these roads run parallel. Other times, they don’t.

3. BRILLIANT DISGUISE

This song is my dad’s favorite. There’s something beautifully terrifying about this song’s premise. And that premise is that even the people we are closest to, the people we love, are still strangers. They are not us. We are not them. Furthermore, we are not ourselves, at least not always. I can’t honestly say I (always) know myself. Sometimes I think others know who I am more than I know me. The nature of the “self” is challenged in this tender, painful ballad.

4. SOMETHING IN THE NIGHT

This song asks: Have you ever broken away from someone? Did a part of that someone loge itself into the front of your mind? Do you ever drive, late at night, with your vision obscured by the memories of this person? Do you try to turn on your mental windshield wipers, only for them to snap off in the gusts of doubt and self-loathing? Are you the narrator of this song? Am I?

“Something” is really “someone”. A ghost that will haunt you no matter how far you drive.

5. DEVILS AND DUST

Unfortunately, for many, the ghost mentioned above is sometimes too haunting. Sometimes, the ghost doesn’t just frighten to the point of depression and anxiety, but to the point of death. Sometimes that ghost is given form in a person’s left ventricle. There it grows like a tumor, filling up the last little space that hope had reserved. I don’t need to tell anyone how scary this song is.

Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you need help: 1-800-273-8255

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