The Kennedy Center Honors is an annual award given to those in the performing arts for their lifetime contributions to American culture. Last night CBS aired the ceremony and showed Bruce Springsteen receiving the honor – as he sat next to President Obama and heard Eddie Vedder perform Bruce’s City of Ruins.
City of Ruins is an example of how a song can turn into a living prayer. Its lyrics and imagery depict transformation and rising above your struggles. The first minute of the song is sad and pensive as Bruce reflects upon an empty and desolate city. But, a couple minutes into the song, the beat picks up and Springsteen opens his hands and prays the words:
“With these hands. I pray for the strength Lord with these hands. I pray for the love Lord with these hands.”
One can only imagine what is inspiring Springsteen to write and sing these words.
The song gains more momentum during the final minute when Bruce sings out:
“Rise up. Come on, rise up. Come on rise up.”
This spiritual language of transformation is unmistakable. Springsteen knows that his city is in ruins. But, he is asking for the strength to rise above it…