What's this lyric mean to you?

Flat6Driver

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From Bruce Springseteen's Atlantic City:

Now I been looking for a job, but it's hard to find
Down here, it's just winners and losers and "Don't get caught on the wrong side of that line"
Well, I'm tired of coming out on the losing end
So, honey, last night, I met this guy, and I'm gonna do a little favor for him

I've always took it as something a little shady. How do you interpret it, or know what it's really going for?
 

1955

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I would imagine character study, though I don’t know the song. I’ve noticed themes in some of his songs where the protagonist is on the edge of desperation, whether from unrequited love, unfairness, or just a man trying to find his way over the rocks kicked in the road.
 

Chiogtr4x

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From Bruce Springseteen's Atlantic City:



I've always took it as something a little shady. How do you interpret it, or know what it's really going for?

Just assume it was commit some kind of crime, that makes the singer ( narrator).some quick & easy $$? Maybe drug sale/pickup?, robbery?
- but really no idea
 

Si G X

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Yeah doing something shady for some money because he can't find a job, is exactly how I interpret it.

Not sure what else it would be referring to, the specifics are left to your imagination.
 

Kandinskyesque

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It sounds like one of the Boss's typical character narratives on the blue collar classes. The ones where the protagonist has no choices rather than poor choices.

It sounds like he's a good man that's crossing over to the darker side of life because needs must. Sink or swim.
Obviously something he'd rather not darken his soul with but feels he has to in order to survive. It could be anything shady.

I don't know the song but I imagine he and his girl end up hurting the most as a result.
 

jaxjaxon

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J find the whole thing to wordy. I guess I see it as (I met a man that could help me out if I help him out). Sometimes you win, Sometimes you lose, Sometimes you just stare down at your shoes.
 

oregomike

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From Bruce Springseteen's Atlantic City:



I've always took it as something a little shady. How do you interpret it, or know what it's really going for?
My initial interpretation is, he’s tired of doing what he’s felt was the honorable thing all his life and “getting nothing” while watching the crooks get their payday. So, now he’s going to take his shot, and step over the line.
 

Stringbanger

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From Bruce Springseteen's Atlantic City:



I've always took it as something a little shady. How do you interpret it, or know what it's really going for?

The chorus right after the part Flat6 wrote goes:

Everything dies baby that’s a fact
But maybe everything that dies someday comes back
Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty
And meet me tonight in Atlantic City

Whatever the protagonist is doing for this guy, he is crossing his own moralistic standard, so part of him dies. He hopes someday that that part of him that dies comes back. Apparently he is anticipating a nice payoff, so he wants his girlfriend to dress up, and he is going to treat her, which is probably something he hasn’t done for a while. It’s all about the girl.
 

Tele Jr

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Could be interpreted as a thinly veiled reference to selling ones soul.

Some have a chance for life after death but not those for whom the soul is sold.

This is actually a common theme in much of rock and roll.
 

beyer160

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Hitchcock said, "what you don't see is scarier than what you do see". The Boss is leaving it up to your imagination. Arson, murder, drug smuggling, DJ'ing dubstep, let your mind fill in the blanks.
 

TheFuzzDog

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It sounds like “Meeting Across The River” to me - a guy psyching himself up to commit a crime.
 




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