Factory

Album: Darkness On The Edge Of Town (1978)

Songfacts®:

  • This song was influenced by Springsteen's working-class father, Doug. Bruce did not get along with his dad growing up, but came to appreciate the work he did to raise his family. Bruce never had a job besides making and playing music.
  • Springsteen earned a reputation for relating to the common man, and this song is a great example why. Explaining how he came to write songs dealing with his father, like this one and "Adam Raised A Cain," Springsteen told Rolling Stone: "When I went to work, I really went to work in my dad's clothes, and it became a way, I suppose, that I honored him and my parents' lives, and a part of my own young life. And then it just became who I was."
  • Lucinda Williams covered this for her 2016 Ghosts of Highway 20 album. The country rocker's version is dedicated to her father-in-law, who worked in a factory for more than 30 years. Williams' husband and manager, Tom Overby, produced Highway 20 and is a huge fan of Springsteen's song.

Comments: 7

  • Martin from ScotlandIncorrect. Bruce was from the Freehold borough, downtown Freehold, which was the poor end of town and his lyrics and songs reflect reality. He may not have held a real working mans job but his observations resonate through the decades which is why his lyrics connect with hundreds of millions across the planet
  • Seth from Freehold,Bruce Springsteen's father drove a bus. Freehold is the county seat for Monmouth County, NJ and has a sizeable population of professionals such as doctors, administrators, and lawyers. Songs about an administrator's harsh working conditions prove unpopular while songs about downtrodden factory workers prove financially successful. Although Freehold boasted several mills within the borough, Freehold is not an industrial town like Jersey City or Perth Amboy, NJ. Nor is Freehold like the one mill towns depicted in movies, or seen in places like Manville, NJ where the asbestos plant closed due to unintended consequences.

    Nevertheless, Springsteen is a gifted song writer. He is a hard working entertainer. He is competitive. And he is a wealthy socialist. Don't let the art define life as a reality, you'll be disillusioned by the delusion.
  • Gene from San Diego, CaFactory, the song of communism.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoActually the music to Jesus Christ Superstar was written many years before Bruce's album Darkness on the Edge of Town came out. If Bruce used the melody of "I Don't Know How to Love Him" as the bridge, it would simply be as a symbolic tribute to his father, not Bruce trying to steal the melody.
  • Kartik from Peace River, CanadaI'm almost positive Bruce Springsteen did not copy the short instrumental off Jesus Christ Superstar. He wrote this before that movie or song were made so no it was not intentional.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoA friend of mine pointed out that the short solo in Factory is the same melody as the title lyric in the Jesus Christ Superstar song "I Don't Know How to Love Him". I always wondered if that was intentional by Bruce symbolizing his rough relationship with his father.
  • Tyler from Hamilton, CanadaBruce said the only two songs his dad ever liked were the two about him.

    This song really makes it clear that Springsteen is all for the working man. Freehold NJ was an inudstrial town.
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