My City Of Ruins

Album: The Rising (2002)

Songfacts®:

  • Springsteen wrote this about Asbury Park, New Jersey, a resort town near where he grew up. Springsteen went there a lot when he was young, and watched it deteriorate as he got older. It is now mostly neglected.
  • This took on new meaning after the September 11th terrorist attacks on the US. It became a message to New York City about rising from the ruins.
  • Springsteen first played this in December 2000, on his US tour with The E Street Band. He performed it only at a few shows in New Jersey.
  • This was the first song performed on the "Tribute To Heroes" telethon, held 10 days after the attack to benefit victims of the terrorism.
  • Springsteen played this at two benefit shows he held in New Jersey in October 2001.
  • The song had not yet been released when Springsteen performed it at the benefits.
  • A cover by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, which was recorded in December 2009 at the Kennedy Center Honors' tribute to Bruce Springsteen, entered the Hot 100 in February 2010. Proceeds of the song went to Artists for Peace and Justice Haiti Relief after the earthquake that devastated the country.

Comments: 2

  • MikeThis was Springsteen's finest moment among so many. It was the perfect song to open the tribute show, and the perfect song to start a nation healing. It may not have been originally about 9/11, but it became so after his performance.
  • James Thomson from Glasgow, United KingdomThis is a brilliant song, even though it wasn't written about the attacks, it sums up the aftermath so effectively
see more comments

Editor's Picks

WeezerFact or Fiction

Did Rivers Cuomo grow up on a commune? Why did they name their albums after colors? See how well you know your Weezer in this Fact or Fiction.

Lip-Synch RebelsSong Writing

What happens when Kurt Cobain, Iron Maiden and Johnny Lydon are told to lip-synch? Some hilarious "performances."

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Harry ShearerSongwriter Interviews

Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Rickie Lee JonesSongwriter Interviews

Rickie Lee Jones on songwriting, social media, and how she's handling Trump.