My City Of Ruins

Album: The Rising (2002)
Play Video


  • 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

Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins

Tom Bailey of Thompson TwinsSongwriter Interviews

Tom stopped performing Thompson Twins songs in 1987, in part because of their personal nature: "Hold Me Now" came after an argument with his bandmate/girlfriend Alannah Currie.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

Michael Franti

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.

Incongruent Opening Acts

Incongruent Opening ActsSong Writing

Here's what happens when an opening act is really out of place with the headliner, like when Beastie Boys opened for Madonna.