Outlaw Pete

Album: Working on a Dream (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • This song clocks in at eight minutes, making it Springsteen's longest studio song since The River's "Drive All Night" back in 1980.
  • Springsteen explained to the Observer Music Monthly January 2009 about this fable concerning a character who can't escape his past: "The past is never the past. It is always present. And you better reckon with it in your life and in your daily experience, or it will get you. It will get you really bad. It will come and it will devour you, it will remove you from the present. It will steal your future and this happens every day.
    We've lived through a nightmare like that in the past eight years here. We had a historically blind administration who didn't take consideration of the past; thousands and thousands of people died, lives were ruined and terrible, terrible things occurred because, there was no sense of history, no sense that the past is living and real.
    So the song is about this happening to this character. He moves ahead. He tries to make the right moves. He awakes from a vision of his death, and realizes: life is finite. Time is with me always. And I'm frightened. And he rides west where he settles down. But the past comes back in the form of this bounty hunter, whose mind is also quickened and burdened by the need to get his man. And these possessed creatures meet along the shores of this river where the bounty hunter of course is killed, and his last words are: 'We can't undo the things we've done.'
    In other words, your past is your past. You carry it with you always. These are your sins. You carry them with you always. You better learn how to live with them, learn the story that they're telling you. Because they're whispering your future in your ear, and if you don't listen, it will be contaminated by the toxicity of your past."

Comments: 4

  • Marty from Milwaukee, Widerek, bruce's voice is still awesome and he still sounds better than people half his age.
  • Brian from Chicago Area, IlAbout 10 seconds of this song contains the hook from "I Was Made For Loving You" by KISS. At approx. 3:25 in the track, the strings are playing the hook from the KISS tune.
  • Derek from Worcter, Maits sad now cuz bruce is such an awsome singer song writer and musitian but as he gets older his voice isnt as "flexible" and he has all these great new songs that he cant push to there unusualy high potential
  • Cher from Carleton Place, Oni adore the way bruce sings this song with soul
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