Springsteen wrote this in response to the September 11 attacks on America. The entire album deals with it in some way, often from the point of view of the victims.
Many of the songs that came out soon after September 11, 2001 in the US were calls for revenge and dripped with patriotism (Charlie Daniels' "This Ain't No Rag, It's A Flag), but this is a much more introspective look at the events, as Springsteen attempts to reflect the many different emotions caused by the tragedy. In addition to anger, many Americans felt grief, frustration, and bewilderment in their efforts to deal with it.
This was the first album of original material by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band since 1984, when they released Born In The U.S.A.
This won Grammys for Best Rock Song and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, while the album won for Best Rock Album. All of the awards were given away before the show, but Springsteen got plenty of time on the telecast. He and The E Street Band performed this during the show, and near the end of the show, Bruce and Little Steven were part of a tribute to Joe Strummer, playing The Clash classic "London Calling" along with Dave Grohl and Elvis Costello. Strummer died of a heart attack in 2002.
Norah Jones beat this for the Song of the Year Grammy when she won for "Don't Know Why." She won five awards that year.
This anthemic song is a live favorite, and Springsteen played it on January 18, 2009 at a concert in Washington, DC to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America. Springsteen supported Obama during the campaign.
Suggestion credit: Bertrand - Paris, France
The Rising album was partially inspired by a stranger who told Springsteen in the wake of 9/11, "We need you now."
Travis from Rochester, NyI was at that concert in Atlanta GA, up front in the pit. When he said "I'd like to thank absolutely f*#@ing nobody!" you knew it was going to be a great night! My wife is still upset Norah Jones beat him out!
Emil from Avesta, SwedenThis song is about NY firefighters and their struggling during 9/11
Ekristheh from Halath, United StatesGenerally, Mary is to Bruce Springsteen as Maria is to Adam Duritz. The narrator's lover, his muse, the girl he cares about, especially since he mentions "our children".
Adam from Lehman, PaMy first thought about "mary in the garden" wasn't the virgin mary, but the mary he always talked about in his past songs (i.e. thunder road). It tells about how he may be leaving her yet going to heaven with her in mind.
Tim from Raleigh, NcI think Mary may be his grieving wife, who is in the "garden of a thousand sighs." He longs to mix his blood with hers (physical existence). He sees only holy representations of his children(pictures), not the children themselves.
Jim from Long Beach, CaI can remember 9/11. I was in the air at the time on my way to Flordia we got grounded in Texas. It was so surreal, and it is still to hard to talk about. This song always brings a tear to me, I love this whole disc. God Bless Bruce and America..
Johnny from London, United KingdomMentioning Mary in the garden immediately makes you think of the resurrection of Jesus. This links with the name of the song and the kind of spiritual dream of lifey stuff at the end. May or may not be what Bruce intended but inescapable.
Christina from North Bay, OnI cry almost everytime I hear this song.
S.d. from Denver, CoThe last full verse, the one that begins "I see Mary in the garden" is the first line in more than 20 years that literally made this grown man cry. The imagery it evokes of a mother who lost her children in the attacks is both heartrending and beautiful, a call for all of us to focus on the beauty and love we find in life instead of our hatred of those who want to destroy us. I don't care for the album as a whole, but this song is, to me, Bruce's most affecting ever.
Jennifer from Bronx, NyThe title refers to the "rising" of the 9/11 firemen up to heaven. "Come on up for the rising - come on up, lay your hands in mine" The fireman walked UP the steps in the WTC & kept going "There's spirits above and behind me," until they reached Mary in the garden. Great song! Should have won the Grammy!
13scarecrows from Sallisaw, OkFirst half of the song is about the firefighters on 9/11/01. Then it goes spiritual, then its about all the poeple lost on that day. Beautiful song.
Andrew from New York, NyTyler is right. This is an awesome song that honors firefighters among all of the others. I am a firefighter who's rescue company responded and this song means so much to me along with many other Bruce Springsteen songs.
Larry from Winchester, CaMore Relating To 911 at anroll.org. Larry Haertling
Jonathan from Philadelphia, PaIs this our Sunday bloody Sunday?
Pat from Las Vegas, Nv"Into the Fire" on the same album is about the same subject, incidentally. Also a great song.
Rick from Humboldt, Iagreat song. goood album
Kevin from Warrington, PaThe night after Springsteen lost to Norah Jones for the Song Of The Year Grammy, he took the stage for his next concert. He walked up to the microphone and jokingly said, "I'd like to thank absolutely f*#@ing nobody!"
Tyler from Hamilton, CanadaThis song deals with the tragedy faced by a FDNY ladder company "On my back's a sixty pound stone "- refers to the oxygen tank
"On my shoulder a half mile of line"- refers to the fire hose
"Wearin' the cross of my calling " The firemans cross
"On wheels of fire I come rollin' down here " a fire truck