The Wrestler

Album: Working on a Dream (2009)

Songfacts®:

  • This track, about a final shot at stardom, featured in the Mickey Rourke movie The Wrestler. The actor told ComingSoon.net that he is friends with Springsteen, and that Bruce penned the song for The Wrestler after Rourke had written a letter to the singer-songwriter telling him how proud he was of the film. Said Rourke: "The only reason I wrote Bruce Springsteen a letter was because after about six days, I knew something magical was happening on the movie. Darren (Aronofsky, director) sort of brought me back to just really wanting to be the best thing I could be. Stuff started happening with Evan (Rachel Wood) and then stuff made it personal with the speech at the end and the way Darren was shooting the movie and his direction, I felt this tremendous sense of pride and privilege to be associated with Darren and the people in this movie, and that's what gave me the gumption to write Bruce. I told him, 'We have no money, but we did it in New Jersey.'"

    Springsteen called Rourke some time later after reading the script and told him, "I wrote you a little something." The actor told ComingSoon.net that after he first heard the song, "I had to listen to it like 100 times. He really got it... The song sums up the whole character. He did me such an honor and such a favor."
  • This won the award at the 66th Golden Globes held on January 11, 2009 for Best Song. It was Springsteen's second Golden Globe. He also won in 1994 for "Streets Of Philadelphia" from Philadelphia.
  • This song is a bonus track on Springsteen's Working on a Dream album.
  • Springsteen told the Observer Music Monthly January 2009 that this "was a song about damage, about what it does to somebody with the inability to get in to normal life. The inability to stand the things that nurture you. Because much of our life is spent running. We're running, we're on the run; one of my specialities."

Comments: 3

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAs stated above it won the Golden Globe award for 'Best Song'; but the "The Wrestler" did not received a Academy Award nomination!!!
    {Oscar went to "Jai Ho" from the movie 'Slumdog Millionaire'}
  • Joel from Capetown, South AfricaThis is a really powerfull song. It describes my life when I was going through some really tough s--t. Fortuently thanks to the love and support of my parents, my girlfriend, and a decent shrink things are starting to look a lot better.
  • Theo from Johannesburg, South Africaabsolutely haunting!this song perfectly sums up the movie and, to some extent, Mickey Rourke's life.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien Songs

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien SongsSong Writing

The trail runs from flying saucer songs in the '50s, through Bowie, blink-182 and Katy Perry.

Sam Phillips

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.

Dwight Twilley

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

John Lee Hooker

John Lee HookerSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write the blues.

The End Of The Rock Era

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

Dino Cazares of Fear Factory

Dino Cazares of Fear FactorySongwriter Interviews

The guitarist/songwriter explains how he came up with his signature sound, and deconstructs some classic Fear Factory songs.