Thursday, December 6, 2007

Springsteen on Charles Starkweather-Nebraska

The recent killings at an Omaha shopping mall reminded me of the song Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen. The lyrics are based upon the story of serial killer Charles Starkweather. There was also a move made in 1973 called Badlands starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek. Both stories are tragic chapters in the history of America.

"Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” -Genesis 4:8-12

Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen
I saw her standin' on her front lawn
just twirlin' her baton
Me and her went for a ride sir
and ten innocent people died

From the town of Lincoln, Nebraska
with a sawed off .410 on my lap
Through to the badlands of Wyoming
I killed everything in my path

I can't say that I'm sorry
for the things that we done
At least for a little while sir
me and her we had us some fun

The jury brought in a guilty verdict
and the judge he sentenced me to death
Midnight in a prison storeroom
with leather straps across my chest

Sheriff when the man pulls that switch sir
and snaps my poor head back
You make sure my pretty baby
is sittin' right there on my lap

They declared me unfit to live
said into that great void my soul'd be hurled
They wanted to know why I did what I did
Well sir I guess there's just a meanness in this world.

lyrics copyright 1982 Bruce Springsteen

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