“Hello, E Street Nation,” Bruce Springsteen said as he began his 90-minute guest DJ spot on SiriusXM satellite’s radio E Street Radio station. He said he was going to play “music for troubled times” and pledged, “I will try to brighten your day a little bit.”
The show included a tribute to John Prine and Prine’s song “Angel From Montgomery” as well as songs by Springsteen himself (“Cover Me”), Springsteen and his Seeger Sessions Band (“We Shall Overcome”), Patti Scialfa (“Talk to Me Like the Rain”), Bon Jovi (“Livin’ on a Prayer”) and Bob Dylan (“Beyond Here Lies Nothin’ “), and some somewhat more surprising artists such as Morrissey, Cracker, Common and Sarah Jarosz.
Here are the songs, along with some of Springsteen’s comments, and YouTube videos for each song. (NOTE: In some cases, the YouTube video may be a version that is different from the version he played.)
For repeats, and to hear the show on demand, visit siriusxm.com, which is usually a paid service but is offering free streaming through May 15.
Intro music: Lynn Taitt & the Baba Brooks Band: “40 Miles of Bad Road”
“Turn In Tune In Drop Out,” Cracker
“Gone Till November,” Wyclef Jean. “My children are all off in their own homes, and claim they don’t want to come and visit, in order not to kill us. So … it’s hard to argue against. But this is a song about being away from the people that you love, and living through it.”
“The End of the Innocence,” Don Henley. “The only thing that I’m really sure of is that after all this is over, the world isn’t going to be quite the same. I think we’re all going to be suffering some post-traumatic stress, and people are going to take a while before they trust one other again, before they can come close, before they can gather at events that have been so wonderful parts of the celebration of being human and being together.”
“Only the Lonely,” Roy Orbison. “It’s lonely down here on the farm. I got my baby with me and we’re doing great: Patti and I have a new rhythm to our day. But it’s tough not seeing the people you care about. So this one goes out to all the folks we love: Evan, Jess, Sam, Mom. I miss you.”
“It’s Bad You Know,” R.L. Burnside
“Beyond Here Lies Nothin’,” Bob Dylan. “These days, you can feel like you’re looking out over the edge of the apocalypse. So here’s my good friend, Bob Dylan, singing ‘Beyond Here Lies Nothin.’ ”
“Cover Me,” Bruce Springsteen. “I think the strangest thing is how the world suddenly feels so unsafe. A walk. Going to the grocery street. A drive and then a walk along the beach, which is now closed. All you know is, that feeling of safety that you once had has been stripped away.”
“Livin’ on a Prayer,” Bon Jovi
“Every Day Is Like Sunday,” Morrissey. “Everybody’s wakin’ up these days with that feeling that it’s Groundhog Day. Every day is like the other day. And that’s like the other day. And that’s like the other day. I get up. I exercise. I exercise some more. I go downstairs. I eat breakfast. I eat breakfast again. Then I sit in front of the fire and I read a little bit. If we’re lucky, we get outside, get around the farm a little bit, Patti and I. And then we get to have dinner. And then we have some more dinner. And then we watch the news. It’s all bad. And we got to bed. And then we get up and we do it again. Looking for a little light at the end of the tunnel.”
“Trouble So Hard,” Marion Williams. “The folks who are suffering the worst are the folks who have no safety net, nothing to soften the blow of the incredible unemployment that’s sweeping the nation out there, folks who live week to week, and just one week out of work, simply is enough to change and kick the bottom out of your life.”
“Letter to the Free,” Common
“Ring Them Bells,” Sarah Jarosz. “There is an element of the spiritual that you have to call on to make it through these days, whether it’s prayer, or whether it’s just praying together. I’m not sure, but I know that when these days end, and they will end, there will be a religious celebration, a spiritual celebration.”
“Talk to Me Like the Rain,” Patti Scialfa. “There is that cliché that says women like to talk, and men don’t like to talk. But all I can say is that in our house, we’re talkin’ (laughs). We’re doin’ some talkin’!”
“Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu,” Huey “Piano” Smith
“Better Times Are Coming,” Kate and Anna McGarrigle. “This is a song by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. It’s called “Better Times Are Coming,” and I believe that deeply down in my soul. I believe that some of the love that has grown, the togetherness that has grown … you see people come out on their balconies and applaud all of the health workers who are putting themselves on the line day after day after day. Their courage and their bravery is truly something I have never seen before. So, I’m gonna send this one out to them.”
“We Shall Overcome,” Bruce Springsteen & the Sessions Band. “I believe its origin was in the union movement, and then of course it became an icon of the civil rights movement in the ’60s. Pete Seeger had a hand in popularizing it and writing it, and we’ve taken our shot at it, too.”
“Are You Alright?” Lucinda Williams. “Are you alright out there? Are you social distancing? Are you washing your hands? are you staying in your home with your loved one. I think that’s the question of the year: Are you alright?”
“3rd Base, Dodger Stadium,” Ry Cooder. “If you’re there by yourself, that ain’t so bad! I did 35 years by myself … and I liked it! (laughs) My son’s doing that now. Both of them. And they sound pretty happy. … What do you miss? Everybody misses something. What do you really miss? I miss going to Max’s and the Windmill and getting a hot dog. I miss walking along the promenades, the beach and boardwalk in Asbury Park. I miss sitting at the bar, having some beers and drinking with some friends. And I miss baseball. Baseball. I’m not much of a sports fanatic at all, but I do like baseball. And this is for all the things we miss. All the things that make us, us. And all I know is, when this is all over, I’m going to take Patti to a baseball game.”
“Angel From Montgomery,” John Prine. “Over here on E Street, we’re devastated by the death of John Prine. Not only was he one of our country’s greatest songwriters, a real national treasure, but he was a sweet and a lovely man, and I was proud to count him as my friend. He wrote music of towering compassion, with an almost unheard of precision and creativity when it came to observing the fine details of ordinary lives. He was a writer of great humor … with a wry sensitivity that … it just marked him as a complete original. And his death just makes me angry. He was simply one of the best we had, and we will miss him.”
“The Last Mile of the Way,” Sam Cooke & the Soul Stirrers. “I hope I’ve helped lighten your day and your burden, just a little bit. But of course we can’t go without thinking of all of the deceased, and the loved ones that they’ve left behind in such pain. This is a song that I believe speaks to that pain. It’s one of the loveliest gospel songs I’ve every heard.”
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