Bruce Springsteen – TOP56-songs: 37 – I Wish I Were BlindBruce Springsteen – TOP56-songs: 37 – I Wish I Were Blind

From the album Human Touch (1992).

Like it was previously mentioned, on his 1992 albums Springsteen wasn’t accompanied by the E Street Band but a group of session musicians strengthen with ESB-pianist Roy Bittan. The sound of a The Other Band differs from the traditional Springsteen-sound but I Wish I Were Blind works greatly. The song almost goes to AOR… The manning of the band is somewhat famous: Bittan (keyboards), Randy Jackson (bass) and Jeff Porcaro (drums). There’s also Righteous Brothers’ Bobby Hatfield singing backing vocals.

The song sounds like the beginning of the 90s: soft synthesizer lines and guitar tones dyed with chorus are ringing. Springsteen’s vocal performance also has the twang of the 90s. Also the way starting the b-section with the IV chord (in this case C-major) can be heard on many songs from Bruce from that era.

The lyrics are in a certain way very heart-rending. From the first few lines one can get the conclusion that the narrator is still together with his loved one. Then the situation, almost by stealth, turns around: she has a new man and seeing them together grates the narrator’s heart so that he wishes he was blind.

I love to see the cottonwood blossom
In the early spring
I love to see the message of love
That the bluebird brings
But when I see you walkin’ with him
Down along the strand
I wish I were blind
When I see you with your man

On the second verse the past and present are set against each other: the narrator reminds how his loved one’s hair glew in the light of a summer night and how the stars filled the sky. But when the music starts to play she doesn’t take his hand but goes with another man.

I love to see your hair shining
In the long summer’s light
I love to watch the stars fill the sky
On a summer night
The music plays you take his hand
I watch how you touch him as you start to dance
And I wish I were blind
When I see you with your man

On the C-section it’s stated that fate sometimes takes us on locations we wouldn’t want to go otherwise. The following lines greatly describe the feeling in which many can identify with: ”these eyes that once filled me with your beauty / now fill me with pain”. And the beauty probably isn’t coming back. And although there’s a lot of beauty in this world there’s the one creating the most pain.

We struggle here but all our love’s in vain
And these eyes that once filled me with your beauty
Now fill me with pain
And the light that once entered here
Is banished from me
And this darkness is all baby that my heart sees

And though the world is filled
With the grace and beauty of God’s hand
Oh I wish I were blind
When I see you with your man

I Wish I Were Blind is in the nobility of Bruce’s material from the 90s and one of the best examples of The Other Band’s sound in which the E Street Band wouldn’t be at it’s own. Because of that this hasn’t been heard many times on E Street Band shows. A version played by “The Other Band” was played in MTV Plugged for example, and many fans consider that to be the ultimate version of this song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRwF1Vhd6EY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpBRRIBSHY8Albumilta Human Touch (1992).

Kuten aiemmin todettua vuoden 1992 levyillä Springsteeniä ei säestänyt E Street Band vaan joukko sessiomuusikoita vahvistettuna ESB:n pianisti Roy Bittanilla. Poikkeavan bändin sointi eroaa perinteisestä Springsteen-soundista mutta I Wish I Were Blind toimii mahtavasti poiketen liki AOR:ksi. Onpa taustabändin miehityskin aika kova: Bittan (koskettimet), Randy Jackson (basso) ja Jeff Porcaro (rummut). Lisäksi mukana on Righteous Brothers –yhtyeestä tuttu Bobby Hatfield tarjoamassa taustalaulutukea.

Biisi kuulostaa 90-luvun alulta: pehmeät syntetisaattorilinjat ja choruksella värjätyt kitarasoundit soivat. Springsteenin laulusuorituksessakin on 90-luvun levytyksille tyypillinen sointi. Myös tapa, jolla b-osa käynnistyy sävellajin IV-soinnulla (eli tässä tapauksessa C-duurilla) on kuultavissa monissa tuon ajan Brucen biiseissä.

Teksti on tietyllä tapaa hyvin riipaiseva. Ensiriveillä saa vaikutelman, että kertoja olisi vielä mielitiettynsä kanssa yhdessä. Kuin varkain tilanne kääntyykin ympäri: tällä onkin uusi mies ja heidän näkemisensä yhdessä raastaa sydäntä niin että mieluummin olisi sokea.

I love to see the cottonwood blossom
In the early spring
I love to see the message of love
That the bluebird brings
But when I see you walkin’ with him
Down along the strand
I wish I were blind
When I see you with your man

Kakkossäkeistössä asetellaan niin ikään vastakkain mennyttä ja nykyhetkeä: muistellaan kuinka rakkaan tukka hehkui kesäyön valossa ja kuinka tähdet täyttivät yötaivaan. Mutta nyt kun musiikki alkaa soida hän ei tartukaan kertojan käteen vaan lähtee jonkun muun matkaan.

I love to see your hair shining
In the long summer’s light
I love to watch the stars fill the sky
On a summer night
The music plays you take his hand
I watch how you touch him as you start to dance
And I wish I were blind
When I see you with your man

C-osassa todetaan, että joskus kohtalo kuljettaa suuntiin jonne ei välttämättä tahtoisi mennä. Vaikka kuinka rimpuilisi, niin kertojan rakkaus on turhaa. Seuraavat rivit kuvaavat mahtavasti tunnetta, johon aika moni voinee samaistua: ”these eyes that once filled me with your beauty / now fill me with pain”. Eikä se kauneus taida olla tulossa takaisin. Ja vaikka maailmassa on paljon kaikkea kaunista jota ihailla, niin se yksi tekee kipeintä.

We struggle here but all our love’s in vain
And these eyes that once filled me with your beauty
Now fill me with pain
And the light that once entered here
Is banished from me
And this darkness is all baby that my heart sees

And though the world is filled
With the grace and beauty of God’s hand
Oh I wish I were blind
When I see you with your man

I Wish I Were Blind on Brucen 90-luvun tuotannon aatelia ja “The Other Bandin” parhaita näytteitä soinnista, jollaisessa E Street Band ei olisi ehkä ihan omimmillaan. Tuosta johtuen sitä ei ollakaan monesti kuultu E-kadun bändin soittamana. Sen toisen bändin versioimana laulu kuultiin mm. MTV Plugged-show’ssa, ja tuota versiota monet fanit pitävätkin hienoimpana otoksena tästä laulusta.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRwF1Vhd6EY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpBRRIBSHY8