The Song That Hit Like A ‘Wrecking Ball’

by Chris Illuminati

Sometimes it takes a long time for a song to hit home. It might take 10, 50, even 500 listens before the words take hold and bury deep inside the soul.

Wrecking Ball was just another late-era Bruce Springsteen song. It’s catchy, plays well live and rarely skipped when popping up during any marathon Bruce-listening session.

In early Spring 2017, my life spiraled out of control. I’d been unemployed for over seven months, my marriage was on life support, the career stalled and bleak isn’t a strong enough word. I’d have killed for bleak because at least there was a chance.

Wrecking Ball hit the headphones during a morning run, and the words finally penetrated the brain. By the time Bruce hit the chorus for the second time, I had bent over and sobbed uncontrollably in the middle of the street. I walked home.

The song came on again today in the middle of a run because sometimes life just plays out like a movie.

My world is finally spinning at the right speed. The marriage came to a mutual resolution, and we remain friends. I have enough freelance work to make a steady income. My parenting notes are being turned into a daily calendar and I have another book in the works. Bleak disappeared before the holidays.

Wrecking Ball felt completely different today. The lyrics took on an entirely different meaning, and I belted with the chorus as loud as possible without alarming passing motorists.

“And all our youth and beauty has been given to the dust
When the game has been decided, and we’re burning down the clock
And all our little victories and glories, have turned into parking lots
When your best hopes and desires, are scattered to the wind
And hard times come, and hard times go
And hard times come, and hard times go
And hard times come, hard times go

And hard times come, and hard times go
And hard times come, and hard times go
Yeah just to come again.”

If you’re struggling, keep the faith. Stay the course. Nothing lasts forever. Not even wrecking balls.

What song hit you the hardest after the longest period of time? Tell me in the comments below.


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Kim Ferullo January 23, 2018 - 4:47 pm

Chris, my best to you but get out of my head. I’m dealing with a divorce and my heart hurts. This song brought me to tears and so did some others.

I’m just trying to make it one day at a time.


Chris Illuminati January 23, 2018 - 5:12 pm

One day at a time, Kim. Stay strong.

Lynn McMullen January 25, 2018 - 7:00 pm

The song that has hit me particularly hard after my initial hearing is a cover of Big Star’s Nighttime by Tommy Keene. When I first heard it, I thought it was a good cover of a good song. However, since then I’ve had some major anxiety and depression episodes and the words take on even more meaning to me. To me nothing rings truer than the last lines of “Get me out of here, I hate it here, Get me out of here”. There are days when I just listen to the song and cry because everything feels so hopeless.
I’m trying though and I’m taking steps to not let things blow out of proportion in my head. It’s a slow process, but one day at a time.

Chris Illuminati January 25, 2018 - 7:01 pm

Sometimes it’s theraputic, but yes, one day at a time.

My Path To Being A ‘Serious’ Running – Chris Illuminati August 9, 2019 - 11:38 am

[…] RELATED: The Song That Hits Me Like A Wrecking Ball […]

filosophychic September 12, 2019 - 6:34 pm

“Postcards from Hell” by The Wood Brothers
This song can pull me out of any madness, depression, or self-imposed chaos. Every. Single. Time. If you find what sets your soul on fire, you make that shit happened and fuck how it looks to everyone else. The people who hear your voice, regardless of how messy your story looks, are your people. Never settle for anything less than authentic.

I swore off marriage after my divorce, with one caveat – if I ever met a man that made me feel as happy as this song does, I’d make an exception. Proposed to that fucker, with nothing but a promise to keep his life in a perpetual state of love and chaos, took him to New Orleans and married his ass.


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