Memoir Mixtapes Vol.2 // B-Sides

Bruce Springsteen’s The River and the Limitations of Love by Carly Plank

The protagonist of the title track of Bruce Springsteen’s 1980 double album The River asks, “Is a dream alive if it don’t come true, or is it something worse?” He dreamed of spending the rest of his life whisking Mary, the woman of his dreams, across the country on grand adventures without anything tying them down. Instead, this man—based on Springsteen’s own brother-in-law—finds himself getting hitched at a courthouse in a shotgun wedding because the girl of his dreams is pregnant with his child. Sure, he can still spend his life with her, but the dreaming has come to an abrupt end only to be replaced in the near future with hard living. Dreaming is always easier than living.

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About the Author:
Carly Plank is an adjunct professor at Kendall College of Art and Design and Grand Rapids Community College. She is currently based in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is working on a memoir. Bruce Springsteen is her favorite musical artist of all time.

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