How to Write Timeless Songs like Springsteen and other Artists — The Economic Resonance in Timeless Songs and Creativity being born from Economics
Just the thoughts of a student in Economics & Finance. All writings are opinions and should not be taken as Gospel. It’s not right, it’s not wrong, it just is. Hopefully discussion can be generated in a constructive manner as you may find some parts worthy of further chat and other parts not so much. Thanks for reading.
The timelessness of Springsteen is distilled down to the one basic principal of economy. Well, it is to me anyway. The essence of economics (that resides in all humans) just oozes from the lyrics in hugely popular famous songs from Springsteen’s, The Streets of Philadelphia to Born in The USA and everything in between. Other artists are fantastic at using this format for song writing as well but I’ll touch upon that later. With Springsteen, his songs talk of hardship on behalf of truly hard working people trying to etch out a living or just simply be able to have a life free from financial worries of ‘Where is my next pay-check coming from?’ or ‘Can I afford to pay my bills on time this month?’
This resonance from The Boss hits people of all ages as we have all been tried and tested in some form of financial hardship. (Like it or not, money does make the world go round and when times are hard its usually down to financial struggles and from that social behaviour is altered drastically in some form. Take gang affiliation and criminal activities as a means to make ends meet as an example. Understandably, these problems can be carried over when financial stability does come around.) His songs bring those memories back or they speak to you right now as you struggle and fight to make a life for yourself. These songs of brilliance wouldn’t be here if not for the state of the economy when they were penned and the experiences it brings to you, wanted or not. This allows for the notion of creativity born through economics. This to me is the reason for Springsteen and other artist’s timelessness.
Other practitioners of economic creativity are U2, Tupac Shakur, NWA, Bruce Hornsby and The Range, Bob Dylan, and many more. All these artists used creativity as a voice which was born from the degraded state of the economy at their respective times. These songs are born from social issues that are rooted in economic turbulence. Race/cultural/religious relations, war, segregation, drug use, gangs and crime are to name but a few of these off shoots.
Other songs talking about the past, like Glory Days are looked upon through the eyes of younger and more innocent past selves, living in a rosy bubble with rosy remembrance glasses that soften the edges of the hardships and focused more so on hope for the future because we knew nothing better than what our situations were and we were happy with it since ignorance to what the world really is was bliss.
So how do you write a timeless song like Springsteen and other artists?
Each human has an unconscious affinity towards economic ways of thinking since we are motivated by standard of living and a need to increase it. By understanding that and being observational to the world around you, you can begin to write about the environment around you and the effects it has on you and those in it. So if you want to be timeless, write songs that are born from economics because through economic circumstances, the true human condition is shown and that is what makes your work real to people. That is what will make you timeless.