Cover Me: The Bruce Springsteen Cover Song Nightmare

Give me my favourite musician, pair him with my most loathed song ever, and drop the two into an arena in Brisbane and you’ll end up with one completely dismayed Bruce Springsteen fan.
Normally I love the way Springsteen covers other artists. Adore it. It adds to that thing we crave during his concerts, the thrill of the unknown, what song will come next, or even first?!

Springsteen’s tours are dusted with brilliant cover songs. They are those colourful sugary sprinkles on the indulgent slice of Springsteen cake we try to treat ourselves to as often as possible. Each song can be loosely or directly linked to the city or country the band is playing in: Steve Van Zandt’s Sun City mid set in Cape Town, that London Calling opening cover of The Clash in 2009, and most recently AC/DC’s Highway To Hell has been getting a few airings on the Australian leg of the tour. When Springsteen plays, you learn to expect the unexpected.

A few weeks ago I remarked to a friend: “Bruce Springsteen could cover the Bee Gees and I’d probably enjoy it.”
I do talk a lot of shit. And it seems I also tempt fate. Whilst avid set lists watchers went crazy over Springsteen’s cover of the Bee Gees’ Stayin’ Alive in Brisbane, I was shaking my head in horror. For someone who musically has done little wrong in my eyes, for me Bruce Springsteen has buggered it up.
It turns out I’m in the minority. I tentatively voiced my thoughts on twitter and was quickly told that stripped from the disco balls and flares it was a great rendition of a song with powerful meaning. I was also advised that I am too young to appreciate much of the Bee Gees best writing… I get that Springsteen’s covers are often a nod of respect to the artist or city, and I take all of these comments on board, but essentially it doesn’t change the fact that I really dislike the Bee Gees. And more than that, I bloody hate that song. Luckily Springsteen redeemed himself with the rest of the setlist. The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle in full – those lucky Australians. I really don’t want to shit all over Brisbane’s night, but I was still left feeling really disillusioned.
Some people will be throwing online eggs at me now, especially as I wasn’t there to experience the the E Street version of this song live, so really, what do I know? Instead I’ve watched the You Tube videos and they have made me shudder. In fact I stopped it before the end. There is a first for everything.


As often happens, I’m probably being a bit dramatic. And arguably, very unfair. It’s one song, we can’t love them all. It’s a hundred times better than the original, reinvented by an expert.

But still, no.

Not for me.

The worst part about all of this is that I can not get that shitting song out of my head now. 

This led me to think, with so much brilliant music out there, what song, related to your hometown or home country would you most like to see Springsteen open a concert with?
If anyone suggests that Bruce covers a Tom Jones song in Wales I might quit this blogging game right now. But I really hope someone from Sweden suggests Roxette – I’ve got a bit of a thing for them. The question is, which Roxette song?!
If you’ve got a song you’d love to see Springsteen cover then please share your thoughts below!




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This post was written by Hannah BurgersAndBruce

  • OLI

    He should do a BAP song when they are playing Cologne again, no matter wich song. Would love to hear Bruce singing in the Cologne slang! 😀
    If I had to pick on particular song then maybe “Verdamp lang her”

    BTW: love the Bee Gees Cover, sorry 😉

  • Myke Olsen

    I like “Staying Alive” but I wasn’t into Bruce’s cover.

  • adam

    terrible terrible song

  • Andrew Y

    Spot on. Horrible original. Horrible cover.

  • James Somerset

    Well I’m originally from near Watford so it has to be Elton John for me, but please not Saturday Nights All Right For Fighting. As for Bee Gees on the whole I’m with you not a fan

  • Sarah

    I found the line around 4 minutes You can tell by the way I use my walk I’m a woman’s man etc. particularly sexy, but it’s ok Hannah thank goodness we don’t all love the same! What about the Lordes cover, surely you found that brilliant?! I would love to see Radar Love by the Golden Earring done in the Netherlands. Huge hit in US too in the 70s

  • Guest

    Moon River – my favourite.

  • Willlssoooonnn

    I know he won’t, but I’d love to see him cover “Birthday Boy” by Ween. The lyrics completely match Bruce…if he did an acoustic version of that. Holy crap, I would be speechless.