The Pull of Desire – I’m on Fire

by Melody Jean

Pull of Desire I'm on Fire Contemporary SeekerLong before Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen’s song I’m on fire graced the pages of the book series, Fifty Shades of Grey, I was a fan.

While just 2.5 minutes in length, which is short for most things, let alone a song, it’s always cut deep. Every time the song fades-out, I’m left wanting more. It’s my desire.

“Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife baby edgy and dull and cut a six inch valley through the middle of my soul.”

A Keepsake

While the song’s lyrics and music video found here, on YouTube, clearly depict sexual tension, it’s a keepsake. It means something more to me. Beyond the eroticism. After all, when released in 1985 I was just nine years old.

Yet even at that age, I felt a constant pull inside. It wasn’t until years later, as life continued to happen that I learned what that tug was.

It’s the human struggle – between right and wrong, love and lust, yin and yang, good and evil, and ultimately what we should do and what we want to do. It’s apparent in every facet of our lives. Well beyond the lust and desire for another, no matter how rightly wrong the scenario may seem.

My Devil and Angel

I’m on Fire reminds me of two trusted friends who have been with me for as long as I can remember – Devil and Angel.

–> Testing Lust – It Fueled My Desire

Growing-up I tested everything, and I mean everything. I jumped without fear into the unknown based on what I wanted. During high school and college I truly believed I was invincible. The world and its riches were my oyster for the taking, the indulgence. I feared nothing.

Now I see that it was lust, which drove my behavior and as The Boss croons “it fueled my desire.” My desire for everything. I was young. I was fearless. I wanted for nothing.

In fact, my best friend recently reminded me that in college I said to her, “We need to remember to enjoy these days because I don’t think we’ll ever be this carefree again, ever.”

Right I was. So while I made mistakes and was often rash, there are no regrets in this head. Yet if afforded the same opportunities today – in many instances I’d choose not to repeat that which I did in the past. Although, isn’t this true for almost all of us?

–> For the Context

I won’t get into details of my early shenanigans because as I’ve alluded before, I don’t believe in details. It’s more the grand scheme, which paints the perfect picture. Yet to put it in context, the pull can be something as simple as deciding whether to go to the gym or not, or it can be a scenario with more dire consequences. Perhaps reuniting with an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.

Quite simply my head says, “Don’t go to the gym, surely you’d rather laze around and watch reruns of the TV series Weeds all day instead.” It’s in these moments I look to my shoulder, nod, and salute my friend the Devil. I think, yup, it’s you again.

Then I hear something that’s faintly a whisper “Oh, but Melody, the gym makes you feel better, physically and mentally. Go you won’t regret it.” Aha! There she is. Just in the nick of time too, and I hug my little Angel.

Learning the Hard Way – As Always

During high school and college my Devil always won, just ask my parents. Case in point, I went to the gym once during my entire four years at college. Today, thankfully, my Angel is usually victor.

Yet through much more substantial instances, I learned the hard way throughout my life. Always have, and I think I always will. I have to experience it all firsthand. Among that which I’ve learned – what I want to do ‘usually’ is not what I should do.

Metaphorically Speaking – It’s in the Lyrics

I think perhaps this is what The Boss intended when he wrote I’m on Fire. He used a scenario to which most of us can relate, to demonstrate the eternal pull inside that humans struggle with. Right versus wrong, or what’s deemed appropriate versus what we really want to do. We’ve all likely felt the lust for another, so hence the appropriateness of his example.

I believe Bruce is a higher thinker and he shares it in his lyrics. This is one of many reasons why he remains one of my favorite artists today.

Ultimately, at video’s end, Bruce doesn’t act on his desire and he turns away. Away from physical desire toward ‘someplace higher,’ despite his fire inside. The whole song is a metaphor, really. I share below his lyrics – can you see it?

I’m on Fire

Hey little girl is your daddy home, did he go away and leave you all alone.

I got a bad desire, I’m on fire.

Tell me now baby is he good to you, can he do to you the things that I do.

I can take you higher, I’m on fire.

Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife baby, edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my soul.

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet, and a freight train running through the middle of my head.

Only you can cool my desire, I’m on fire.

© Bruce Springsteen

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