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Clarence Clemons and Infertility

By Tracey Minella

June 20th, 2011 at 12:00 am

This weekend you may have heard of the passing of Bruce Springsteen’s sax player, “Big Man”, Clarence Clemons.

Whenever a celebrity dies, I usually reflect on their legacy. What will they be remembered for most? What causes did they support? How big of a loss will their passing be to society?

For a large segment of the population, die-hard followers of the Boss, this is major. And while I’m more of an Aerosmith and Bon Jovi worshipper myself, I can appreciate the loss of Clemons and the void it leaves in the overall Springsteen experience.

I’d already known of a Springsteen song with lyrics that could be the battle cry of the infertile couple. It’s called Working on a Dream and part of it goes like this:

“I’m working on a dream

Though it can feel so far away

I’m working on a dream

And our love will make it real someday.”

But in further examining the Springsteen portfolio this weekend, I was surprised to learn of another song that’s even more in touch with the roller-coaster ride of infertility. It’s called Tunnel of Love off the album of the same name. (Umm, do they even call them “albums” anymore?)

Anyway, it’s like a happy, loving couple starts life and it’s like a happy carnival, but then it gets twisted and scary and dark. And a fat man on a stool takes their money. The lyrics, which ECF claims no ownership of, go like this:

“Fat man sitting on a little stool
Takes the money from my hand while his eyes take a walk all over you
Hands me the ticket smiles and whispers good luck
Cuddle up angel cuddle up my little dove
Well ride down baby into this tunnel of love.

I can feel the soft silk of your blouse
And them soft thrills in our little fun house
Then the lights go out and it’s just the three of us
You me and all that stuff were so scared of
Gotta ride down baby into this tunnel of love.

There’s a crazy mirror showing us both in 5-d
I’m laughing at you you’re laughing at me
There’s a room of shadows that gets so dark brother
Its easy for two people to lose each other in this tunnel of love.

It ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And you’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love.”

What’s up with the fat man on the stool? Surely that’s not the fertility doctor!

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Any of you Springsteen groupies know the intended meaning of this song? Do you think it sounds like it was written with infertile patients in mind? Do you relate to it? Are there other songs that should be on the top 10 list for infertile patients?

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