Bruce Springsteen’s “Highway Patrolman”: A Ballad as Prayer

The Early Years I played Bruce Springsteen’s album Nebraska over and over when I was in high school. It’s a dark, meditative album full of rage and sadness, which soothed me. I was sixteen, and had just moved to a new town. I was miserable. Long-distance phone calls were rare … → read more

Omie Wise

This week’s installment is a decidedly American contribution to the genre, and one not  completely shrouded in the mists of history, but only partly so. The events of “Omie Wise” can be pinned down to a known historical event—the drowning of Naomi Wise in Randolph County, North Carolina in 1808.  … → read more