WALLFLOWERS: Bruce Knew Jakob Borrowed "Headlight" Line

Jakob Dylan says that Bruce Springsteen knew that two lines in "One Headlight" were inspired by his catalog.

Dylan spoke with Stereogum about performing the song with Bruce at the 1997MTVVideo Music Awards. He realized during rehearsals that Springsteen would end up singing one of the lines. Jakob says, "I saw it coming up: He’s going to end up with the line that I basically took from him. 'I turn the engine but the engine doesn’t turn.' His song “One Step Up” [has] 'Hit the engine but she ain’t turnin'.’ I just saw it on the page below me and said, 'It’s going to fall in his lap.'" 

Dylan continued, "Before he got to it I pointed at it and I was like, 'You know, I took that line from you.' He laughed and said 'Yeah I know.' Which is the nicest thing he could say at the time."

Dylan is also surprised that people never got the reference to a song from The River. "I never understood why the line 'She said it’s cold/ It feels like Independence Day' was so confusing to people. People wondered whether I maybe lived in Alaska. It never had anything to do with the Fourth of July. It came from Bruce’s song, 'Independence Day.' His song, I don’t think he talks about the Fourth of July at all. It’s a metaphor for your own independence."

He added, "I enjoyed that some people might think that I was that out of touch that I didn’t know what seasons were. I’m OK with that. Why not? What’s the difference to me?"

"One Headlight" is 25 years old.

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