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BHSU Geek Speak breaks down Bruce Springsteen's storytelling through music

Author: BHSU Communications/Wednesday, January 30, 2019/Categories: Events, Community, Events, Faculty

Dr. David Cremean, professor of humanities and English at Black Hills State University, takes us through the meaning behind legendary musician Bruce Springsteen’s music during the next Geek Speak lecture Thursday, Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall 110. The lecture is free to the public.

Analyzing a few of Springsteen’s ballads, Cremean will take the audience through the real meanings behind the lyrics. “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” “Nebraska,” “Sinaloa Cowboys,” and “Thunder Road” are four ballads Cremean will share.

“He’s been a major force in American music, whether it’s pop, rock, soul, or folk,” Cremean says. 

Cremean says there is a large presence of suggestiveness in Springsteen’s music. Many times the lyrics mean more than what is simply written.

Allusion is everywhere, and according to Cremean it can be found many times through the written or sung words. Springsteen’s music alludes to stories of murder, stereotypes, love, and Americana.
Cremean says Springsteen uses great examples of religious imagery and character development in his songs.

“Character is going to be essential to talk about because in a song, you have even less space than a short story so you’re making brushstrokes of character,” Cremean explains.

Climbing to the top of his playlist, Cremean is hoping to share his passion and enthusiasm of the arts and specifically, Bruce Springsteen, with the public.

About BHSU College of Liberal Arts

The College of Liberal Arts prepares undergraduate students for public school teaching, graduate school, law school, and many other occupations. The College also offers numerous extracurricular opportunities encouraging intellectual growth and a sense of community. BHSU offers a great University Honors program and firsthand experiences on the campus TV and radio stations, award-winning newspaper, and state-of-the-art photography darkrooms. There are opportunities to become part of a faculty-mentored research project in humanities, history, social sciences, math or intern with local agencies and businesses.

For more information visit or contact Martin Fashbaugh, Chair of School of Arts and Humanities, at 605-642-6420 or email

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