By Jeff Baird

Bruce Springsteen’s song, “Souls of the Departed,” is one of his most haunting songs I have ever listened to. I remember the first time I heard it after buying his “Lucky Town” CD. I heard him say something about a 7 year old being shot down. I then grabbed the CD cover and looked at the words to “Souls of the Departed,” which I will share at the end of this article.

During that time, we were having what has been chronicled as “The Summer of Violence.” Kids were getting killed and people of all ages were being attacked. You could have cut the tension with a knife. I prayed then for the souls of the departed, and I do it again today. I also pray for the many souls who did not depart and are going through life with me at this time in history.

We are all connected and we are all equal. It is up to us to reach our highest capabilities as we strive to be better people. We are here to lift each other up not tear each other down. To do so is complete insanity because we are all connected after all.

Christ told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. He told us to “Love One Another,” not hate one another. Once again, thank you does not even begin to express my gratitude Dear Lord. But, thank you Jesus.

Trying to hold someone back from reaching their full potential is a crime against the human spirit. Some of the struggles and cruelty that so many souls have overcome here on Earth humbles me to my core. Dear God, how did they do it? They had such strength and conviction to move forward.

I pray for the many souls who have departed. But, before they left us they helped move mankind forward. We cannot afford to go backwards. I pray for those who endured hate crimes and the vilest examples of man’ cruelty to his fellow man.

This is a prayer for the souls of the departed as well as for the ones who are here with me going through all of this. There is great strength in numbers. Pray for Peace. Thank You.
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Souls of The Departed
By Bruce Springsteen

On the road to Basra stood young Lieutenant Jimmy Bly
Detailed to go through the clothes of the soldiers who died
At night in dreams he sees their souls rise
Yeah like dark geese into the Oklahoma skies

Well this is a prayer for the souls of the departed
Those who’ve gone and left their babies brokenhearted
This is a prayer for the souls of the departed

Now Raphael Rodriguez was just seven years old
Shot down in a schoolyard by some East Compton Cholos
His mamma cried “My beautiful boy is dead”
In the hills the self-made men just sighed and shook their heads

This is a prayer for the souls of the departed
Those who’ve gone and left their babies brokenhearted
Young lives over before they got started
This is a prayer for the souls of the departed

Yeah tonight as I tuck my own son in bed
All I can think of is what if it would’ve been him instead
I want to build me a wall so high nothing can burn it down
Right here on my own piece of dirty ground

Now I ply my trade in the land of king dollar
Where you get paid and your silence passes as honor
And all the hatred and dirty little lies
Been written off the books and into decent men’s eyes

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