Wasted Days is the Song We All Needed, Thanks Mellencamp and Springsteen

Wasted Days is the Song We All Needed, Thanks Mellencamp and Springsteen

Could a song be any more timely than that of the recently-released Wasted Days? 

Sometimes song lyrics speak to personal experiences in our lives. This one seems to touch on what so many of us collectively have felt in recent years. 

We found out more about this song created by two well-loved musicians. 

Let’s take a look!

Who Wrote Wasted Days?

Wasted Days is an introspective tune written by John Mellencamp, with Bruce Springsteen adding vocals and guitar. While these two superstars have previously joined each other on stage, this is the first time they’ve recorded together. 

The song will appear on John Mellencamp’s upcoming 25th studio album. The yet-to-be-named release will also include two other songs featuring The Boss. 

What is Wasted Days About?

The overarching theme of mortality is clear throughout the song. The opening lines bring this theme into focus right away:

How Many Summers Still Remain?
How Many Days Are Lost In Vain?
Who's Counting Out These Last Dramatic Years?
How Many Minutes Do We Have Here?

These words could be pertaining to someone in their golden years contemplating their remaining days. But it could easily be thoughts from someone younger navigating their way through a life of unpredicted changes. 

How Can A Man Watch His Life Go Down The Drain?
How Many Moments Has Hе Lost Today?
And Who Among Us Could Ever See Clear?
Thе End Is Coming, It's Almost Here

Job loss, serious illness such as cancer, or losing a partner or other family member can force us to look at our lives more directly. When our day-to-day life is going smoothly, mortality is often furthest from our thoughts. 

Wasted Days
Wasted Days
We Watch Our Lives Just Fade Away To
More Wasted Days

The above is the chorus, repeated a few times throughout the song. While some might view the lyrics as depressing, others might see them as a reminder to make the most of every day we have left. Each new day is an opportunity to live life to the fullest, regardless of external experiences beyond our control. 

Where Was the Wasted Days Video Shot?

The video for Wasted Days was filmed in New Jersey by long-time Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny.

Americana images like a country home, wheat fields, and card-playing appear throughout the video. Mellencamp and The Boss are also seen strumming their guitars in front of a garage with an American flag prominently displayed. 

Anyone familiar with these two talented musicians will know they are as American as apple pie and baseball. The pride they have for their country has been evident throughout their individual musical careers. 

John Mellencamp’s Best Known Songs

Back in 1982, when he was known as John Cougar, he released a little ditty ‘bout Jack and Diane. This song became an instant hit and DJs across America played it regularly. The tune was included as a track on his second studio album American Fool. To this day, it remains his biggest hit.

Hurts So Good is a well-known rocker also from the album American Fool. It spent 16 weeks near the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 music chart. Over the years, Mellencamp has been nominated for 14 Grammy Awards. Hurts So Good earned him his only win in 1982 for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. 

Small Town is another song from the John Cougar days that most people remember. It’s a track from his eighth album Scarecrow released in 1985. The hit was written as a personal account of his time growing up in small towns of Indiana. 

Wasted Days has already spent time in the top ten. We’re sure the future will show it as one of his best-known songs too.

Bruce Springsteen’s Best Known Songs

Springsteen’s 1975 debut single, Born to Run, introduced most people to his music. He had been performing this and other songs live in concert prior to the release, but he was still fairly unknown. 

Born to Run appeared on his third studio album of the same name, and proved to be his breakthrough into the mainstream. The hit is on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

Thunder Road is the opening track on the Born to Run album. Springsteen never released the song as a single, yet it’s considered one of the greatest songs from The Boss. It can still be heard in regular rotation on classic rock radio stations. Thunder Road has also been covered by Tori Amos, Melissa Etheridge, and the Cowboy Junkies, among others. 

Springsteen’s 1985 song I’m on Fire is quite different from most of his other songs. One of seven Top 10 hits from his Born in the U.S.A album, it’s a soft melodic tune rather than his more typical rocking style. The song not only did well in the US, it also topped music charts in Ireland, the Netherlands, and Belgium. 

Are John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen Friends?

While the two singer-songwriters have known each other for a number of years, they only recently began to consider themselves friends. Specifically, it was when they both appeared at Sting’s 2019 Rainforest Benefit that their friendship blossomed. 

If Wasted Days is any indication of what’s on the rest of the album, the friendship is certainly mutually beneficial to the men and their fans.

In a SiriusXM interview, John Mellencamp said, “At the rainforest thing, Bruce and I connected and we just started talking and the next thing you know, we’re talking all the time and, he’s like my big brother now.”

In the same interview, Bruce Springsteen said, “I love John a lot. He’s a great songwriter and I have become very close and had a lot of fun with him.”

Thank You for Wasted Days

Wasted Days is a welcome contribution from these two artists whom many of us have loved since the 1970s. Our thanks to Mellencamp and Springsteen for encouraging us all to think about our days and whether they’re being wasted. Who knows how this wake-up call might change the world?

4 responses to “Wasted Days is the Song We All Needed, Thanks Mellencamp and Springsteen”

  1. Love this song! I think people thought about their wasted days more over the last couple of years, whether they’re older or younger.

  2. This poignant song has made my personal top 40. Springsteen has been hitting my chart since he soared to my personal top 10 in 1975, when I was age 14, with, of course, “Born to Run.” Mellencamp has made my chart since 1979’s “I Need a Lover.” Both artists are among the few who have made my personal chart from every decade from the ’70s to the 2020s!

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