In the story and the song, what is to be learned? The story and the song are different in so many ways. The story has a dark side to it and it is not all fun and games anymore. The boys in the story get hurt and scared. The song on the other hand has a lighter touch to it. The boys are having a great time and living it up. They do not focus on the next day just what is going on at the time. They both show how teenagers can be irresponsible and not have a care in the world. They also have their unique qualities to the story they tell.
The setting in the story had a dark side to it. It was all fun and games as they rode around town, got drunk and smoked weed. Then they decided to go to Greasy Lake. They thought they saw their friend and started honking to give him a hard time, but they were wrong. Everything thing went downhill from there. The guy that owned the car was mad and it started a huge fight. This shows darkness by it being late so everyone is out that should not be and there fighting someone could have got killed. The main character had lost his keys and could not find them so that they could getaway.
Jeff and Digby, friends of the main character, were fighting the guy that owned the car; the main character went for the tire iron under the seat of his own car. He thought, “I kept it there because bad characters always keep tire irons under the driver’s seat, just for an occasion like this” (127). He got the tire iron and hit the guy over the head with it and he hit the ground. Everyone just froze and stared for a minute. This is one example of how the story is dark and what could happen; no one got knocked out in the song. Then a girl came around the car yelling, “animals” (128).
The boys just stared and lusted at her. Then they started tearing her clothes off and were trying to pin her to the hood of the car. This is a dark point in the story because they were going to rape the girl. Before they could do it headlights peered into the lot. The boys took off running. They were friends of the guy they had knocked out. The girl was screaming, “it is them they tried to rap me” (129). They guys chased their boys through the woods. The boys all separated in different directions. The main character had plunged into the lake and just as he started to swim he hit something.
He said it was, “unspeakable, obscene, something soft, wet, moss-grown” (129). He figured out it was a dead body floating in the water. The boys were hanging out where bad characters go, that body in the water could be them one day. He had to stay there and hide for a while though. The boys finally met back up after the other guys left and the car was ruined. The windshield smashed in, dented all over and trash thrown into the car. He found the keys and two girls pulled up looking for the dead guy. They got out of that and got out of there, they were scared they were going to jail and just wanted to go home.
The song has a lighter setting to it. The boys are cruising around town having the time of their lives. They go around and pick up all of their friends and head to Greasy Lake. The song lyrics say, “I got a bottle of rose so let's try it and I'll take you all out to where the gypsy angels go, They're build like a light And they dance like spirits in the night” (Spirit in the Night). They just want to have a good time and go out with their friends to the lake. There was some fighting in the song but not as graphic as in the story. The boys were just dancing under the stars all night.
The song lyrics said, “And we danced all night to a soul fairy band” (Spirit in the Night). The boys did not try to rape anyone as they did in the story, but they were making love under the stares. The song lyrics say, “Me and Crazy Janey was makin' love in the dirt, Singin' our birthday songs” (Spirit in the Night). They did not have a care in the world. Also, they were not running from anyone and finding dead bodies in the lake. They were all drunk or high and going out for a good time. Both the song and the story talk about rout 88. That’s the way to the greasy lake.
I think the song is meant for just going out and having a good time. It leaves out all the bad things that could happen. The song is like a dream the story is more of a reality. In that kind of situation: getting drunk and smoking weed, normally always something goes wrong. In the song, it is all fun and games and a little fighting. It is mostly just dancing under the stares, drinking, smoking, and making love. The song lyrics say, “Now, the night was bright and the stars threw light, On Billy and Davy dancin' in the moonlight” (Spirit in the Night).
This is a sugar-coated version of the story. The story has a darker side to it. People are fighting and getting knocked out. There were attempted rape and dead bodies floating in the water. The song and the story are completely different. The boys in the story were scared that they might go to jail for all the stuff they have done. In the song, they did not have a care in the world. Also in the story, the boys tried to act like they were bad characters and were mean and did all this stuff. When really they were just young teenagers who really did not understand it.
They were foolish and just wanted to act like they were cool. They really had no idea what it meant to be that way until that night a greasy lake. The main character though, “I wanted to go home to my parent’s house and crawl into bed” (131). What I learned from the story and the song is the opposite. The boys in the story think they are these cool bad characters. In reality, they just wanted to act that way. They had no idea what it was like to really be that way until they got in the fight with that guy and his friends showed up.
The song has a more upbeat tone to it. It shows them having a great time and getting along for the most part. I like the fact that they portray different stories though. It makes it more interesting and gets you thinking.
Boyle, Coraghessan. “Greasy Lake. ”
An Introduction to Fiction Poetry, Drama, and Writing, 11thedition.
Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. New York: Longman, 2010. 125-132. Print.
Springsteen’s, Bruce. “Spirit in the Night. ” Greetings from Asbury Park. Clive Davis, 1973. CD.