Bruce Springsteen explained the influences for this song in his 1998 book, Songs, "At home, just before recording Nebraska, I was reading Flannery O' Connor. Her stories reminded me of the unknowability of God and contained a dark spirituality that resonated with my own feelings at the time. Film continued to be an influence. I'd recently seen True Confessions and Terence Malick's Badlands. There was a stillness on the surface of those pictures, while underneath lay a world of moral ambiguity and violence"
|I saw her standing on her front lawn ...|
|... just a twirling her baton|
|Midnight in a prison storeroom with leather straps across my chest|
|... and Caril Fugate|