Take the first song on Springsteen's latest Working on a Dream. Like a twenty-year old Kathleen E. Woodiwiss novel you find at a used book store, printed when publishers trusted readers to have sufficient attention spans, Outlaw Pete is a ballad by a man who trusts his listeners to stick with him through a full eight minutes of music. Eight minutes, one song. Remind anyone of Diana Gabaldon? He's penned one of the classic Western romance plots: Very Bad Dude reforms, falls in love (with a Navajo maiden, no less) and starts a family. Then a bounty hunter shows up to remind him that a fresh start's not that easy. Bruce Springsteen, historical romance writer.
Queen of the Supermarket could be a perfect category romance if a publisher retitled it The Billionaire's Secret Checkout Clerk.
I take my place in the checkout line.
For one moment her eyes meet mine ...
I'm in love with the queen of the supermarket.
Though a company cap covers her hair
Nothing can hide the beauty waiting there.
You think The Boss can't tackle paranormal despite the night elements on the album cover? Try This Life. "Chained to this earth we go on and on and on ... This life, this life and then the next. I finger the hem of your dress, my universe at rest." No undead vampire lover ever said it better.
What musicians or songs remind you of romance novels? Post your own favorites in the comments. I'll reply after I finish cruising around with the car radio cranked to 28 (shocks the Dear Canadian when he has to drive my car; makes the kids yell at me.).
* Born in the USA cover. Seven Top Ten singles back when Casey Kasem mattered.