Rock and roll rhetoric: If I Should Fall Behind

“We said we’d walk together baby come what may;
that come the twilight, should we lose our way;
if as we’re walkin’, a hand should slip free;
I’ll wait for you
and, should I fall behind,
wait for me.”

If I Should Fall Behind (Bruce Springsteen), Bruce Springsteen

To hold the listener (or reader) in suspense, to slowly stretch and build tension, to add just another, little, additional detail, while not yet showing the full picture, is quite the trick. Springsteen does it here in the first sentence-verse of the song.

In rhetoric terms, it’s an example of period, or periodic sentence, one that keeps you hanging on, right to the very end, before it makes sense. Another example would be Sting’s  Every Breath You Take: “Every breath you take, Every move you make, Every bond you break, Every step you take, I’ll be watching you.”

YouTube has a lot of live versions that have been slowed to snail’s pace. Personally, I prefer the original, as here:

From the 1992 album, Lucky Town.


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