“I didn’t actually know you were raised a Catholic,” Stephen Colbert said to Bruce Springsteen on The Late Show recently. Referencing his newly released autobiography, Colbert cites a place where Springsteen says he “found the beginnings of my song” in the Catholic Church.
Thus began a fascinating conversation in which Springsteen spoke Latin to Colbert, described how he was “the worst altar boy on planet earth,” and explained the Catholic influence on his music.
“At the end of the day, a lot of the language [of the Church] found its way into my music,” Springsteen said. “I always say: in my music, the verses are the blues, and the chorus is the Gospel, if you look at the way my songs are built. […] The language, the ideas, a lot of it came out of Catholic education.”
Springsteen also described his brief stint as an altar boy. He and Colbert exchanged some Latin liturgical phrases, and then Springsteen told the story of how he tripped and fell into the altar during his first (and possibly only) time serving at Mass.