Music Political Commentary

Played Born in the USA

Listened Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Born in the U.S.A. is the seventh studio album by American rock singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen. It was released by Columbia Records on June 4, 1984. The album’s music was written by Springsteen and recorded with his E Street Band.

My mom’s a huge Bruce fan so I’ve listened to this album many times over the years. Lately when I listen to Bruce I tend to avoid the more popular stuff like this album, or listen to covers, but today I wanted something upbeat while I was cooking.

Born in the USA – talk about depressing lyrics – if this came out today that background line would be dated but I think we all know it so well it disappears

Cover Me – I like this song, I usually put on the live version but this one’s good too

Darlington County – er, is this about underage girls?

Working on the Highway – er, is this also about underage girls 🧐 fun song though maybe a little dated sounding?

Downbound Train – love the line “now I work down at the carwash / where all it ever does is rain” – he snuck a sad song in that could fit with The River on this mostly uptempo album, although frankly the vast majority of his lyrics are depressing – I’ve been digging Kurt Vile’s cover

I’m on Fire – sweet now a song about cheating 😂 guess as long as you sing it sexy it’s not creepy – definitely hear the eighties in this one – I like the slower tempo cover by AWOLNATION

No Surrender – another song filled with despair covered by a major key and fast beat

Bobby Jean – the first half sounds like it’s about someone committing suicide but the last bit is I guess more straightforward that a friend left town

I’m Going Down – fun to sing along with, sweet backing organ

Glory Days – a popular kid’s anthem? I definitely wouldn’t consider high school “glory days”

Dancing in the Dark – very 80s backing on this – I’ve been listening to Hot Chip’s cover of this a bunch

My Hometown – don’t like this song much, and a low note to end the album on

I’ve kinda always assumed politicians didn’t listen to the lyrics whenever they use a Bruce song but now I’m wondering if they are trying to redirect a deep American disillusionment to their ends, that the depression is a feature and not a bug. If this really is the most American music – that being American means accepting your town’s been destroyed and there’s never going to be good (union) jobs there again, that your friends are gone, your best days are behind you, and there’s nothing you can do about any of it but try to grab a little pleasure? That this emptiness and hopelessness is what Americans identify with? But as long as we claim it we’re not admitting defeat, that we’re proud to be Americans even though our country is a dystopia? It must be some weird badge of honor that we endure this shit? That we must be proud of and defined by this shared suffering because otherwise we’d have to admit how wrong shit is, and how bad it is for so many people?