William K. Wolfrum's picture

    Bruce Springsteen didn’t write “Born in the U.S.A.” to protest Islamic centers - try reading the lyrics

    Over at Alan Colmes Liberaland, I was reading about protests near the Islamic Center two blocks away from Ground Zero, when this struck me:

    Opponents chanted “No mosque, no way!” and carried signs reading, “9-11-01: Never Forget,” as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” blared over loudspeakers.

    I'm well aware that the more patriotic someone is, the more they're able to overlook the fact that Springsteen's hit is not in fact a patriotic homage to America, but instead a song dedicated to the lower middle-class being used as fodder for war and their experiences upon returning.

    But it’s really, really silly. Here are the lyrics, and you tell me if Springsteen’s aim was to tell Muslims they couldn’t build a mosque:

    Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A.

    Born down in a dead man’s town
    The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
    You end up like a dog that’s been beat too much
    ‘Til you spend half your life just covering up

    Born in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.

    I got in a little hometown jam
    And so they put a rifle in my hands
    Sent me off to Vietnam
    To go and kill the yellow man


    Come back home to the refinery
    Hiring man says “Son if it was up to me”
    I go down to see the V.A. man
    He said “Son don’t you understand”


    I had a buddy at Khe Sahn
    Fighting off the Viet Cong
    They’re still there, he’s all gone
    He had a little girl in Saigon
    I got a picture of him in her arms

    Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
    Out by the gas fires of the refinery
    I’m ten years down the road
    Nowhere to run, ain’t got nowhere to go

    I’m a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.
    I’m a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
    Born in the U.S.A.

    Seriously, people, I’m sure some country singer has penned a song that glorifies all things America. But Springsteen didn’t. And you just look like idiots when you try and pretend otherwise.


    Crossposted at William K. Wolfrum Chronicles


    While I appreciate - and pretty much agree with - what you're saying here, I must correct you. "Born In The USA" is not a tribute to the working man, Rather, it's the tale of a guy who  - like too many - went to fight in Vietnam and came back changed, and estranged by the country he was supposedly fighting for.

    Thanks, Anon. I made a small change. More proof not to rant right before bed ;)

    When I read about this this morning, I had the same reaction.  The Boss is probably not to pleased if he heard about this.

    If you haven't heard it, this clip of Glenn Beck discovering the true nature of Springsteen's song is priceless.  Beck was 20 years old when this song came out 26 years ago, but that doesn't stop him from acting like the real message of the song is some kind of hidden-in-plain-view secret that has been kept from all of us in some sort of pop music conspiracy against people who ignore song lyrics.

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