A Pro-American Song

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Jaren Rudden Ben Kinney EN 211B April 11, 2015 Born in the USA One song that has a strong lyrical value to me is Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen. It is a song that was written in 1981 and released in 1984, went multi-platinum, and helped put Bruce back into the mainstream. One of the reasons this song became so popular was because of the lyrics, along with the big snare drum and the synthesizer. Although most people believe it is a pro-American song that sings about patriotism, it is actually a song that is about “the negative effects of the Vietnam War on Americans and the cruel mistreatment of Vietnam veterans on their arrival back home.” [1] The basis of the song is about a young man during the times of the Vietnam War that was drafted…show more content…
When President Ronald Reagan campaigned for re-election in 1984, he said during a speech “America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts. It rests in the message of hope in songs so many young Americans admire: New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen. And helping you make those dreams come true is what this job of mine is all about.” [3] Obviously Reagan did not realize that Springsteen’s lyrics were not what he thought they were, and Reagan’s conservative views were very different from Springsteen’s liberal views. Reagan took Springsteen’s lyrics as patriotism when Springsteen meant it to portray the exact opposite, and reading it in front of millions of Americans helped expand this false sense of Springsteen’s…show more content…
But what’s happening, I think, is that that need – which is a good thing – is getting manipulated and exploited. You see in the Reagan election ads on TV, you know, ‘It’s morning in America,’ and you say, ‘Well, it’s not morning in Pittsburgh.’” [4] Most of Springsteen’s songs focus on working class citizens, the struggles average people face, and the corruption that takes place in America, taking a leftist approach in terms of political views. Therefore people that have heard Born in the USA and believe it is about patriotism have never heard any of Springsteen’s other songs, or simply haven’t paid much attention to the lyrics. Although this probably helped sell Springsteen’s music to blind conservatives, it created a distorted view of what Springsteen was really trying to say. These lyrics mean a lot to me because I have an interest in American history, and the corruption that has been involved in its history. Jesse Ventura goes into great detail in his book American Conspiracies about the Gulf of Tonkin incident, which is what got us into the mess that was the Vietnam War. This is why I like the lyrics to Born in the USA. I enjoy reading, or in this case listening, to people that know about what America is really up to, and not just about blind patriotism. I also think it’s great that Springsteen profited greatly off it, even if some of the people

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