Monday, October 01, 2007


Listening to Springsteen...wonder if there's ever been a song misunderstood like Born In The USA...I remember hearing it played frequently during Saturday afternoon skating sessions at the local rink back when I was a kid in the '80s. 'Course I was just a kid then, so all I really got was the full throttle music and the "Born in the USA" chorus. Sadly, I didn't wind up listening to much of The Boss till much later around 2000 or so when I caught the HBO Live from New York concert and instantly became a huge fan. On that DVD/CD is a bone chilling acoustic version of the song that really drives home what it's all about. It's an ironic look at the 'great' USA's role in the Vietnam War, and the hardships of those soldiers that fought it - many of whom didn't come back. And those that did faced even more grief at home.

'Course, politicians at the time tried to use it for their own advantage as a pro USA affirmation. They of course missed the point and Springsteen had to set them straight a couple times. And I remember writing a post about a review I found on the 'net in '05 of a Rascal Flatts concert where they did a cover of the song and still missed the point as well. The rocking tune comes across as anthemic if you're not listening to the words, but if you are, you quickly realize it's a scathing retort.

And now they've gone and stumbled into another Vietnam in Iraq. Now, I'm not an American, and I'm not an expert on either war, but the similarites do seem to be evident. And regardless of nationality, what's going on right now will have global ramifications.

But again, that's not the point. The point is men and women are fighting and dying in a war that continues to get more dubious. People's brother's and sisters and sons and fathers being affected by politicians egos and plans. And for what? If the world somehow stands for another 30 years, will we look back at Bush/Iraq like LBJ/Nixon/Vietnam? And what will it do to those who remain? I'm 30 going on 60 and worried enough for myself, but I wonder just what the hell kind of world is going to be left for the generation coming along behind me...

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
Till you spend half your life just covering up

Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
Went down to see my V.A. man
He said "Son, don't you understand"

I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now

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

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