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what the hell ?lyrics of born in the usa


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4 hours ago, Daisey Jeep said:

good NZ perspective :)

(we actually have much in common with Scandinavians)

Yeah, maybe that's true :) I remember that when I was a kid, my uncle had a girlfriend from New Zealand. She gave me a t-shirt with a kiwi bird on it! 

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7 hours ago, Daisey Jeep said:

i do feel some sympathy for @Tenthavenuefreezeout
im.not reading he reads/hears it as such so much as others in his country misunderstands Bruce, modern Bruce probably isnt on their radar so 35 year old words are coming off out of context and racist

The real problem is that people don't stop to think.  Many are so eager to be offended (often on someone else's behalf) that it's a kneejerk reaction.  They don't consider context, or study the lyrics with full attention and brain engaged.

The people who think the endearment "little girl" is creepy seem perfectly willing to accept "baby" as an endearment.  Why do they take one literally and not the other? It makes no sense to me.

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21 hours ago, catfish said:

Teacher :

''Morning class your first lesson today is history nope sorry I do apologise class its '' changing & destroying 

history '' now have you all brought your matches that  I asked you to bring ? that good.

right then this morning it will be books that we burn and we will dance around the fire then this afternoon its evil L.P's to melt  and written lyric music books to 

tear up and tomorrow we talk about the devil folk who wrote the evil stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

Uh…

 

 

 

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Musical context changes/influences the meaning of the lyrics in interesting ways, I think.

For Born in the USA that means (for me at least):

Nebraska style - The chorus is sarcastic, "born in the USA my ass, my life is shit"

1984-style - the chorus is still somewhat ironic, but not exclusively, it's more "the USA as a country does not deliver right now, but let us celebrate its ideals".

It's still bleak, but tinged with hope, and quite patriotic in its criticism - no matter how much Bruce hates certain shortcomings of his country, he also really loves his country.

As for the "yellow man" - I always assumed it shows the casual racism of the people who send the narrator into war, that they probably phrased it like that. Alternately, it could of course show the ignorance of the narrator, he gets send to kill people he knows nothing about (see also the 75-85 River version where Bruce talks about the drummer of his first band being sent to Vietnam "and he (we?) didn't even know where it was".

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52 minutes ago, DeeDee said:

Musical context changes/influences the meaning of the lyrics in interesting ways, I think.

For Born in the USA that means (for me at least):

Nebraska style - The chorus is sarcastic, "born in the USA my ass, my life is shit"

1984-style - the chorus is still somewhat ironic, but not exclusively, it's more "the USA as a country does not deliver right now, but let us celebrate its ideals".

It's still bleak, but tinged with hope, and quite patriotic in its criticism - no matter how much Bruce hates certain shortcomings of his country, he also really loves his country.

As for the "yellow man" - I always assumed it shows the casual racism of the people who send the narrator into war, that they probably phrased it like that. Alternately, it could of course show the ignorance of the narrator, he gets send to kill people he knows nothing about (see also the 75-85 River version where Bruce talks about the drummer of his first band being sent to Vietnam "and he (we?) didn't even know where it was".

I can agree with all of this except that the song is tinged with hope.  
 

‘Nowhere to run, nowhere to go.’

 

unless of course we consider:

’I’m a cool rockin’ daddy…’

as a somewhat hopeful closing.  I always thought that was a throwaway line, but maybe it’s Bruce’s way of saying that hey, life has been pretty terrible for me but I can still dance.

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5 hours ago, DeeDee said:

1984-style - the chorus is still somewhat ironic, but not exclusively, it's more "the USA as a country does not deliver right now, but let us celebrate its ideals".

It's still bleak, but tinged with hope, and quite patriotic in its criticism - no matter how much Bruce hates certain shortcomings of his country, he also really loves his country.

I don't hear that at all.  What I hear is "This is all I have to show for being born in the USA.  I expected better, and deserve better."

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14 hours ago, Rizla said:

The real problem is that people don't stop to think.  Many are so eager to be offended (often on someone else's behalf) that it's a kneejerk reaction.  They don't consider context, or study the lyrics with full attention and brain engaged.

The people who think the endearment "little girl" is creepy seem perfectly willing to accept "baby" as an endearment.  Why do they take one literally and not the other? It makes no sense to me.

See you on Saturday, baby.

^_^

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6 hours ago, Jimmy James said:

What is the purpose of Bruce's music? I think I actually started a thread about this topic.

A. Fun, Happy and hopeful!

B. Unhappy, depressed, hopeless.

I prefer A.

Listen harder.  

Sticking with the record at issue and ignoring the obviously gleeful and uplifting Nebraska, and Tom Joad: certainly if Springsteen’s music can be summed up simply: there are songs that include elements of tragedy, there are songs that include elements that are positive and songs that run the gamut between heartbreak and hope.  We all, ultimately, get to choose our particular meaning that these songs provide us   I prefer to use clues, like the lyrics, that will help me determine meaning.  Even a song as seemingly upbeat as Working on the Highway…isn’t upbeat at all   
 

anyway, Springsteen is ultimately a man that seems to believe in hope and redemption   But hope and redemption aren’t even necessary without sin and darkness   No one who is perfect needs redemption and if life were always great and fabulous no one would need hope   
 

as an obvious aside, describing the song Born in the USA as happy, fun and uplifting requires real intellectual dishonesty. Nothing remotely happy fun or uplifting happens to the guy in that song.  
 

I do believe that Springsteen is all about forging ahead and fighting against the darkness but he also sings about the times when life’s dark forces prevail   That’s kinda the whole point of his entire ouvre, and to miss that, after listening to the guy for decades…

jeepers

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Jimmy James said:

What is the purpose of Bruce's music? I think I actually started a thread about this topic.

A. Fun, Happy and hopeful!

B. Unhappy, depressed, hopeless.

I prefer A.

Your word of the week to research is "nuance"

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3 hours ago, Floom2 said:

as an obvious aside, describing the song Born in the USA as happy, fun and uplifting requires real intellectual dishonesty. Nothing remotely happy fun or uplifting happens to the guy in that song.

 

2 hours ago, Gretsch Country Gentleman said:

Your word of the week to research is "nuance"

When Born in the USA comes up on the Radio, Ipod and or in concert. I singing with it and at a show I'm bouncing with it. I'm just a happy kind of guy. 

Really, if you go to a Bruce show, and knowing the meaning of some of the songs like BITUSA, Dancin in the Dark, Cadillac Ranch, Badlands, Darkness, WOASD, and many others, are you just going to sit or stand there and say what a depressing tune, I'm just going to sit or stand here and think about it? Or will you be enjoying the music as presented and bounce and sing along? I do the second. 

I have too much real life to deal with everyday, to let it get involved into my music I listen to. 

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21 minutes ago, Jimmy James said:

 

When Born in the USA comes up on the Radio, Ipod and or in concert. I singing with it and at a show I'm bouncing with it. I'm just a happy kind of guy. 

Really, if you go to a Bruce show, and knowing the meaning of some of the songs like BITUSA, Dancin in the Dark, Cadillac Ranch, Badlands, Darkness, WOASD, and many others, are you just going to sit or stand there and say what a depressing tune, I'm just going to sit or stand here and think about it? Or will you be enjoying the music as presented and bounce and sing along? I do the second. 

I have too much real life to deal with everyday, to let it get involved into my music I listen to. 

 

22 minutes ago, Jimmy James said:

 

 

I have too much real life to deal with everyday 

Yeh I can imagine it must be difficult

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47 minutes ago, Jimmy James said:

 

When Born in the USA comes up on the Radio, Ipod and or in concert. I singing with it and at a show I'm bouncing with it. I'm just a happy kind of guy. 

Really, if you go to a Bruce show, and knowing the meaning of some of the songs like BITUSA, Dancin in the Dark, Cadillac Ranch, Badlands, Darkness, WOASD, and many others, are you just going to sit or stand there and say what a depressing tune, I'm just going to sit or stand here and think about it? Or will you be enjoying the music as presented and bounce and sing along? I do the second. 

I have too much real life to deal with everyday, to let it get involved into my music I listen to. 

You should try Katrina and the Waves

 

There are listeners who will cling to their particular bias, no matter any evidence to the contrary. 
 

obviously a concert setting is going to be (at least with the full band) an exciting event.  We are with 10’s of thousands of people, the anticipation of the show has been building all year and now we are HERE IN THE ARENA AND THERE HE IS AND THERE’s THE BANDANNA AND HERE’s THE SONG WITH THOSE UPLIFTING HAPPY LYRICS:

BORN DOWN IN A DEADMAN’S TOWN!

yeah, I get it.  

 

I actually do understand, sort of. I saw shows on that tour, I stood and sang the lyrics.  But in the midst of my fan mania I didn't lose sight of the song and what it meant.  

Springsteen has said, many times, of his earlier shows, that if you want to get to the payoff of the exhilarating spine tingling rim shaking earth shattering BANG of the E Street Band that exists at the END of the show you've got to pay the price early in the show and listen to the  tough stuff.  

 

JJ I do get your point.  For me, rock and roll was sometimes about joy and celebration and sometimes about something else.  I try to understand what the artist is trying to convey.  Obviously I'm going to experience the art through the lens of my life, but I'm not going to, for example, mistake the movie Pulp Fiction for a romantic comedy, just as I am not going to ever hear Born in the USA as a happy gleeful celebration of the greatness of America. 

Peace, baby. 

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16 minutes ago, Gretsch Country Gentleman said:

 

Yeh I can imagine it must be difficult

Boy you have turned out to be a nasty dude! 

I think I've been pretty civil about my feeling about this subject, but hey I don't know shit. Now I'm going to go and cry to a Mod! :D My feeling have been damaged! 

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5 minutes ago, Jimmy James said:

Boy you have turned out to be a nasty dude! 

I think I've been pretty civil about my feeling about this subject, but hey I don't know shit. Now I'm going to go and cry to a Mod! :D My feeling have been damaged! 

Ultimately, JJ, you do get to decide what all of this means.  No worries. 

Be safe, be vaxxed.  Love you. 

 

-Chris

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5 hours ago, Floom2 said:

 

as an obvious aside, describing the song Born in the USA as happy, fun and uplifting requires real intellectual dishonesty. Nothing remotely happy fun or uplifting happens to the guy in that song.  
 

 

 

 

 

I cannot fathom anyone with a modicum of logic who is familiar with the lyrics could conclude this is a happy, uplifting song. I think putting this song out as a full-band rocker lead people (mostly casual radio listeners) to believe this was a fist-pumping, flag-waving anthem. All they heard was that refrain. If Springsteen has kept the original sparse acoustic version released on the 'Tracks' set 14 years later, the song would not have suffered the misrepresentation/misappropriation it suffered. I understand why he did it, but as a result, the song suffered.

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3 hours ago, JustDan said:

I cannot fathom anyone with a modicum of logic who is familiar with the lyrics could conclude this is a happy, uplifting song. I think putting this song out as a full-band rocker lead people (mostly casual radio listeners) to believe this was a fist-pumping, flag-waving anthem. All they heard was that refrain. If Springsteen has kept the original sparse acoustic version released on the 'Tracks' set 14 years later, the song would not have suffered the misrepresentation/misappropriation it suffered. I understand why he did it, but as a result, the song suffered.

At a Bruce concert with this mine set 

image.thumb.png.4a783ccbd28cabdc6475cefd915487c6.png

Bruce with my mine set 

image.thumb.png.b42bd3a58e645f189d794d81b88e5f44.png

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The problem is with the modern global  public. Not the lyrics. People are dumber and more sensitive. Not a good combination or trend. Nothing to do though but lie back and think of better days.

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Isn't it possible for a song to both be a rock anthem that works great as a show opener or something to turn on at a party AND a song with a deeper meaning with lyrics you can read while listening to it and learn to appreciate another way? I can listen to Born in the U.S.A. and sympathize with American veterans that were treated like shit, but I can also listen to it when I'm at the gym because the music gets me pumped when I deadlift etc. 

And that's not the only Bruce Springsteen song that works in more than one way. Hungry Heart is kind of a sad song about an unsatisfied man that leaves his family, but judging from live clips I've watched it doesn't seem to make people gloomy and make them contemplate over how fragile marriages can be. Even the lyrics to Cadillac Ranch is basically about the inevitability of death, and that's one of Bruce's most popular part songs and when I watch liveclips from it being played in the eighties, it's just joyful to watch, even if I'm  aware what the lyrics really are about. 

The same goes for other artists and bands as well. I mean, Bad Moon Rising is about the apocalypse but I sure don't mind putting it on when I'm in a good mood.

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