Something aggravates me about people’s perception of Bruce Springsteen. Everyone seems to listen to “Born in the U.S.A.” and get the impression that Springsteen is this super patriotic, nationalistic American. People who enjoy Bruce Springsteen and those who don’t alike, they all have this weird perception of him. Some are turned off by his perceived southern, hillbilly vibe. While others celebrate this patriotism.
I’ve got a secret.
Bruce Springsteen is from New Jersey.
He’s not southern or country or hillbilly. He’s not even patriotic, really. Many of Bruce Springsteen’s songs are about New Jersey. He sings about his teenage years spent there, enjoying his long summer nights with friends on “dusty beach roads.” He sings of love, teenage angst, passion, and heartache. He even sings about teen pregnancy in the song “The River.” There’s something for everyone.
There’s one song that ruined the public’s perception of him. One song made them believe he was a face for the “Average Joe” American. This was all because that one song contained three letters: U. S. A.
I have news for many people, people like Ronald Reagan, who have used the song, “Born in the U.S.A.” to represent patriotism. That song is about how fucked up the U.S.A. is for entering the Vietnam War. It’s ironic. It’s making fun of the people who celebrate the U.S.A., because there are so many dark facets of our culture that should not be celebrated. And if you sing along in a genuinely patriotic tone, you look like an idiot.
I urge people to actually listen to Bruce Springsteen. He is perhaps the most misunderstood artist in the mainstream. Not that I pity this about him, because it’s probably why he’s gained so much recognition. But, Bruce Springsteen is for more than Republicans and middle-aged dads at barbeques.
He’s one of the most honest and emotion-provoking lyricists there is. He’s got a distinct style that he uses to evoke a certain feel with his listeners. And you can’t help but love “Big Man.” R.I.P.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/epiclectic/2846916589/”>epiclectic</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>
 “Thunder Road,” by Bruce Springsteen.