Born in the USA: So Misunderstood

Born in the USA: So MisunderstoodWhen the USA men's basketball team defeated Spain to win the gold in London, the arena started playing Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA.

Born in the USA is not a patriotic or nationalistic anthem. It deals with the effects of the Vietnam War on Americans. Hearing it played to celebrate an American victory reminded me of 1984 when Ronald Reagan used it during his presidential campaign.

To quote Wikipedia:

Springsteen was lamenting the loss of a true sense of national pride. The working class no longer had a say in the foreign policy or decisions made by the government as a whole. The reverberating chorus of "Born in the U.S.A." was a cry of longing, of sorrow. It was a hollow cry of patriotism that once was, but now ceased to exist.

The more things change...



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Comments (17 - click here to join in!)

Tom

If this interests you, I saw a similar article today about other sounds with misconstrued meanings. In particular, upbeat, happy songs that are about dark subjects. You can find it at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/09/dark-pop-songs_n_1762067.html

August 15, 2012 @ 10:24 AM

Roshan

I remember playing this song in the death with my cousins during the summers we were growing up (we changed the USA to Mattancherry which is our grandparent's place) and it was only in the early 90s that I realized the true meaning of the song.

August 15, 2012 @ 10:30 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

I once heard a story about a couple that used Pearl Jam's Better Man at their wedding. I don't think they listened to the lyrics, either.

I also remember reading in the mid-90s about someone complaining Nirvana's Rape Me was pro-rape.

August 15, 2012 @ 10:33 AM

Anonymous

Just reviewed the video and heard the lyrics...not very upbeat or patriotic in nature.

But I guess people hear and /or see what they want to believe is true or convenient to their lives.

Unfortunately, we live in a world of "sound bites" where we only catch the headline and not the full story.

The US flag is very prominent in this album. Springsteen no doubt profited by the dual interpretations of this song and the album concept

August 15, 2012 @ 1:01 PM

Wayner

Just reviewed the video and heard the lyrics...not very upbeat or patriotic in nature.

But I guess people hear and /or see what they want to believe is true or convenient to their lives.

Unfortunately, we live in a world of "sound bites" where we only catch the headline and not the full story.

The US flag is very prominent in this album. Springsteen no doubt profited by the dual interpretations of this song and the album concept

August 15, 2012 @ 1:02 PM

Mississauga Phil

The problem is Americans think they are the best...and they just assume everyone agrees.

So if a song says "Born in the USA" it must be a good thing....stupid americans

August 15, 2012 @ 1:23 PM

Rosie

I was at a wedding where the first song was Air Supply's All Out of Love. I was like- is this really happening? This must be a joke. It wasn't! ♩♪♫♬I'm lying alone with my head on the phone...thinking of you till it hurts...I know you hurt too but what else can we do...tormented and torn apart♩♪♫♬ UM- OMG- YOU JUST GOT MARRIED! so funny, and weird!

August 15, 2012 @ 1:32 PM

Blind Dave

Actually Mike, the band you featured a few weeks ago, The Beautiful South, are absolute genius at the "happy tune, not so happy lyric" approach. I'm grateful you put me onto them. I love them.

As for Born in The USA,I twigged onto that song right away and always took smug amusement that our American friends couldn't get past the chorus.

August 15, 2012 @ 3:14 PM

CQ

I always took the Springsteen song as being a celebration of enduring survival. Still do.
(And please stop with the irony /spoof meaning re-write for Dire Straits' Money for Nothing lyrics. That f-word was used; it was just common everyman language. Nothing else.)

August 15, 2012 @ 4:49 PM

Blind Dave

@CQ

Enduring survival is a good point. I hadn't thought of that.

As for the patriotism, perhaps it means you always love your country, though you might not always like, or approve of, certain aspects of it.

August 15, 2012 @ 6:01 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@CQ
@Blind Dave

Fair points, but those certainly aren't the sentiments Ronald Reagan wanted to express.

August 15, 2012 @ 6:36 PM

Corey

Another wedding classic - "Every Breath You Take". Nothing like expressing your love by controlling your spouse and keeping them under constant surveillance.

August 15, 2012 @ 7:18 PM

Cheryl

I'm not a Springsteen fan. Bob Seger is a million times better any day. How about We Got Tonight by Bob Seger. There's a good love song, but I only like it when he sings it, not when Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton cover it and butcher it.

August 15, 2012 @ 8:18 PM

Lorne

@Corey, I was going to mention that one. My guitar teacher used to play weddings, and would adamantly refuse to play Every Breath You Take for the couple.

Another friend of mine is an officiant. She's gotten very good and holding back cringes when she hears certain couple's "walk down the aisle" songs.

August 16, 2012 @ 9:39 AM

Argie

EBYT is one of the best, if not best love song of all time. Only problem, the dude's love for his girl is not returned.


August 16, 2012 @ 10:09 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Argie

Troll alert! Troll alert!

August 16, 2012 @ 10:23 AM

Mississauga Phil

Best what were you thinking wedding song ever----Time of your life by Green DAy....he wrote it after his divorce!

August 16, 2012 @ 7:19 PM

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