by Brent Warnken
Bruce Springsteen's all-American image can be attributed to two things - his visual marketing and the lyrical content of his songs. While images of Bruce (such as the album cover of Born in the USA, which depicts the rear end of Bruce Springsteen clad in blue jeans and a white shirt in front of the American flag) are easy to recognize, sometimes his song lyrics are an even more informative gateway into exploring the Americanism of Bruce Springsteen.
Here are five of the most well-known examples of overt Americana in Springsteen's singles. If you get Bruce Springsteen tickets online, you'll experience Bruce Springsteen's USA in both visual and vocal terms.
"Radio Nowhere" - One of Bruce Springsteen's most recent hits, "Radio Nowhere," seems to echo some of the flavors of the old 1980s Bruce. He sings, "I was trying to find my way home/ But all I heard was a drone/ Bouncin' off a satellite/ Crushing the last long American night/ This is radio nowhere/ Is there anybody alive out there?" Bruce seems to be in a lonely, expansive America, searching for a connection. These are common Bruce Springsteen elements. He often writes about the expansiveness of landscapes, being alienated from society and attempting to recover some link to humanity. America, as a land of wide open spaces and individualism, is a main character in this tune.
"Hungry Heart" - In "Hungry Heart" Bruce Springsteen gets specific. He names a city in the United States and tells a story about an American running from his life, trying to start a new one. He sings, "Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack/ I went out for a ride and I never went back/ Like a river that don't know where it's flowing/ I took a wrong turn and I just kept going." Like the earliest of American explorers Bruce is setting off on his own into the unknown, leaving behind the old world's obligations and oppressions for new opportunities, of what kind he knows not.
"Born to Run" - In "Born to Run" Bruce sings about the real underbelly of the so-called American dream: "In the day, we sweat it out on the streets/ Of a runaway American dream/ At night we ride through mansions of glory/ In suicide machines." He's basically saying that an American toils long and hard to afford his dream - in this case a car. While the dream is realized, the lyrics seem to question whether the juice is worth the squeeze.
"Born In The U.S.A." - One of the most overtly American anthems Bruce sings is "Born in the U.S.A., which talks about Vietnam-era problems. He sings, "Got in a little hometown jam/ So they put a rifle in my hand/ Send me off to a foreign land/ To go and kill the yellow man/ Born in the USA/ I was born in the USA/" The chorus of "Born in the U.S.A." is shouted over and over. Bruce continues with his tale of post-war labor problems, singing, "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.'" The specificity and historical acuteness of the song make "Born in the U.S.A." the most American song in Bruce Springsteen's discography.
This article about http://www.stubhub.com/bruce-springsteen-tickets/ was written by Brent Warnken in association with http://www.stubhub.com/, a leader in the sports tickets, concert tickets, theatre tickets and special events tickets market.