le rock, le pouvoir, la politique, quand Springsteen châtie en musique !

le rock, le pouvoir, la politique, quand Springsteen châtie en musique !

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“So we’re going to start by clearing up a misunderstanding, if tempted that it has to be cleared up, indicates Grégory Philipps in the opening, no, the song “Born in the USA” which is undoubtedly Springsteen’s greatest hit, is not a patriotic hymn, all to the glory of America. No, “Born in the USA” is not a nationalist hymn to the glory of a triumphant and ultra-liberal America. When it appeared in 1984, we were in the midst of in the Reagan years. And “Born in the USA” is anything but that. It’s a protest song, which denounces the ravages of the war in Vietnam.

Born in USA, a “GI blues”

In 1968, Springsteen did everything with his friends in New Jersey not to get drafted. Last year, during his solo show on stage on Broadway, he explained the circumstances in which he composed “Born in USA”, after meeting committed veteran Ron Kovic:

An afternoon, narrates the singer, he rolled over to me in his chair and said, hi, I’m Ron Kovic. I wrote a book called: “Born on the 4th of July”. I replied: “that’s crazy, I just read it and I was devastated by your book”. So we talked all afternoon. He told me that many Vietnam veterans suffered from various problems. And he asked me if I could go with him to the veterans center in Venice, California, to meet them..”

The day aftercontinues Springsteen, we went there. Usually I’m pretty comfortable with people, but here I didn’t know what to say. There were homeless people, drug addicts, people who suffered from post-traumatic syndromes. Young guys my age who had seen their lives ruined, wounded in their own flesh. And so in 1982, I wrote this story of a soldier, a protest song, a GI Blues. The chorus is about where you were born. And what this place of birth implies in terms of bloodshed, confusion, pride and shame at the same time, and grace. It all comes down to where you were born.

"Born in the United States" by Bruce Springsteen, notebook of words and notes: exhibition "Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics" at NEWSEUM, 01/12/2017
“Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen, lyrics and notebook: “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics” exhibition at NEWSEUM, 01/12/2017

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– Photo by Paul Morigi (NEWSEUM Washington, DC)

“So we’ve already said it in previous episodes, Springsteen forged his political conscience by listening a lot to the great American folk singers, from Woody Guthrie to Pete Seeger, recalls Grégory Philipps. Bob Dylan is also obviously an absolutely major influence. And , in particular, the song “Masters of War”, released in 1963 on Dylan’s second album, evokes the importance of the already powerful military-industrial complex in the United States at the beginning of the 1960s.

Musical programming

Bruce Springsteen: Born in the USA (Broadway version)

Bruce Springsteen: archive where the singer-songwriter explains the song Born in the USA (excerpt from “Springsteen on Broadway”)

Bob Dylan: Masters of War (album version)

Bruce Springsteen: Roulette

Betty Lavette: Streets of Philadelphia

Mary J Blige and Kendrick Lamar: American Skin 41 shots

Springsteen at Biden’s inauguration: Land of hope and dreams (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW_Vny_aXNM)

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