Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA- Philadelphia 12-95

  After the release of the Ghost of Tom Joad   album, which invokes the name of the starving Depression-era Okie in the Grapes of Wrath, Bruce Springsteen did some selected dates without the “E” Street Band. More than a decade after the Republican Party appropriated the chorus from his song “Born in the USA” for President Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign,  Springsteen was still rankled by the usage out of context minus the verses. Excerpting only the song’s chorus completely removes the bitter irony which is clearly evident in this tortured rendition from a solo acoustic show in Philadelphia’s Tower Theater in December 1995. Misrepresenting “Born in the USA” as an all-American flagwaver is like including Oliver Stone’s Born on the 4th of July   at a John Wayne Film Festival. But those that would do so also have never understood the patriotism inherent in the tradition of the American protest song. -Redbeard