As any good Bruce Springsteen fan knows, the title song from his 1984 album Born in the U.S.A. isn’t a rah-rah patriotic tune, despite its misuse by politicians such as Ronald Reagan who didn’t bother to listen to the lyrics.
The misreading is understandable: the music is anthemic and uplifting, a contrast to the downbeat lyrics, and the imagery — a muscular, blue-jeaned Springsteen in front of an American flag — conveys a patriotic message. In reality, it was an addition to Springsteen’s catalog of songs about the struggles (and occasionally joys) of white, male, working-class Americans trapped in dead-end jobs and lives.
Springsteen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, and this week, the Rock Halls From the Vault feature is devoted to the quintessential blue-collar rocker from New Jersey. It will show highlights from Springsteen’s many Rock Hall induction appearances over the years, including his own, and his performances in many of the induction ceremonies’ signature jam sessions.
The Rock Hall is back open with limited capacity and masks! But for those who prefer to stay home, there is still plenty of online content.