Meaning and Lyrics of Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen

Song Lyrics meaning of Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen

About Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who was born on September 23, 1949, in Long Branch, New Jersey. Known for his distinctive voice and poetic lyrics, he has achieved worldwide fame for his heartfelt blend of rock, folk, and Americana music. Springsteen’s career took off in the 1970s with albums like “Born to Run” and “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” solidifying his status as a rock icon. One of his most iconic songs, “Born in the U.S.A.”, released in 1984, explores themes of patriotism, the challenges faced by working-class Americans, and the impact of the Vietnam War on returning soldiers. The song’s anthemic chorus and driving rhythm have made it a staple in Springsteen’s live performances and a powerful representation of his storytelling style.
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Meaning of Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen

“Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen is a poignant and powerful song that delves into the complexities of the American experience, particularly focusing on the challenges faced by working-class individuals and veterans. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a man who was born into hardship, symbolized by being born in a dead man’s town and the struggles that follow.

In the first verse, the narrator describes starting life in difficult circumstances, feeling the impact of a harsh environment early on. The imagery of being like a beaten dog highlights the sense of oppression and struggle that permeates his life. These lines set the stage for a narrative that explores the harsh realities faced by many Americans.

The chorus, with its repetitive declaration of “Born in the U.S.A.,” serves as a powerful anthem reflecting the protagonist’s sense of identity and the tumultuous journey associated with being an American. It captures a mix of pride, defiance, and disillusionment.

The second verse touches on the theme of war, with the narrator being sent to fight in a foreign land. The mention of being ordered to “kill the yellow man” alludes to the Vietnam War and the complexities of wartime experiences faced by soldiers.

Moving to the third verse, the return home is marked by a lack of understanding and support for veterans. The encounter with the V.A. man sheds light on the struggles of returning soldiers and the challenges they face in readjusting to civilian life, showcasing the disconnection between those who serve and those who send them to war.

The references to the narrator’s brother at Khe Sanh and the woman he loved in Saigon bring a personal touch to the song, highlighting the human cost of war and the lasting impact it has on individuals and families.

Additionally, the mention of the penitentiary and refinery in verse five evokes a sense of entrapment and a cycle of struggle that the protagonist faces, emphasizing the lack of escape from challenging circumstances and the enduring weight of his experiences.

Overall, “Born in the U.S.A.” is a powerful critique that addresses themes of patriotism, identity, war, and the struggles of working-class Americans. It serves as a poignant reminder of the complexities of the American experience and the hardships faced by many individuals in society.

Lyrics of Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen

Verse 1
Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
End up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just coverin' up, now

Chorus
Born in the U.S.A.​
I was born in the U.S.A.​
I was born in the U.S.A.​
Born in the U.S.A. now

Verse 2
Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man

Chorus
Born in the U.S.A.​
I was born in the U.S.A.​
I was born in the U.S.A.​
I was born in the U.S.A.​

Verse 3
Come back home to the refinery
Hirin' man says, “Son, if it was up to me”
Went down to see my V.A. man
He said, “Son, don't you understand,” now

Interlude
Oh yeah
No, no
No, no, no

Verse 4
I had a brother at Khe Sanh
Fightin' off them Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms, now

Verse 5
Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I'm ten years burnin' down the road
Nowhere to run, ain't got nowhere to go

Chorus
Born in the U.S.A.​
I was born in the U.S.A. now
Born in the U.S.A
I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A. now
Born in the U.S.A.​
Born in the U.S.A.​
Born in the U.S.A.​
I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A. now

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