August 30, 2008

For all the long gone daddies in the U.S.A.

The song has never been more powerful, more appropriate.

Hearing it at Denver Thursday while the cameras showed the diverse and inspired faces among the crowd was nothing short of stirring, especially when they showed a guy way, way, WAY up in the last, top row of the stadium, waving a huge American flag against the backdrop of the beautiful Rockies sunset.

Reagan tried to use Springsteen's anthem about the hopelessness of the America confronting a Vietnam vet upon his return during his presidential campaign, banking on the fact that morons everywhere would only know the chorus and think it was some jingoistic tune to the virtues of America.

It's not.

It's a joy to see it finally find it's rightful place and it's meaning restored.

Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
'Til you spend half your life just covering up

[chorus:]
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

I got in a little hometown jam
And so they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to Vietnam
To go and kill the yellow man

[chorus]

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"
I go down to see the V.A. man
He said "Son don't you understand"

[chorus]

I had a buddy at Khe Sahn
Fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone...
He had a little girl in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms

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

I'm a long gone Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a cool rocking Daddy in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.

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