The moment Bruce Springsteen sang Born in the U. S. A it cannot be denied that the song gave birth to a legion of followers and supporters. The upbeat and lively tempo of the music was a sure hit and received recognition of many. However, if one has to closely examine the song, it is evident that more than the sound per se, it was the song’s lyrics that captured the hearts of many. From a critical perspective, the thematic content of the lyrics presents a historical narrative of the American people.
On a closer examination, the lyrics of Born in the USA articulated the social experiences and sentiments of the general public. The lyrical quality of Born in the USA stems from the fact that it tackled socially-related issues and concerns. Based on a careful examination of the lyrics, it can be readily observed that the song is particularly interested in voicing out the outcomes or consequences of the war, most especially under the context of the US society. The song’s lyrics overtly show the intention or desire to be an eye-opener.
There is the intention to present the bitter realties of participating in the war—something that is often disregarded or ignored by many, most especially as for the case of government officials. The lyrics created a vivid picture of the hostile environment that US soldiers have to go through the Vietnam War. There is the subtle intention to oppose the country’s participation in the said battle. Given this situation at hand, it can be argued that the song’s lyrics are highly capable of increasing awareness and generating mass action. This aspect further adds to Born in the USA’s lyrical quality.
It refused to circumscribe to the time-tested formula of music making that basically focus on themes that revolve around fun and failed relationships. Indeed, Born in the USA showcased a highly engaging tune. But far from that, the song’s lyrics encouraged its listeners to actively participate in issues that advocate social justice and equality. Despite of the capitalistic nature of the music industry, Born in the USA’s lyrics remained socially relevant and significant. It constantly serves as a reminder—that in war, there are no winners.