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Bruce Springsteens Born In The Usa Music Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Music
Wordcount: 1368 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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My pod cast is about Bruce Springsteens song Born in the U.S.A. written and performed by himself in 1984. Taken from the album of the same name, it is one of his best-known singles.Magazine 'Rolling Stone'(ikona) ranked the song 275th on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2001.

It is a verse-chorus song played in 120 bpm for 112 bars in 4/4. Without any modulations the key signature is 5 sharps so we are in B major scale. There are some changes in the form as we going in the middle part of the song, the third chorus is instrumental, verse number 4 has three lines of lyrics and verse number 5 has only 2 lines instead of 4.

Harmony rhythm performance

According to Springsteen (Ikona), "Born In The USA" was one of those songs that came out of nowhere and took very little time to record. It was a bit ironic, then, that his biggest hit ever, was one of the most musically simplistic tunes the band ever produced.

"Born in the USA" is revealed with its very first notes, which unveil the two key elements that will drive the entire song: a synthesizer previews the vocal melody of the iconic chorus, while Max Weinberg's (ikona tou) drums lay down a hard-driving, straight-ahead beat.

Weinberg said that The percussion work at the outset of the song, might almost be called 'caveman drumming. A thunder crack snare drum underscores one of the most catchy intros ever with Weinberg simply taking a ferocious whack at the snare drum on beats 2 and 4. About a minute into the track, Weinberg finally kicks in, adding chaotic fills as the song develops…Whatever he does he never stops crashing snare hits on 2 and 4 remain the song's steady rhythmic essence right through to the end.

The drum solo towards the end of the song was completely improvised. Drummer Max Weinberg said 'that the band was recording in an oval-shaped studio, with the musicians separated into different parts. Springsteen at the front, suddenly turned towards to him after singing and waved his hands in the air frantically, to signal drumming.

Roy Bittan's (ikona) synthesizers aren't much more subtle than Weinberg's excellent work on the drums.

"I said, 'Roy, get this riff!'. He just pulled out that sound on the synthesizer . We played it two times and our second take is the record." Springsteen.

No matter what else is going on in the song- whether Weinberg is banging away only on the backbeat or filling in the beat, whether the bass and guitars are wailing away or holding quiet, whether Springsteen is singing verses or chorus or nothing at all, Bittan's synthesizers are repeating the same five notes, over and over again, Echoing almost exactly the vocal melody of the chorus(ikona 1,2), humming the iconic tune from the song's very first note.

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(ikona)The combination of Weinberg's drumming and Bittan's mesmerizing synth line , made this song so powerful and unforgettable and that is my last point, "Born in the USA" may be one of the least interesting, or at least, one of the least complex, musical compositions E Street Band ever wrote, but the simple, hard-charging instrumentation provided by Springsteen perfectly matches with his almost screaming vocals with the great meaning of his misunderstood lyrics.


(ikona me to refren)"

Part 1 kai dio


Continuing with the melody we can see that it is stable all the time as the vocal line starts and ends every time in the 3rd or the 5th interval of the key both for verses and choruses.(ikones)

Second part

On the other hand it is noteworthy to have a look in the background and the affects of this song to the listeners.

"Born In The USA", the title track of Springsteen's mega-selling album(ikona), was much misunderstood. Accused at the same time of being repulsively nationalistic, and viciously Anti-American, the track was endorsed by many conservative politicians of the united states and the prime minister, Ronald Reagan(ikona tou), as an exemplar of "classic American values" whilst the bitter lyrics actually cast a shameful eye on how America treated its Vietnam veterans. Bruce Springsteen received a Kennedy Center Honor on the 7th of December 2009 by the president of the US Barrack Obama who stated: , "I'm the president, but he's The Boss."(kona)

According to Springsteen "a lot of people, think at the beginning, that it's a rallying call for the flag and the nation and patriotism, and when you start to listen to the message in the song you realize there's another meaning going on in there. (IKONA TOU)

Here's a small part of Glen Beck's radio network on March 11, 2010, talking about Born in the usa (ixos ikona)

Who could imagine that Springsteen's trademark song has also been his most misunderstood

Springsteen also explained the origin of the title, "In 1981 director Paul Schrader (ikona tou) sent me a script called 'Born in the U.S.A'...He wanted me to come up with some music for the film. But the script sat on my writing table until one day I was singing a new song I was writing called Vietnam. I looked over and sang off the top of Paul's cover page, I was born in the U.S.A.


Ok. Now Let's have a quick thought about the meaning of some lyrics.

"Born down in a dead man's town"

The first line of the song is about Bruce springsteen's town Long Branch in New Jersey which by the 80's Was one of the "dead man's towns," because of the collapse of the industrial economy And the economical depress they were suffering

So they put a rifle in my hand

Sent me off to a foreign land

To go and kill the yellow man

Those lines referred to those soldiers who were forced to go to Vietnam and fight for their country without being proud for it.

" Come back home to the refinery

Hiring man says "Son if it was up to me"

Returning to America, the soldiers were spat upon and hated for doing what they were forced to do. Vietnam Veterans Committee in US declares that, 'Today, one-third of the homeless are Vietnam vets'

Went down to see my V.A. man

He said "Son, don't you understand"

I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the 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

In those lines we can find the reason why springsteen wrote a song about the Vietnam. Too many people lost their lives, too many people injured for no reason .Khe Sahn was a small village and the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War. VA are the initials for Veterans administration which was the responsible agency for providing healthcare and benefits to ex-soldiers.

Down in the shadow of the penitentiary

Out by the gas fires of the refinery

I'm ten years burning down the road

Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go

From these lines bruce springsteen wants to pass the message that nobody who has survived the Vietnam war manage to build his live again. Last line sets up a contrast with one of his earlier hits, "Born to Run."

The album was recorded on analog master tapes, and initially issued on both LP and cassette. The first version of that song was solo acoustic guitar demo at Springsteen's home on 3rd of January, 1982 as part of the Nebraska album released later that year. However Springsteen's manager and producer Jon Landau couldn't match the lyrics to the music with the rest of Nebraska's material so they decided for a revival of the song in 1982 with the E street band with completely different melody line and musical structure. Despite the fact that Discs previously had been imported from Japan, Born in the U.S.A. became the first compact disc manufactured in the United States by CBS Records in Indiana in September 1984. The album gained additional support from the fact of Springsteen having several singles on the charts at the time. The album spent 84 weeks on the Top 10.


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