Springsteen and the definition of patriotism
September 20, 2021
In 1984 Bruce Springsteen wrote "Born in the USA." The song is widely portrayed as being patriotic yet many say it is not. Whether or not you think the song is patriotic, it raises perhaps a more important question.
What is patriotism? Is praising your country patriotic? Is calling out our flaws with the goal of improving our nation patriotic? The feeling of attachment engendered by patriotism can be a force to unite us or divide us.
Springsteen, who recently performed at the 9/11 memorial on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, wrote "Born in the USA" because he was anguished and disheartened about what the Vietnam veterans encountered when they returned home after serving our country, yet he was not in favor of the war.Revisit "Born in the USA." Email us at email@example.com and tell us what you think … about the song … about patriotism, about civic virtue, or about music as an expression of the times we live in.