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Born 30 years ago

Wednesday, June 4, marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen’s album, “Born in the U.S.A.”

The title song has become almost our second national anthem. I don’t remember hearing it for the first time the way I remember hearing my first Beatles song, but I remember recognizing it immediately as an anti-war song and an anthem for the young and disaffected, for the forgotten and left behind, a song for (in today’s terms) the 99 percent.

Then I heard it played at a campaign rally for Ronald Reagan and realized that most people just know the chorus of big hit songs. Certainly Reagan’s campaign staff didn’t. I assume you have it on your iPod so, as a public service, here are the lyrics so you can sing along with the entire song:

“Born In The U.S.A.”

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
Till you spend half your life just covering up
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.
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
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.
Born in the U.S.A.
Come back home to the refinery
Hiring 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”
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
Down in the shadow of 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
Born in the U.S.A.
I was born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I’m a long gone daddy in the U.S.A.
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.