• Pete Chianca

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a Bruce Springsteen patriotic playlist

Updated: Jul 5


-- Annie Leibovitz, from the Born in the USA sessions.

Patriotism means different things to different people, and to someone like Bruce Springsteen, it means loving your country enough to point out its problems in the hopes that it can get better. "The country we carry in our hearts is waiting," he's said in the past, and his music backs it up.


Let's face it, Bruce has no problem drawing attention to the times the U.S. has let down its most devoted and vulnerable citizens: Just listen to "Born in the USA," "American Land," "American Skin (41 Shots)," "The Wall," "Devil's Arcade," "Youngstown" or "How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live."

He's also addressed the fine line between division and loyalty ("We Take Care of Our Own"), the long road back from broken promises ("Long Walk Home"), and the price of American dreams deferred ("The Price You Pay"); while at the same time singing about hope for a brighter future ("Working on a Dream," "Land of Hope and Dreams").


And then there are the songs that are just completely, evocatively American: The tarnished Hollywood of "Western Stars," the dirty plains of "This Hard Land," the troubled heartland of "Badlands," the dark cloud rising from the Utah desert in "The Promised Land."


As much as phony "patriots" might want to slam Springsteen for not being a cheerleader, those who believe in the nation's potential -- that, to quote our current president, it's possible to "meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world for our children" -- know that there's probably no more American an artist working today than Bruce Springsteen.


So on this Fourth of July, listen, celebrate, and keep carrying that country you're waiting for in your hearts.


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