There have been a number of country songs made related to the Vietnam War. Most of these songs pay homage to those men and women in uniform who bravely fought to give pride to their country. However, considering the Vietnam War as the first battle the US didn’t win, the veterans also faced resentment upon their return home. Thankfully, there are some musicians out there who used their songs to show support to these Vietnam warriors. Among them were Charlie Daniels and Bruce Springsteen. The former recorded the song “Still in Saigon” which recounts a veteran’s more horrible experience when he’s out in the war and finally back to his family. Springsteen, on the other hand, wrote and recorded “Born in the USA” as a follow-up to Daniels’ release. It also bears the sad theme emanating from the lyrics that spell out the contempt which the Vietnam veterans endured.
Veterans of other wars received a hero’s welcome but those who fought in Vietnam were mostly ignored when they returned to the states. With this, Springsteen felt that it would be unfair for these soldiers to be treated that way. After all, they still faced the danger of the battlefield and risked their own lives for their country. Hence, one way of expressing his solace to these veterans is through his song “Born in the USA.”
The Most Misinterpreted Song
“Vietnam” is the song’s original title. But, when Springsteen received a movie script with the title Born in the USA, he took the idea for his song’s title. He later provided another title for the movie as a replacement. The singer admitted considering the song as one of his favorites. Yet, he is bothered by the fact that many people misinterpreted it. Many thought of the song as a patriotic hymn about American pride. But the truth is, it actually throws a disgraceful eye on how America treated its Vietnam War veterans. Springsteen has this to say about the misinterpretation,
“In my songs, the spiritual part, the hope part is in the choruses. The blues, and your daily realities are in the details of the verses. The spiritual comes out in the choruses, which I got from Gospel music and the church.”
Other factors that contributed to the song’s misinterpretation are the rollicking rhythm, enthusiastic chorus, and patriotic album cover. These easily made the people think the song has more to do with American pride than Vietnam shame.
Listen to Springsteen’s song below.
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Born in the USA, Bruce Springsteen, Charlie Daniels