Born in the U.S.A.

Critical meets commercial success. Springsteen’s seventh studio album placed him firmly on the pop charts with seven Top Ten singles and turned him into a global superstar. The title track is self-described as one of his best songs. Reasonably regarded as the turning-point album in Bruce’s career.

Released: June 4, 1984
Label: Columbia Records
Produced By: Jon Landau, Chuck Plotkin, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt
1 Born in the U.S.A.
Lyrics
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"

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

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

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.
Also Appears On
Live 1975–85 Greatest Hits (1995) Tracks 18 Tracks Live in New York City Live in New York City (DVD) The Essential Bruce Springsteen Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen Chapter and Verse
2 Cover Me
3 Darlington County
Lyrics
Driving in to Darlington County
Me and Wayne on the Fourth of July
Driving in to Darlington County
Looking for some work on the county line
We drove down from New York City
Where the girls are pretty but they just want to know your name
Driving in to Darlington City
Got a union connection with an uncle of Wayne's
We drove eight hundred miles without seeing a cop
We got rock and roll music blasting off the T-top singing

Sha la la la la la la la la, Sha la la la la la la

Hey little girl standing on the corner
Today's your lucky day for sure all right
Me and my buddy we're from New York City
We got two hundred dollars we want to rock all night
Girl you're looking at two big spenders
Why the world don't know what me and Wayne might do
Our pa's each own one of the World Trade Centers
For a kiss and a smile I'll give mine all to you
Come on baby take a seat on my fender
It's a long night and tell me what else were you gonna do
Just me and you we could

Sha la la...

Little girl sitting in the window
Ain't seen my buddy in seven days
County man tells me the same thing
He don't work and he don't get paid
Little girl you're so young and pretty
Walk with me and you can have your way
And we'll leave this Darlington City
For a ride down that Dixie Highway

Driving out of Darlington County
My eyes seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
Driving out of Darlington County
Seen Wayne handcuffed to the bumper of a state trooper's Ford

Sha la la...
Also Appears On
Live 1975–85
4 Working on the Highway
Lyrics
Friday night's pay night guys fresh out of work
Talking about the weekend scrubbing off the dirt
Some heading home to their families some looking to get hurt
Some going down to Stovell wearing trouble on their shirts

I work for the county out on 95
All day I hold a red flag and watch the traffic pass me by
In my head I keep a picture of a pretty little miss
Someday mister I'm gonna lead a better life than this

Working on the highway laying down the blacktop
Working on the highway all day long I don't stop
Working on the highway blasting through the bedrock
Working on the highway, working on the highway

I met her at a dance down at the union hall
She was standing with her brothers back up against the wall
Sometimes we'd go walking down the union tracks
One day I looked straight at her and she looked straight back

Working on the highway...

I saved up my money and I put it all away
I went to see her daddy but we didn't have much to say
"Son can't you see that she's just a little girl
She don't know nothing about this cruel cruel world"

We lit out down to Florida we got along all right
One day her brothers came and got her and they took me in a black and white
The prosecutor kept the promise that he made on that day
And the judge got mad and he put me straight away
I wake up every morning to the work bell clang
Me and the warden go swinging on the Charlotte County road gang

Working on the highway...
Also Appears On
Live 1975–85
5 Downbound Train
Lyrics
I had a job, I had a girl
I had something going mister in this world
I got laid off down at the lumber yard
Our love went bad, times got hard
Now I work down at the carwash
Where all it ever does is rain
Don't you feel like you're a rider on a downbound train

She just said "Joe I gotta go
We had it once we ain't got it any more"
She packed her bags left me behind
She bought a ticket on the Central Line
Nights as I sleep, I hear that whistle whining
I feel her kiss in the misty rain
And I feel like I'm a rider on a downbound train

Last night I heard your voice
You were crying, crying, you were so alone
You said your love had never died
You were waiting for me at home
Put on my jacket, I ran through the woods
I ran till I thought my chest would explode
There in the clearing, beyond the highway
In the moonlight, our wedding house shone
I rushed through the yard, I burst through the front door
My head pounding hard, up the stairs I climbed
The room was dark, our bed was empty
Then I heard that long whistle whine
And I dropped to my knees, hung my head and cried

Now I swing a sledge hammer on a railroad gang
Knocking down them cross ties, working in the rain
Now don't it feel like you're a rider on a downbound train
6 I'm On Fire
Lyrics
Hey little girl is your daddy home
Did he go away and leave you all alone
I got a bad desire
I'm on fire

Tell me now baby is he good to you
Can he do to you the things that I do
I can take you higher
I'm on fire

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife baby
edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley
through the middle of my soul

At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet
and a freight train running through the
middle of my head
Only you can cool my desire
I'm on fire
Also Appears On
Live 1975–85 MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
7 No Surrender
Lyrics
We busted out of class had to get away from those fools
We learned more from a three minute record than we ever learned in school
Tonight I hear the neighborhood drummer sound
I can feel my heart begin to pound
You say you're tired and you just want to close your eyes and follow your dreams down

We made a promise we swore we'd always remember
No retreat no surrender
Like soldiers in the winter's night with a vow to defend
No retreat no surrender

Now young faces grow sad and old and hearts of fire grow cold
We swore blood brothers against the wind
I'm ready to grow young again
And hear your sister's voice calling us home across the open yards
Well maybe we could cut someplace of our own
With these drums and these guitars

Blood brothers in the stormy night with a vow to defend
No retreat no surrender

Now on the street tonight the lights grow dim
The walls of my room are closing in
There's a war outside still raging
you say it ain't ours anymore to win
I want to sleep beneath peaceful skies in my lover's bed
with a wide open country in my eyes
and these romantic dreams in my head
Also Appears On
Live 1975–85 London Calling: Live in Hyde Park
8 Bobby Jean
Lyrics
Well I came by your house the other day, your mother said you went away
She said there was nothing that I could have done
There was nothing nobody could say
Me and you we've known each other ever since we were sixteen
I wished I would have known I wished I could have called you
Just to say goodbye Bobby Jean

Now you hung with me when all the others turned away turned up their nose
We liked the same music we liked the same bands we liked the same clothes
We told each other that we were the wildest, the wildest things we'd ever seen
Now I wished you would have told me I wished I could have talked to you
Just to say goodbye Bobby Jean

Now we went walking in the rain talking about the pain from the world we hid
Now there ain't nobody nowhere nohow gonna ever understand me the way you did
Maybe you'll be out there on that road somewhere
In some bus or train traveling along
In some motel room there'll be a radio playing
And you'll hear me sing this song
Well if you do you'll know I'm thinking of you and all the miles in between
And I'm just calling one last time not to change your mind
But just to say I miss you baby, good luck goodbye, Bobby Jean
Also Appears On
Live 1975–85 London Calling: Live in Hyde Park
9 I'm Goin' Down
Lyrics
We sit in the car outside your house
I can feel the heat coming 'round
I go to put my arm around you
and you give me a look like I'm way out of bounds
well you let out one of your bored sighs
Well lately when I look into your eyes
I'm goin down

We get dressed up and we go out, baby, for the night
We come home early burning, burning in some fire fight
I'm sick and tired of you setting me up
Setting me up just to knock-a knock-a knock-a me down

I pull you close but when we kiss I can feel a doubt
I remember back when we started
My kisses used to turn you inside out
I used to drive you to work in the morning
Friday night I'd drive you all around
You used to love to drive me wild
But lately girl you get your kicks from just driving me down
10 Glory Days
Lyrics
I had a friend was a big baseball player
back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar
I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside sat down had a few drinks
but all he kept talking about was

Chorus:
Glory days well they'll pass you by
Glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye
Glory days, glory days

Well there's a girl that lives up the block
back in school she could turn all the boy's heads
Sometimes on a Friday I'll stop by
and have a few drinks after she put her kids to bed
Her and her husband Bobby well they split up
I guess it's two years gone by now
We just sit around talking about the old times,
she says when she feels like crying
she starts laughing thinking about

Chorus

Now I think I'm going down to the well tonight
and I'm going to drink till I get my fill
And I hope when I get old I don't sit around thinking about it
but I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
a little of the glory of, well time slips away
and leaves you with nothing mister but
boring stories of glory days

Chorus (repeat twice)
Also Appears On
In Concert - MTV Plugged Film Greatest Hits (1995) The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
11 Dancing in the Dark
Lyrics
I get up in the evening
and I ain't got nothing to say
I come home in the morning
I go to bed feeling the same way
I ain't nothing but tired
Man I'm just tired and bored with myself
Hey there baby, I could use just a little help

You can't start a fire
You can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
even if we're just dancing in the dark

Message keeps getting clearer
radio's on and I'm moving 'round the place
I check my look in the mirror
I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face
Man I ain't getting nowhere
I'm just living in a dump like this
There's something happening somewhere
baby I just know that there is

You can't start a fire
you can't start a fire without a spark
This gun's for hire
even if we're just dancing in the dark

You sit around getting older
there's a joke here somewhere and it's on me
I'll shake this world off my shoulders
come on baby this laugh's on me

Stay on the streets of this town
and they'll be carving you up alright
They say you gotta stay hungry
hey baby I'm just about starving tonight
I'm dying for some action
I'm sick of sitting 'round here trying to write this book
I need a love reaction
come on now baby gimme just one look

You can't start a fire sitting 'round crying over a broken heart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
You can't start a fire worrying about your little world falling apart
This gun's for hire
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Even if we're just dancing in the dark
Hey baby
Also Appears On
Greatest Hits (1995) The Essential Bruce Springsteen London Calling: Live in Hyde Park Live in Barcelona Greatest Hits (2009) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen
12 My Hometown
Lyrics
I was eight years old and running with a dime in my hand
Into the bus stop to pick up a paper for my old man
I'd sit on his lap in that big old Buick and steer as we drove through town
He'd tousle my hair and say son take a good look around this is your hometown
This is your hometown
This is your hometown
This is your hometown

In '65 tension was running high at my high school
There was a lot of fights between the black and white
There was nothing you could do
Two cars at a light on a Saturday night in the back seat there was a gun
Words were passed in a shotgun blast
Troubled times had come to my hometown
My hometown
My hometown
My hometown

Now Main Street's whitewashed windows and vacant stores
Seems like there ain't nobody wants to come down here no more
They're closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain't coming back to your hometown
Your hometown
Your hometown
Your hometown

Last night me and Kate we laid in bed
talking about getting out
Packing up our bags maybe heading south
I'm thirty-five we got a boy of our own now
Last night I sat him up behind the wheel and said son take a good look around
This is your hometown
Also Appears On
Live 1975–85 Greatest Hits (1995) Live in New York City (DVD) MusiCares Person Of The Year: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen