Monday, 11 January 2016

Icon of the 1980's America

Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen is an American musician. He had several greatest hits in the 1980's including the song "Born in the USA". This is arguably one his best and well-known songs which allows it to be iconic of the 1980's America.

Although at first glance, the image and song both seem to be patriotic, as Bruce is born in the United States, and the lyrics fit with the notion of patriotism alongside being born in the USA. This reinforces certain American ideologies such as patriotism and pride. The song also reinforces the concept that Bruce loves the United States, thus why it is an iconic song and image of the 1980's America.

However, the song was actually written to emphasise the treatment of U.S. Vietnam War Veterans. Interestingly, Ronald Reagan also used this song in his presidential campaign in 1984. The song was originally titled "Vietnam" whilst Bruce was writing it, although it was renamed to "Born in the USA". The name change was quite significant as it was often interpreted in different ways. This reinforces the idea that this image is iconic of the 1980's, because there was some controversy as to whether the song was patriotic or not. The song also sold a staggering 30 million copies worldwide.

Bruce Springsteen had an impact on the United States in regard to politics, especially the song "Born in the USA", as Ronald Reagan used it in his presidential campaign in 1984. The Vietnam War also had several economic effects on the United States. The song itself has several lyrics relating to the Vietnam War, including, "Sent me off to a foreign land to go and kill the yellow man". This demonstrates the involvement in the Vietnam War, indicating that many Americans were "sent off to a foreign land" which is Vietnam, and "to go and kill the yellow men" which were the Viet Cong.

The song also highlights many cultural problems, such as whether the American Dream is possible for American Vietnam Veterans, because the song states, "Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says "son if it was up to me". This indicates that despite going to Vietnam, on return, the Vietnam Veteran could not get work again at the oil refinery, despite serving for his country abroad. Therefore, Bruce Springsteen and the song "Born in the USA" are iconic of 1980's America.

Grace La Traille

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