It’s the Fourth of July, which means that we’ll all be singing “Happy Birthday” to America, but we’re sure plenty of you out there in the Hamptons will be singing along to this entry in our Top 100 Songs of Summer Countdown before the day is through.
Hamptons 100 Songs of Summer #62
“Born in the U.S.A” by Bruce Springsteen
For nearly 30 years, it’s been impossible to not sing along with the chorus, especially when the song is blaring during a Fourth of July fireworks show, of this song. Yet, despite misconceptions that continue to this day, the title cut off Bruce Springsteen’s 1984 album is not a blindly nationalistic anthem, but rather a pained consideration of the economics and politics of the American working class in the post-Vietnam era. In the longing for a deferred American Dream that is apparent in both the lyrics and the Boss’s vocals, listeners could easily feel sorrow or anger, but the magic of this song—#275 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time—is that it somehow manages to get us thinking about socioeconomic issues while also elevating the spirit and inducing the kind of pride every American feels on Independence Day.