Bruce Springsteen – Cover Me

Yet another hit off of Born in the USA. It took me a little longer to get into this one. This was intially my least favorite song on the Born in the USA album. It grew on me because of the guitar.

Springsteen wrote this for Donna Summer, but decided to keep it for himself after recording the demo. A fan of the disco diva, Springsteen gave her a song called “Protection.”

Cover Me would have fit Donna Summer perfectly. The song peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100, #16 in the UK,  #12 in Canada, and #7 in New Zealand in 1984.

Arthur Brown did a remix of Cover Me and Bruce liked it so much that he started to adapt parts of it live. This version peaked at #11 in the Billboard Dance/Club Charts in 1984.

The Arthur Baker Remix

Cover Me

The times are tough now, just getting tougher
This whole world is rough, it’s just getting rougher
Cover me, come on baby, cover me
Well I’m looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me

Now promise me baby you won’t let them find us
Hold me in your arms, let’s let our love blind us
Cover me, shut the door and cover me
I’m looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me

Outside’s the rain, the driving snow
I can hear the wild wind blowing
Turn out the light, bolt the door
I ain’t going out there no more

This whole world is out there just trying to score
I’ve seen enough I don’t wanna see any more,
Cover me, come on in and cover me
I’m looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me

Outside’s the rain, the driving snow
I can hear the wild wind blowing
Turn out the light, bolt the door
I ain’t going out there no more

This whole world is out there just trying to score
I’ve seen enough I ain’t gonna see any more,
Cover me, wrap you arms around and cover me
Well I’m looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me
Ah looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me
Yeah I’m looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me

 

Bruce Springsteen – Bobby Jean

This will close out the Born in the USA weekend but I’ll cover the other songs soon. This one I really think would have been a hit if they would have released it as a single…but that can be said about a few other ones also.

This song was really poignant when I heard it because I was about to graduate and I was starting to say goodbye to a lot of classmates that I knew I’d never see again.

This was written as a farewell message to guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who left the E Street Band during the recording of Born In The U.S.A. to pursue other projects. Van Zandt returned to the band years later.

From Songfacts

Springsteen called this “a good song about youthful friendship.”

In this song, Springsteen sings from the perspective of guy going to visit someone important to him, only to find that this person – Bobby Jean – has left town. Many assumed that Bobby Jean was a girl, which changes the storyline considerably. This interpretation plays out in the 1995 Nick Hornby book High Fidelity, where the main character, a record store clerk, says: “There’s this Springsteen song, ‘Bobby Jean,’ off Born In The U.S.A. About a girl who’s left town years before and he’s pissed off because he didn’t know about it, and he wanted to say goodbye, tell her that he missed her, and wish her good luck. Well, I’d like my life to be like a Springsteen song. Just once.”

The book was adapted into a movie in 2000, starring John Cusack. Springsteen appears in the film in a dream sequence; this was his first time acting in a movie. In this scene, he closes by telling Cusack, “Good luck, goodbye,” echoing the last line of this song. The song itself is not named in the film though.

 

Bobby Jean

Well, I came to 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 could 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 that 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 you one last time
Not to change your mind, but just to say I miss you, baby
Good luck, goodbye, Bobby Jean

Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days

Glory Days is a true story. In this song, Springsteen sings about a chance encounter with an old friend who was a star baseball player in high school. The old friend is Joe DePugh, and the encounter really did happen.

Springsteen and DePugh were classmates at St. Rose of Lima School in Freehold, New Jersey and played baseball together in the Babe Ruth League. They were good friends but drifted apart as Springsteen pursued music while DePugh took a shot at sports (he tried out for the Los Angeles Dodgers). In the summer of 1973, DePugh was walking into a bar called the Headliner in Neptune, New Jersey while Springsteen was walking out.

Bruce went back in, where he and his old friend talked about the good old days until the bar closed. When “Glory Days” was released, DePugh was living in Vermont, where word got out that he was the subject of the song. Springsteen confirmed the story at his 30th high school reunion in 1997, but DePugh wasn’t there; they finally met up again in 2005 when they met for lunch and once again relived their glory days.

The song peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100, #17 in Canada, #34 in New Zealand, and #17 in the UK in 1985. The song was released in 1984 and really popular through 1985 and remains popular to this day.

 

On my way out … Joe DePugh's story | Editorials | vtcng.com

If you want to read about Joe DePugh here is a link:

https://www.vtcng.com/waterbury_record/opinion/weekly_editorial/on-my-way-out-joe-depugh-s-story/article_eefdcfbc-0804-11e2-8c64-0019bb2963f4.html

From Songfacts

This is one of Springsteen’s favorites. He almost always plays it at the impromptu bar gigs he is famous for on the Jersey Shore.

In concert, Springsteen often extends this to over 10 minutes. Perhaps the most compact version he ever played was at halftime of the 2009 Super Bowl, when he squeezed four songs into a 12-minute set.

Springsteen: “The first verse actually happened, the second verse mostly happened, the third verse, of course, is happening now.”

Originally, this contained a fourth verse which mentioned Springsteen’s father working on the Ford assembly line.

Springsteen performed this June 25, 1993 on the last David Letterman Show on NBC. Letterman is a huge fan but had never had Springsteen on. Bruce did go on the show a few more times after it moved to CBS.

This was one of seven US Top 10 hits on Born In The U.S.A. The band first recorded it in 1982, but it was not released until the album came out.

The video was directed by John Sayles, who also did Springsteen’s promos for “Born In The U.S.A.” and “I’m On Fire.” In the video, Springsteen plays a cross between the character telling the story and the guy he’s singing about.

The full version of the video starts with Springsteen working construction (in real life he never had a job outside of music). In his reverie, he recalls his days playing baseball. Amid the scenes where the E Street Band is playing the song in a bar (Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey), we see him reminiscing with his glove and trophies from the glory days. At the end of the video Springsteen is on the field pitching to his son until his wife comes by in a station wagon to pick them up. It’s pretty clear that Springsteen was never much of a pitcher – his form is terrible. He was a right fielder when he played.

Julianne Phillips, who was Springsteen’s wife at the time, plays that role in the video, appearing in just one shot where she comes to get her boys. Patti Scialfa, who became the next Mrs. Springsteen in 1991, had joined the E Street Band in 1984 and gets a lot more face time in the clip.

On the day Springsteen released his album The Rising, he played a concert on The Today Show. This was the only song he played that was not on the new album.

Glory Days

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

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

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

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, well, they’ll pass you by
Glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days
Yeah, they’ll pass you by
Glory days, in the wink of a young girl’s eye
Glory days, glory days

Bruce Springsteen – Darlington County

A lot of memories connected with this song. Summer of 1985. I never got into much trouble in high school…never got caught making mischief anyway… but I did have this adventure after graduation.  I was driving to Florida with 3 other guys with this song blasting out with 140 bucks in my pocket…to Cocoa Beach Florida…15 hours away. I was the rich one on this trip.

A bunch of guys that just graduated and acting stupid. We learned if you tilted a coke machine (those back then) cokes would stream out. Funny how you try things out when you are 18 and stupid. We filled a couple of coolers up with them. It’s a wonder we weren’t caught or crushed by all of those machines. We also halfway wrecked a hotel room (tv was bolted down thank goodness) and dreaded getting back home where we would have to begin…gulp…life. No, I never tilted another coke machine, wrecked a hotel room, or anything like it again. 4 guys in a Toyota Celica for 15 hours…not comfortable but when you are 18…fun all the same…now I’d be in traction after such a trip.

There are certain songs that take you back to a time. Walking On Sunshine, Glory Days, and Darlington County all connect me with that trip. Back to the song! This is one of the very few on the album that wasn’t a hit…but it’s just as good as many of the others.

Bruce originally wrote this for his 1978 album Darkness On The Edge Of Town, but it didn’t make the cut. The riff in the song reminds me of Cadillac Ranch that was on The River album.

The song resolves itself in the end with the narrater’s buddy in trouble.

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

Darlington County

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, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, la la la
Sha la la, sha 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
Well 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, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, la la la

Little girl, sitting in the window
Ain’t seen my buddy in seven days, play it boys
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, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, la la la

Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, la la la

Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, la la la
Sha la la, sha la la la la
Sha la la la, la la la

Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA

Get your bandanas ready…this weekend I’m going to cover some of the Born In The USA album by Bruce Springsteen. We will start off with the title track.

Springsteen wrote this about the problems Vietnam veterans encountered when they returned to America. Vietnam was the first war the US didn’t win, and while veterans of other wars received a hero’s welcome, those who fought in Vietnam were mostly ignored when they returned to their homeland.

The other song that has someone really ripping the vocals is “Twist and Shout” sung by John Lennon with the Beatles.

The song peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100, #1 in New Zealand, #11 in Canada, and #5 in the UK in 1985. This is the first song and title track to one of the most popular albums ever…Born In The U.S.A. sold over 18 million copies.

I remember back in the 80s Chrysler offered Springsteen $12 million to use this in an ad campaign with Bruce… Springsteen turned them down so they used “The Pride Is Back” by Kenny Rogers instead. Springsteen has never let his music be used to sell products.

From Songfacts

The original title was “Vietnam.” The director Paul Schrader sent Springsteen a script for a movie called Born In The U.S.A., about a rock band struggling with life and religion. This gave Bruce the idea for the new title. Unfortunately for Schrader, when he was finally ready to make the movie in 1985, the title “Born In The U.S.A.” was too associated with the song. Springsteen helped him out however, providing the song “Light Of Day,” which became the new title for Schrader’s movie and the feature song in the film.

This is one of the most misinterpreted songs ever. Most people thought it was a patriotic song about American pride, when it actually cast a shameful eye on how America treated its Vietnam veterans. Springsteen considers it one of his best songs, but it bothers him that it is so widely misinterpreted. With the rollicking rhythm, enthusiastic chorus, and patriotic album cover, it is easy to think this has more to do with American pride than Vietnam shame.

The single was released in England as a double A-side with “I’m On Fire.”
It was the first song Springsteen wrote for the album. He first recorded it on January 3, 1982 on the tape that became his album Nebraska later that year.

While campaigning in New Jersey in 1984, Ronald Reagan said in his speech: “America’s future rests in a thousand dreams inside your hearts. It rests in the message of hope in songs so many young Americans admire: New Jersey’s own Bruce Springsteen. And helping you make those dreams come true is what this job of mine is all about.”

Springsteen talked about this in a 2005 interview with National Public Radio. Said Bruce: “This was when the Republicans first mastered the art of co-opting anything and everything that seemed fundamentally American, and if you were on the other side, you were somehow unpatriotic. I make American music, and I write about the place I live and who I am in my lifetime. Those are the things I’m going to struggle for and fight for.”

Speaking of how the song was misinterpreted, he added: “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.”

This song inspired the famous Annie Leibowitz photo of Springsteen’s butt against the backdrop of an American flag. Bruce had to be convinced to use it as the album’s cover. Some people thought it depicted Springsteen urinating on the flag.

Looking back on the cover in a 1996 interview with NME, Springsteen said: “I was probably working out my own insecurities, y’know? That particular image is probably the only time I look back over pictures of the band and it feels like a caricature to me.”

According to Max Weinberg, Bruce attempted to do the song in a rockabilly trio style, with a country beat.

The drum solo towards the end of the song was completely improvised. Drummer Max Weinberg said that the band was recording in an oval-shaped studio, with the musicians separated into different parts. Springsteen, at the front, suddenly turned towards Weinberg (at the back) after singing and waved his hands in the air frantically to signal drumming. Weinberg then nailed it.

Eight minutes were cut from the song, which Max Weinberg said went on into a psychedelic jam. 

Bruce performed solo, acoustic versions on his tours in 1996 and 1999. He wanted to make sure the audience understood the song.

Springsteen allowed notorious rap group The 2 Live Crew to sample this for their song “Banned In The U.S.A.” in 1990, after the group was arrested for performing songs with obscene lyrics. Bruce felt they had a constitutional right to say whatever they wanted in their songs.

This was recorded live in the studio in three takes.

Richard “Cheech” Marin parodied this in the song “Born In East L.A.,” which came from his 1987 movie of the same name. Sample lyrics:

Next thing I know, I’m in a foreign land
People talkin’ so fast, I couldn’t understand

Born In The U.S.A. was the first CD manufactured in the United States for commercial release. It was pressed when CBS Records opened its CD manufacturing plant in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1984. Discs previously had been imported from Japan.

The children’s TV show Sesame Street reworked this as “Barn In The U.S.A.,” credited to Bruce Stringbean and the S. Street Band. 

Springsteen’s fist-pumping recitations of this lament for the plight of the Vietnam War veterans during his 1984-85 Born In The USA tour contributed to its mis-reading as a patriotic song by US right-wingers. Critic Greil Marcus wrote: “Clearly the key to the enormous explosion of Bruce’s popularity is the misunderstanding… He is a tribute to the fact that people hear what they want to hear.”

The video was directed by John Sayles, who wrote the screenplay for the 1978 movie Piranha and later directed the films Lone Star, Honeydripper and Eight Men Out . Most of the video is footage of Springsteen performing the song in concert – he wore the same outfit for a few consecutive shows so Sayles could get the shots (Springsteen didn’t want to lip-synch). Other footage came from a Vietnamese neighborhood in Los Angeles and Springsteen’s old stomping ground, Asbury Park, New Jersey. The video stuck to the true meaning of the song, with shots of factory workers, regular folks walking the streets, soldiers training for combat, and a line of guys waiting for payday loans. Sayles said in the book I Want My MTV: “It was right around the time that Ronald Reagan had co-opted ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ and Reagan, his policies were everything that the song was complaining about. I think some of the energy of the performance came from Bruce deciding, ‘I’m going to claim this song back from Reagan.'”

This was not the first hit song to tell a story about a Vietnam veteran’s return to America. In 1982, The Charlie Daniels Band took “Still in Saigon” to #22 in America. That song was written by Dan Daley, who felt that only two artists were right for it. “Since it was such a political song, the strategy was there were only two artists that it would make sense to give it to,” Daley told us. “One was Bruce Springsteen and the other was Charlie Daniels. Because both had made public statements in support of Vietnam veterans.”

Springsteen has often reflected on the Vietnam War in his work. He didn’t serve because he dodged the draft, pretending to be a misfit high on LSD. He has expressed guilt, knowing someone else went in his place, and may not have returned.

When Springsteen performed a spare, acoustic version of the song during his Springsteen On Broadway run from 2017-2018, he would introduce it with a story about Walter Cichon (pronounced sha-shone), leader of a New Jersey rock band called the Motifs, who seemed destined for stardom. Cichon got drafted and in 1968 went missing in action (Springsteen’s 2014 song “The Wall” is about Cichon).

With this backdrop, “Born In The U.S.A.” tells the tragic story not just of soldiers who were neglected when they returned to Vietnam, but also to those who never made it home.

Jennifer Lopez incorporated a bit of this song into her set when she performed at halftime of the 2020 Super Bowl. Lopez honored both her homeland and her heritage by donning a feathered cape with the Puerto Rican flag on one side and the American flag on the other. When she revealed the Puerto Rican side, her daughter Emme sang the chorus of “Born In The U.S.A.” Lopez was born in New York City.

Springsteen left the song out of his set when he played the Super Bowl halftime show in 2009.

The opening line, “Born down in a dead man’s town,” is quoted in Stephen King’s It (1986) to introduce “Part 1: The Shadow Before,” which tells us all about the cursed town of Derry, Maine, and the children who came together to fight an evil clown.

Born In The USA

Born down in a dead man’s town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
End up like a dog that’s been beat too much
‘Til 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

Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man said “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 Sanh 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

Bruce Springsteen – I’m Going Down

Bruce makes it abundantly clear that he is not going to town, nor dinner, or in any way… up…nope he is going down, down, down etc… He repeats “down” over eighty times in this song…My word count counts 90 in the song. I don’t care…its a good song and as Bruce always does he sings it with conviction.

The reason I like this song is the overall sound that Bruce got on the guitar and the echo in his voice… it’s just perfect. I can hear the Sun Records influence in this one.

Born In The USA was the album I listened to endlessly in 1984-1985. You heard it everywhere you turned. A friend of mine (big Bruce fan from the old days) saw Bruce in 85 and he was depressed that Bruce was no longer a cult performer anymore. The horse was out of the barn so to speak…The public knew and knew him well. Bruce and that bandana were all over the news and any magazine you read.

Born in the USA had 7 top ten singles… I’m Going Down peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100 and #23 in Canada in 1985. The album was released on June 4, 1984… this song was at #9 over a year later on October 25, 1985. This was the 6th of the 7 singles to go to the top 10. My Hometown being the last in January of 1986…and it peaked at #6… within 5 months of two years after the release.

Lets fire up the Delorean and go back to 1985…please…

I’m Going Down

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

Down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down

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

Down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down, hey now

I pull you close now baby 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 yeah
But lately girl you get your kicks from just driving me down

I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down

I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, hey bopa d-d-down

I’m goin down, down, down, down
I’m goin down, hey bopa d-d-down
I’m goin down, down, down, yeah
I’m goin down, down, hey bopa hey bopa

Hey hey mmm bopa bopa well down
Hey babe mmm bopa bopa said down
Hey hey mmm bopa bopa well down
Hey hey mmm bopa bopa say
Hey unh say down, down, down, down, down
Hey down now, say down, down, down, down, down