New Jersey governor and erstwhile presidential candidate Chris Christie loves giving warm hugs, yelling at teachers and listening to Bruce Springsteen. But has he ever really heard his hero’s lyrics? Christie’s surprise endorsement of Donald Trump for president is just the latest indication that he has failed to take a single word of Bruce’s songs to heart – besides, perhaps, “it’s a town full of losers and I’m pulling out of here to win.” Here are eight Bruce Springsteen songs that go against everything Trump believes.
“Poor man wanna be rich/Rich man wanna be king/The king ain’t satisfied ’til he rules everything.” Sound familiar, Governor? Did you think this was a happy part of the song?
This Pogues-like tune is an unabashed celebration of immigration, past and present: “They died building the railroads, worked to bones and skin/They died in the fields and factories, names scattered in the wind/They died to get here a hundred years ago, they’re dyin’ now/The hands that built the country, we’re all trying to keep down.”
“American Skin (41 Shots)”
Trump has mocked the Black Lives Matter movement and minimized the issue of police brutality. “Police are the most mistreated people in this country,” he said. In 2000’s “American Skin,” Springsteen sang about the tragedy of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed man killed by New York City cops when he pulled out his wallet. “Is it a gun?” Springsteen sang. “Is it a knife?/Is it a wallet?/This is your life … ain’t no secret my friend/You can get killed just for living in your American skin.”
This acoustic tale of an INS patrolman who falls in love with a Mexican detainee humanizes Trump’s cartoon villains. At the border, the protagonist does catch drug runners, but also “farmers with their families/Young women with little children by their sides.” A friend tells the narrator, “They risk death in the deserts and mountains/Pay all they got to the smugglers rings/We send ’em home and they come right back again/Carl, hunger is a powerful thing.”
“We Are Alive”
Yet another sympathetic song about the immigrants Trump scorns: “Well, I died last year crossing the southern desert/My children left behind in San Pablo/Well, they left our bodies here to rot/Oh please let them know/We are alive/And though we lie alone here in the dark/Our souls will rise to carry the fire and light the spark.”
Not unlike “The Line,” except in this one, a soldier in the Middle East falls in love with a Muslim woman – someone Trump would like to bar from entering the United States. “Down from the mountain roads where the highway rolls to dark,” Springsteen sings. “‘Neath Allah’s blessed rain/We remain worlds apart.” Maybe Trump should deport Bruce until he figures out “what’s going on.”
This one is more of a fun fact. You know the “Chicken Man” Bruce sings about in the opening line – the one whose house was blown up in Philly by rival mobsters? His name was Philip Testa, and in 1982, Trump bought the land where he would build Trump Plaza from the late Chicken Man’s son, Salvatore Testa.
“Long Walk Home”
Trump loves torture – he thinks waterboarding is a half-measure. But “Long Walk Home” dares to suggest there are some lines that the United States should never cross: “Your flag flyin’ over the courthouse/Means certain things are set in stone/Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t.”