Live 09 Dec 1995 version
[Spoken intro:] Yeah. This is a uh, this is a song that I've, I've been reading, I've read many times it was misinterpreted. Uh... you know, that so uh, that gets under your skin after a while. And... but at the same time it is in sort of a grand tradition of rock song misinterpretations as "Louie Louie", uh, "This Land Is Your Land". Uh, so... and, I'm sure if it was misunderstood, it was only misunderstood by Republicans. And uh, and I'm sure we don't have any Republicans in the house tonight. So, (chuckles)... Ah, but, if there are any misunderstanders out there, as I've told the folks last night, my children thank you. But the songwriter always gets the last shot. Let me see if I get it right.
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
I was born in the U.S.A.
I 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
Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says, "Son if it was up to me"
I went down to see my V.A. man
He said, "Son don't you understand"
I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off them 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
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, nowhere to go
The above lyrics are for the live 09 Dec 1995 performance of BORN IN THE U.S.A. at Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, during The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour.
List of available versions of BORN IN THE U.S.A. on this website:BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Album version]