BORN IN THE U.S.A.

Live 11 Dec 1998 version


Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man

I was born in the U.S.A., born in the U.S.A.

[Spoken (Springsteen):] ??? my face.
[Spoken (female voice):] Yeah.
[Spoken (Springsteen):] Thank you, thank you, thank you.
[Plays guitar and stops]
[Spoken (Springsteen):] Yeah, the ??? reverb is good. You put some on the guitar too, that's good. We sound good. Yeah (chuckles).
[Resumes playing guitar and then stops again]
[Spoken (male voice):] ??? one more time.
[Spoken (Springsteen):] Yello!
[Spoken (male voice):] Allora Bruce.

[Some instrumental-only snippets with chatter between Springsteen and the show's staff in between]

[Then Springsteen tells about what happened his guitar:]
[Male voice:] Did you tune change your guitar?
[Springsteen:] Yeah.
[Male voice:] Will you play it without those two stings?
[Springsteen:] Well, it happened by accident.
[Male voice:] Yeah?
[Springsteen:] Yeah. What happened is I was, I was in a German radio show the other night. And the guitar been in the cold and the guy didn't say that he wanted me to play. So I...
[Male voice:] You already played this light version of "Born In The U.S.A.".
[Springsteen:] Yeah, I was usually doing this. So we got the guitar out of the cold, we brought it into the radio station. It was all out of tune, so I tuned it up and I popped those two strings, these exact two strings. And it sounded better, I left it off since (chuckles). So people look at it and they go, "Wait! There's a couple of — a ten-string guitar." (chuckles) So it happened — a happy accident, you know.

[Chatter in Italian]

[Instrumental-only snippet]

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., born in the U.S.A.

Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a rifle in my hands
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man

I was born in the U.S.A., born in the U.S.A.

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 now"

I had a brother at Khe Sahn 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

I was born in the U.S.A., born in the U.S.A.


[Spoken outro:] That's it (chuckles)

[Chatter between Springsteen and the show's staff]


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 11 Dec 1998 performance of BORN IN THE U.S.A. at PalaDozza in Bologna, Italy, during a guest appearance on "Taratata", a TV show broadcast on Italian television channel Rai Uno. The song was played in a solo bluesy acoustic arrangement on a 12-sting guitar with a bottleneck slide. Springsteen first soundchecked the song before performing a full take – the above parts in bold were broadcast.

1998 European Media Tour

In December 1998 Bruce Springsteen embarked on a brief five-city European media tour to promote the Tracks box set. In each city Springsteen appeared on a local radio or TV station giving an interview and performing one or two solo acoustic songs:

Another stop in Amsterdam, which was supposed to take place before going to Spain, was reportedly cancelled due to bad weather conditions.

It was during this series of promotional appearances that Springsteen first confirmed an upcoming tour with the E Street Band. He first gave a hint during the interview in Germany, and then confirmed during the interview in Sweden. Later that day (08 Dec 1998) an official press release from Shore Fire Media confirmed the news.

Request

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Available Versions

List of available versions of BORN IN THE U.S.A. on this website:

BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Album version]
BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Official studio version]
BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Live 05 Aug 1984 version]
BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Live 23 Apr 1988 version]
BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Live 08 Dec 1998 version]
BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Live 09 Dec 1998 version]
BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Live 11 Dec 1998 version]
BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Live 14 Dec 1998 version]

Page last updated: 05 Mar 2015