Bruce Springsteen’s music has long been part of the political discourse, but it’s often misappropriated and misinterpreted. “Born in the U.S.A.” should never be played at a political rally, yet Donald Trump has done so repeatedly — even after The Boss called him “a tragedy for our democracy.” Just yesterday, the song played before a rally for the Republican nominee, only to be booed by the crowd. It wasn’t because they’d finally figured out what the song meant, though; it was because he’d chosen to perform at the last rally for Trump’s presidential rival, Hillary Clinton.
That performance occurred earlier tonight in Philadelphia, right outside Independence Hall. Alone with his harmonica and acoustic guitar, Springsteen stayed away from his overtly political songs, opening with “Thunder Road” and closing with “Dancing in the Dark”. Between those two tunes, however, he played “Long Walk Home”, a song he called “a prayer for post-election.”
Springsteen also addressed the candidates, saying, “The choice tomorrow couldn’t be any clearer. Hillary’s candidacy is based on intelligence, experience, preparation, and on an actual vision of an America where everyone counts… Where folks of all faiths and backgrounds can come together to discuss our problems in a reasonable and thoughtful way.”
He spared a brief moment for Trump, as well, calling him “a man whose vision is limited to little beyond himself, who has the profound lack of decency that would allow him to prioritize his own interest and ego before American democracy itself.” After listing off Trump’s deficiencies, he concluded, “That’s unforgivable. Tomorrow those ideas and that campaign is going down.”
Watch the entire performance, including his prepared speech, above.