Born in the U.S.A.

art by Dheeraj Dasari.

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It’s common for me to have music stuck in my head. But it was profoundly weird to have this particular song stuck in my head during the entirety of January 2017.

At first, I didn’t know what to do. It was about a feeling. A certain bluesy feeling that wouldn’t let me go. A feeling that the country I grew up in, the land I came from, had changed in a profoundly unAmerican way. It was about seeing a lot of other people feeling the same way. It was about feeling like something had been taken away.

It was about wanting to say, “All of this has been said before. They played the song everywhere. Did anyone get the message? It’s all the same thing over again. Just worse.” It’s saying nothing in the narrative has changed. All that’s changed is the color of the skin under U.S. military fire.

American goodness and decency are still strong enough to overcome. That hasn’t changed. But it’s up to you to do it. You may not know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. I still don’t. But I decided to do this anyway. (With a little help from my friend — thanks for the amazing cover art and all your help.)

I hope, just maybe, it will help you find your own way to contribute to goodness and decency.

Like the original, my version does not advocate the killing anyone of any color in any way. The lyrics reflect the dire consequences of war. Who gets sent to fight. Who those fighters are sent to kill. And how no one benefits from it, except those that send others to fight the battles they would never step foot near. In my opinion, the U.S.A should not be involved in killing anyone of any color, here or abroad. Rather, we should prioritize investments in education and healthcare — here and abroad. I hope you, and most importantly, The Boss, understand the lyric change is only meant to reflect modern day realities.

35% of profits are being donated to the American Indian College Fund. Only 13% of Natives have a college degree. That’s profoundly unfair. Help support the first people born in the U.S.A. with a direct donation.

To those that defend the earth and its water, those that value each life as precious, and everyone else who has ever fought for their right to party — this goes out to you, no matter where you were born.

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Also coming to Pandora, Deezer, Tidal, Microsoft Groove, ClaroMusica, Saavn, and MediaNet.

*This song was recorded and mixed using only an iPhone 7 (+1 Vox amp/cab and American Standard Telecaster).

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