My Hometown

My Hometown Photo Credit: Science NetLinks


In 1985, singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen recorded a poignant song about a dying city. He sang of the innocence of a boy sending young roots down, then the sadness of racial conflict and the wrenching loss of a major employer. The song ends as the boy, now an adult, and his wife are contemplating leaving their hometown for better opportunities elsewhere.

Bruce Springsteen 1985

I was eight years old and running with a dime in my hand
Into the bus stop to pick up a paper for my old man
I’d sit on his lap in that big old Buick
And steer as we drove through the town
He’d tousle my hair and say "Son take a good look around
This is your hometown"
This is your hometown
This is your hometown
This is your hometown

In ’65 the tension was running high
At my high school
There was a lot of fights between the black and white
There was nothing you could do
Two cars at a light on a Saturday night
In the backseat there was a gun
Words were passed, there was a shotgun blast
Trouble times had come
To my hometown
My hometown
My hometown
My hometown

Now Main Street’s whitewashed windows
And vacant stores
Seems like there ain’t nobody
Wants to come down here no more
They’re closing down the textile mill
Across the railroad tracks
Foreman says these jobs are going boys
And they ain’t coming back
To your hometown
Your hometown
Your hometown
Your hometown

Last night me and Kate we laid in bed
Talking about getting out
Packing up our bags maybe
Heading south
I’m thirty-five, we got a boy
Of our own now
Last night I sat him up behind the wheel
And said "Son take a good look around
This is your hometown

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