One Track Mind: Bruce Springsteen, “Forward” (2012)

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Bruce Springsteen’s newly unveiled song isn’t going to unseat “This Land Is Your Land,” much less “Youngstown.”

But, during a jokey performance at a Ohio rally for President Obama, it’s clear that wasn’t the point anyway.

Springsteen, of course, went on to delve into more thoughtful fare like “No Surrender,” “We Take Care of Our Own” — and, yes, “This Land is Your Land” and “Youngstown.” But the night’s most memorable moment will always be this one.

With tongue firmly in cheek, Springsteen reveals that the new track (embedded above) was rejected as a theme song for the campaign — despite, it seems, being named after the president’s re-election slogan.

“Forward” begins by asking people to vote for “the man who got Osama,” but then — in a moment that should bring a smile to the faces of people on both sides of the aisle — Springsteen found himself in a lyrical conundrum.

“When I got the second verse, I had a problem,” Springsteen says, “because I couldn’t think of anything else that rhymed with ‘Obama.'”

I don’t know how much it will help Obama, and frankly couldn’t care less. After such a withering and yet largely content free election cycle, I’m just ready for it to be over. Until then, you might as well have a laugh, right?

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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