There's a new Bruce Springsteen song out, and it takes on President Trump.
“That’s What Makes Us Great” comes from Springsteen and his longtime friend and collaborator Joe Grushecky, who was inspired to write the tune after Trump was accused of mocking a disabled reporter and finally put pen to paper around the time the new president took office.
“I had this song, and Bruce and I had been talking,” Grushecky told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I sent it to him and he liked it. I said, ‘What do you think about singing on it?’ He gave it the Bruce treatment.”
That “treatment” included Springsteen's emailing his vocals, Grushecky said; the Pittsburgh musician and his band, the Houserockers did the rest in the next state over.
The song — which is very much a duet, not pure Bruce — riffs on immigration policy and “alternative facts.” Some sample lyrics, sung by Springsteen: “Don’t tell me a lie/ And sell it as a fact/ I’ve been down that road before/ And I ain’t goin’ back/ And don’t you brag to me/ That you never read a book/ I never put my faith/ In a con man and his crooks.”
The Boss, who supported Hillary Clinton in the final stretch of the election, shared his thoughts about Trump in an interview with Rolling Stone that ran about two weeks before Trump was elected.
“The republic is under siege by a moron, basically. The whole thing is tragic,” he said. “Without overstating it, it’s a tragedy for our democracy.”
He told Britain’s Channel 4 News three weeks before the election that he understood Trump voters and was unwilling to paint anyone with the broad brush of racism.
“He gives these very glib and superficial answers to very entrenched and very difficult problems,” Springsteen said, “but they’re answers that sound pretty good if you’ve struggled for the past 20 to 30 years.”
Then he said Trump was a “flagrant, toxic narcissist” with no sense of decency or responsibility, who wanted to take down the entire democratic process.
“That’s What Makes Us Great” debuted on E Street Radio on Sirius XM on Wednesday morning and was available for purchase on Grushecky's website later that day, with availability on iTunes and various streaming services promised as well.
As word spread Thursday morning, however, Grushecky’s site was crashing off and on.