Bruce Springsteen broke from his Springsteen on Broadway set list last night, adding both “The Ghost of Tom Joad” and an excoriation of the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance border policy that has been separating children from their parents.
“I never believed that people come to my shows, or rock shows to be told anything,” the Boss, who recently won a Special Tony Award for his Broadway show. “But I do believe that they come to be reminded of things. To be reminded of who they are, at their most joyous, at their deepest, when life feels full. It’s a good place to get in touch with your heart and your spirit, to be amongst the crowd. And to be reminded of who we are and who we can be collectively. Music does those things pretty well sometimes, particularly these days when some reminding of who we are and who we can be isn’t such a bad thing.”
From there, Springsteen lauded the recent March for Our Lives for reminding us what “real faith in American democracy looks and feels like.”
Then Springsteen moved on to the border situation. “We are seeing things right now on our American borders that are so shockingly and disgracefully inhumane and un-American that it is simply enraging. And we have heard people in high position in the American government blaspheme in the name of God and country that it is a moral thing to assault the children amongst us. May God save our souls.”
He ended with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote about the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice, adding, “But I’ve also lived long enough to know that arc doesn’t bend on its own. It needs all of us leaning on it, nudging it in the right direction day after day. You gotta keep, keep leaning.”
Springsteen then launched into the song that he hasn’t been playing much on this show: “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” with its lyric:
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleeping in the cars in the southwest
No home, no job, no peace, no rest
You can read his entire speech at his website here.