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Review: American Skin (Bruce Springsteen)

GUEST,Bill H 14 Jun 00 - 06:46 PM
katlaughing 14 Jun 00 - 06:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Jun 00 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,Bill H 14 Jun 00 - 07:45 PM
Irish sergeant 14 Jun 00 - 07:56 PM
katlaughing 14 Jun 00 - 08:38 PM
GUEST,Bill H 14 Jun 00 - 09:27 PM
katlaughing 14 Jun 00 - 09:37 PM
bflat 14 Jun 00 - 10:35 PM
JamesJim 14 Jun 00 - 10:42 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Jun 00 - 10:49 PM
paddymac 14 Jun 00 - 11:06 PM
Rick Fielding 14 Jun 00 - 11:25 PM
katlaughing 14 Jun 00 - 11:56 PM
Whistle Stop 15 Jun 00 - 08:21 AM
katlaughing 15 Jun 00 - 10:40 AM
GUEST,simon 15 Jun 00 - 10:43 AM
Rick Fielding 15 Jun 00 - 11:04 AM
Whistle Stop 15 Jun 00 - 11:38 AM
GUEST,simon 15 Jun 00 - 11:42 AM
bflat 15 Jun 00 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,Bill H 15 Jun 00 - 10:59 PM
DougR 15 Jun 00 - 11:30 PM
Desert Dancer 29 Mar 12 - 05:37 PM
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Subject: American Skin
From: GUEST,Bill H
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 06:46 PM

Bruce Springsteen has made quite a controversial splash with his song. Having just read the lyrics to the song I find, in my opinion, that it focuses on only one incident. The reviewers seem to be reading a lot more into it. The fact that the Daiallo family was present at the Garden merely confirms my opinion of what the song is really about.

A while ago another song---a much gentler song that spoke to much larger issues was penned and released by Julie Gold. A writer of quite some substance---think From A Distance. The song is called Tiger In New Jersey. If you have not yet heard it you should---it is on her new album Try Love (Gadfly). It speaks to much larger issues, and yet puts the Daiallo tragedy---and that is what it was--a tragedy--into perspective.

I suspect that she (Julie Gold) is saddened by the fact that the Daiallo family thinks that the only entertainer that speaks out is Springsteen. She wrote the song at the moment of the impact. She released it as a single---for free---at her own expense--to anyone who would listen to it.

One thing I must add---I have interviewed Julie twice on a program I co host on NJ radio. We have built up a very good relationship, and I know she feels very strongly on the subject.

On a light note---if you ever can see her in performance you will love her---you will laugh and cry.

Bill H


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 06:58 PM

Bill H, welcome to the Mudcat. One of our own, InOBU, who is in the NYC band, Sorcha Dorcha, also composed a very moving song about Amadou Daiallo. If you go to where it says Quick Links, open up the menu and click on Mudcat Resources, then GO, then choose Mudcat Profiles, you will find a page which tells about InOBU/Larry Otway, and, if I remember right, there is info in the song, too.

kat


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 07:34 PM

Here is a link to InoBU's song about Amadou

It's a great one, and he's recorded it on a tape he did with his band.

I haven't heard Bruce Springsteen's song or seen more than a couple of lines quoted. I strongly suspect it won't be a patch on InoBU's. Maybe he should be sent a copy. Not that it's any kind of a competition - I'm just glad that Bruce Springsteen has managed to get it back into public attention.

I assume there are ordinary cops keeping their heads down who feel as disgusted by way Amadou was butchered, and at colleagues who complain when people are reminded of it. The worst enemy any policeman had is a fellow policemans who goes wrong. And you can't go much more wrong than to pump 41 bullets into an unarmed man whose only offence is the colour if his skin.

And before anyone accuses me I'm being particularly anti-American on this, read this story how police in London shot an unarmed and inoffensive man - at least in the case of Amadou, people have made a fuss about it.


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: GUEST,Bill H
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 07:45 PM

My point was that Julie Gold's piece talked to an even larger issue. I am sure all the songs are good, sincere, and make their point.

It is a fine line---we don't want the police to act in an unrestrained manner; yet, we want them to take action (I refer here to the events in NYC this past weekend---when, allegedly, the police did nothing to prevent the violence by a mob in Central Park against many women).

My point was that Julie Gold's song spoke of the issue of man's inhumanity to man (people-if you will to be politically correct). That is where the Tiger comes in.

Bill H


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 07:56 PM

Unfortunately these things happen. The only defense we have ALL OVER THE WORLD, SPORTSFANS, is to speak out! Tyranny abhors free and open dialogue and face it shooting someone forty-one times who is unarmed is tyranny! (Not to mention piss-poor marksmanship>) As long as we have voices we must be the guardians of our libertys and what is right in society. Nuff said lecture over, who's buying the beer? Neil


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 08:38 PM

Bill H, would you please furnish us with a link or something so that we may become familair with her song? I would like to hear it or read the lyrics, at least.

Thanks,

kat


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: GUEST,Bill H
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 09:27 PM

Kat: Unfortunately she is not on the web. You might try Gadfly records. I am sure they have a web site. If you e mail them I am sure, also, that the owner will be happy to send you info on the song.

My interview with Julie is archived right here on Mudcat on the Radio page. This was prior to her writing that song and the sad occurrence.

Bill H


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 09:37 PM

Oh, sorry, BillH, I didn't realise we had you archived. I will look into her song. Thanks very much for letting us know about it. If she has Internet access, she might be interested in coming into our HearMe sessions and singing it for us. Or, you could play a cut of it in there, if you have a microphone. Just look at any of the threads with Hearme in the title and follow the link.

kat


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: bflat
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 10:35 PM

This is a big issue and the incident which prompted the songs has many entrenched social implications which make it a difficult one to define in absolutes. Personally, I believe 41 shots against a wallet is much more than human error. Therefore, what is important to me about the three songs mentioned in this thread is this: The public discussion; protests on all sides as a way of raising of public consciousness. Only as these efforts continue can we in the US work toward a society that is equal for all colors of skin.


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: JamesJim
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 10:42 PM

A good (and truthful) song just keeps em' honest. Isn't it great we live in a Country where we can speak/sing out? Apparently our friends in Russia don't have that same privilege (latest episode with the news person who was jailed for speaking against the State). God Bless America! Jim


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 10:49 PM

Like it or not, the way the music industry is today, makes it virtually impossible for anyone other than a superstar to actually REACH people. Good for Springsteen. I haven't heard the song so I can't comment on whether I think it's a good song....but you know that "HIS PEOPLE", that huge collection of lawyers and agents and managers etc. probably think it's a horrible idea. So once again, good for him. 41 shots has NO defence.

Rick


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: paddymac
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 11:06 PM

I earnestly want to believe that police are there to actually help the citizens, where ever in the world that may be. The degree to which that aspiration is achieved is likely related to the involvement of those citizens in oversight, formal and informal, of their respective police establishments. I wonder - is there some threshhold size of community where police tend to develop a stronger "us vs them" attitude. Are police in big cities phsychologically further removed from the people they are supposed to protect than they are in smaller towns and villages? "Bad guys" can be found on both sides of the badge.


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 11:25 PM

"Bad guys can be found on both sides of the badge".

Ain't that the truth. The women who were mauled, stripped and humiliated in New York's Central Park last week sure found that out! The police watched and did nothing, EVEN AFTER THE WOMEN WERE ASSAULTED AND BEGGED THEM TO HELP THEM!

Tonight on the tube someone actually had the nerve to tell the truth. That the police were told because it was a "minority" celebration (Puerto-Rican) not to get involved, because it would cause more negative press.

If I lived in New York I'd not want to be black OR a cop!

Rick


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: katlaughing
Date: 14 Jun 00 - 11:56 PM

Sheesh! I have been so out of it...I am just now catching up on this news! My daughter in Connecticut was going to go to the Puerto Rican celebration, last Sunday, with her girlfriend whose family would've all been there. I told her it didn't sound like a good idea to me and her husband didn't want her to go, either. Thank goodness she listened to us! I am very grateful they are both safe and weren't involved.


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 08:21 AM

Why is it that we're all so confident we know what really happened, and are willing to substitute our judgments for the judgments of the jury members that tried the case? I can't claim to be an expert on what went on that day, but neither are the rest of you. It was prosecuted as a crime, and the accused were acquitted. What makes the rest of us -- who have only read about this in the newspapers or seen brief TV news accounts -- think we know better?

I happen to admire Bruce Springsteen a great deal, but I question his judgment on this one. My guess is that he doesn't really know any more than the rest of us about what really went on that day.


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: katlaughing
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 10:40 AM

Whistle Stop, I made no judgements in this thread; was merely talking about the songs. I DO have a son in law from Antigua, who lives in Connecticut, is very dark mahagony and is afraid of the police based on the many unfounded times they've pulled him over checking to make sure he really owns his car and/or the security guards who all put their hands on their guns whenever they see him, my daughter, and their 2 yr old twin boys come into a Walmart. Racial profiling is a fact that I don't think anyone can deny.

kat


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: GUEST,simon
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 10:43 AM

whistle stop misses the point by quite a large margin.this unarmed man was shot 19 times (out of 41 shots that is where the title comes from) and some of the bullet wounds were to the soles of his feet....if nothing else (and i would like to think there is a lot else at work here racism being only the start of things) the police acted with careless disregard to human life. the facts of the case are available to you from any good library just look up any old newspapers from the time period and prepare to be dismayed. the district attorneys office in new york is reluctant to prosecute cops and this is just one extreme example. remeber the rodney king trials? dont be so naive.as for springsteen everytime his career needs a kick he does some sort of stunt like this. am i impressed? not really this guy refused to stand up against reagan for the entire 1980s.


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 11:04 AM

Sorry Whistle stop. I know that the high emotion of something like this can come out as a "know it all" thing. However, if we've learned one thing in the last 10 years it's that the juries in situations like this appear to be chosen for their stupidity, ignorance and inability to follow the simplest news story. Both defence and prosecution put huge effort into rejecting potential jurors who have anything going for them intellect-wise. I gather they try to have a totally blank canvass (jury-wise) in order to use every legal trick and loophole to plead their cases.

Truth is much more likely to emerge from the media (IF YOU READ ALL POINTS OF VIEW) than the court room.

Those who excuse violent crime because of ethnicity, and violent police behaviour because "they're the good guys", are still using ideology rather than common sense....and nothing will change.

Rick


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 11:38 AM

Rick, let's not throw stones at each other unless there's a good reason to. I wouldn't excuse a crime because of a person's race, any more than I would assume a person's guilt because of his or her race. And I don't assume the cops are always right; I'm actually pretty appalled by a lot of what I hear from various police departments, including New York (the Abner Louima case, for instance) and LA (the current scandal over the gang-busting unit's alleged behavior). And yes, I will admit that the facts I'm aware of in the Diallo case are pretty troubling, and suggest that this one warranted some pretty intensive investigation -- which it has received.

I don't buy the "they only accept stupid jurors" rationale, nor do I think that we're likely to get a more accurate story from scattered media accounts than from evidence that is tested in the courts. Bottom line: I don't know if these guys (the cops) are guilty of a crime or not. But I do believe in the jury system -- with all its flaws, nobody has come up with a better one -- and I happen to think that the jurors are in a better position to get to the truth of the matter than I am (or than you are).


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: GUEST,simon
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 11:42 AM

didnt you watch the first rodney king trial? the jury system can be played with too !!!


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: bflat
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 09:59 PM

Hey everybody wake up!!!! The difference between white and black is miniscule. When are we going to behave as a society with the same ratios? Frankly, I am angry that people can't make every overarching effort to treat each other equally. I welcome the controversery as a way of exposing the bigotry that can and does exist on all sides. We need to treat each other kindly, with trust, honestly and when the time warrents with awares that we are all at risk. Such is the human condition, but always with a presumption of innocence and genuine belief in each other's good. If I never had a thought about my own shotcomings and bigotry I wouldn't be this vitrolic. Work on it. The payback can be very rewarding.


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: GUEST,Bill H
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 10:59 PM

I would be happy to comply with Kat's request. Problem is I need a better explanation as to how and when to do that.

Bill H


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Subject: RE: American Skin
From: DougR
Date: 15 Jun 00 - 11:30 PM

Well, folks, I guess we could eliminate police departments in our cities. But that might be risky.

DougR (:>)


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Subject: RE: Review: American Skin (Bruce Springsteen)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 29 Mar 12 - 05:37 PM

Bruce Springsteen has been singing this in his current tour and dedicating it to Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot and killed by a neighborhood watch member in Sanford, Florida, in February.

American Skin (41 Shots): lyrics and notes

YouTube video released by Bruce of his performance in Tampa, Florida, March 23, 2012.

~ Becky in Tucson


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