Song of the Day: Bruce Springsteen – “Youngstown”

Happy birthday wishes go out to Bruce Springsteen, who turns 68 years old today. This is one of my favorite Springsteen songs, a portrait of the decline of a Rust Belt city that was once an industrial force. The song’s lyrics hit home for those from the region; this verse is particularly powerful: “Well my daddy come on the Ohio works/When he come home from World War II/Now the yard’s just scrap and rubble/He said, ‘Them big boys did what Hitler couldn’t do’/These mills they built the tanks and bombs/That won this country’s wars/We sent our sons to Korea and Vietnam/Now we’re wondering what they were dyin’ for.” Once a city of over 170,000 people, Youngstown now has a population of just over 65,000. A piece of trivia regarding this song:
it’s said that “Jenny” refers to the Jeanette Blast Furnace, which was owned by Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company. September 19 marked the 40-year anniversary of the closing of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company’s local plant, which saw 5,000 workers laid off and set off a negative ripple effect across the city — a day known as Black Monday.

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