Speaking during his DJ set on Sirius XM’s E Street Radio, Springsteen reflected on the social consequences of the pandemic, which has so far claimed the lives of almost 59,000 people in the US.
“There was an op-ed a while back in the New York Times that I would advise every American who cares about his country to read. It is called ‘The America We Need.’ Now let me paraphrase from just a small, small piece of it,” Springsteen said, per USA Today.
“Franklin Delano Roosevelt said liberty requires opportunity to make a living, a decent living according to the standard of the time. A living which gives a man or a woman not only enough to live by, but something to live for.
Bruce played songs from his personal collection and shared words of encouragement for these tough times in his recent E Street Radio DJ session. Listen back on @siriusxm free through May 15 here: https://t.co/7MLHs6fRnu pic.twitter.com/Qmn0GNArCh
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) April 10, 2020
“Now the current pandemic has laid bare the inequalities in wealth and in health that plague our nation. In Michigan, hard-hit by the coronavirus, African-Americans make up 14 percent of the population but 40 percent of the deaths from this disease. So many disenfranchised Americans lack the essential liberty to protect their own lives, and the lives of their families.
“This pandemic has shown the great divide between our American dream and American reality, between current America versus the ideals enshrined in our founding documents.”
He added: “Now that’s just a small piece of the editorial, and I hope I didn’t do it a disservice. But all I know is, here in the beginning of the 21st century, in Paterson and other New Jersey cities, in Michigan, in rural America, and all across the United States, this reality is so frustrating that, as the great Marvin Gaye said, we should want to holler.”
After finishing the impassioned quote, Springsteen went on to play Gaye’s ‘Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).’
Earlier in the show, Springsteen had stressed the need for “compassion” in order to come through the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’ve lived in the United States for 70 years now, and I have to admit I’ve often been disappointed in our failure to live up to our ideals,” Springsteen said while introducing a cover of ‘The Promised Land’ by Nashville’sBlacklist Royals.
“But I also have to say, I’ve never really been able to deny that there’s a promise that constantly resides in the American people, that could make us the great democratic nation that we carry in our hearts and in our dreams. ”
He added: “And if we put our hearts and our lives together and fought for the very ideals, those of equality, of liberty, of social justice, of compassion for our neighbours, we would find that this is where our strength resides. And we have it within in our power to create the kind of humane society we’ve always dreamt of.
“Now, all of this sounds corny when you say it. But it ain’t corny when you do it.”
Other tunes played by Springsteen in the show included his own ‘New York City Serenade’ and Tupac Shakur’s ‘Dear Mama.’
Earlier this month, it was reported that New Jersey residents are being asked to keep “one Springsteen” apart as social distancing continues.
In an effort to help citizens stick to social distancing guidelines, authorities have given a handy gauge to measure the six-foot distance required between people. “REMINDER: Keep AT LEAST one Springsteen of space between yourself and others,” a post on the official New Jersey Twitter account read.