There was a little about Halloween, a lot about the upcoming presidential election and nothing about his new Letter to You album on “Farewell to the Thief,” Bruce Springsteen’s 14th DJ show on SiriusXM satellite radio, which debuted Oct. 28.
In keeping with the Halloween theme, Springsteen called for “an exorcism in our nation’s capitol,” described the last four years as “a fucking nightmare” and said Trump’s followers have been “brainwashed by a con man from Queens.”
We are currently facing “the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime,” Springsteen also said.
He played an excerpt from Barack Obama’s speech at the recent virtual Democratic National Convention and read a powerful essay by Elayne Griffin Baker about how “rudderless and joyless” Americans have become in the Trump Era. He also, surprisingly, played the pro-Trump rap song “Trump Is Your President,” by Bryson Gray.
He generally kept his own comments brief and to the point; this was one of the shortest DJ shows he has done.
You can read what Springsteen said here, and see videos for the songs that were played. In some cases, a version of the song may have been played that is different from what is embedded in this post.
“Martian Hop,” The Ran-Dells
“Tubular Bells,” Mike Oldfield
“Hello and welcome, ghouls, fools, witches, vampires, blood-sucking politicians, zombie denizens of Washington, D.C., it is time for an exorcism in our nation’s capitol. Welcome to our Halloween/Election Day monster mash. This is Vol. 14 of ‘From My Home to Yours,’ titled ‘Farewell to the Thief.’ In just a few days, you’ll be throwing the bums out. I thought it was a fucking nightmare, but it was so true.”
“Run Through the Jungle,” Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Everybody Knows,” Leonard Cohen
“A good portion of our fine country, to my eye, has been thoroughly hypnotized, brainwashed by a con man from Queens. And you mix in some jingoism, some phony patriotism, fear of a black planet, vanity, narcissism, paranoia, conspiracy theories, and a portion of our nation undergoing mass delusions and teetering on violence, and you’re left with the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime. How did he do it?”
“I Put a Spell on You,” Nina Simone
Excerpt from speech by Barack Obama at this summer’s virtual Democratic National Convention:
“The one constitutional office elected by all of the people is the presidency. So at minimum, we should expect a president to feel a sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of all 330 million of us — regardless of what we look like, how we worship, who we love, how much money we have or who we voted for.
“But we should also expect a president to be the custodian of this democracy. We should expect that regardless of ego, ambition or political beliefs, the president will preserve, protect and defend the freedoms and ideals that so many Americans marched for and went to jail for; fought for and died for.
“I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president. I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously, that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care. But he never did.”
“Death to My Hometown,” Bruce Springsteen
“Farewell to the Thief!,” Chris Bricker & George Mann
“And now, a short message from the opposition.”
“Trump Is Your President,” Bryson Gray
“My President Is Black,” Jay-Z
“Now, as far as I can gather, this next song just about sums up our administration’s plan for combating the coronavirus.”
“Thin the Herd,” The Legendary Shack Shakers
“During his four years in office, the man who is supposed to be the best of us, our president, has told us more than 20,000 lies.”
“Liar, Liar,” The Castaways
“To get things started, we need to ‘Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved’ with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Listen to what he has to say.”
“Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved,” James Brown
“This Land Is Your Land,” Woody Guthrie
By Elayne Griffin Baker:
“There is no art in this White House.
“There is no literature or poetry in this White House. No music. …
“There are no pets in this White House.
“No man’s best friend. No Socks the family cat.
“No kid’s science fairs.
“No times when this president takes off the blue suit-red tie uniform and becomes human, except when he puts on his white shirt- khaki pants uniform and hides on the golf course.
“There are no images of the first family enjoying themselves together in a relaxing moment — anywhere.
“No moments like Obamas on the beach in Hawaii, or Bushes fishing in Kennebunkport, no Reagans on horseback, no Kennedys playing touch football on the Cape. …
“Where did that country go?
“Where did all the fun and joy and expressions of love and happiness go? We used to be a country that did the ice bucket challenge and raised millions for charity.
“We used to have a president that calmed and soothed the nation instead of dividing it.
“And a First Lady that planted a garden instead of ripping one out.
“We are rudderless and joyless.
“We have lost priceless cultural aspects of society that make America great.
“We have lost our mojo. Our fun, our happiness.
“The cheering on of others.
“The shared experiences of humanity that makes it all worth it.
“The challenges AND the triumphs that we shared and celebrated.
“The unique can-do spirit Americans have always been known for.
“We are lost.
“We have lost so much in so short a time.”
On Nov. 3, vote them out.
“Democracy,” Leonard Cohen
“And that’s our show on this Halloween/Election Eve. Remember, America, this is our moment. Vote.”
“America the Beautiful,” Pete Seeger
You can read transcripts of what Springsteen has said on the previous 13 shows, and see YouTube videos of all the songs he has played, via these links:
APRIL 8 (a tribute to the late John Prine and more)
APRIL 24 (thoughts on life during pandemic, New York songs and more)
MAY 6 (when the pandemic is over, he promises, “50,000 people will once again scream their heads off somewhere in New Jersey”)
MAY 20 (a tribute to the late Little Richard and more)
JUNE 3 (protest songs and more)
JUNE 17 (a “rock ‘n’ roll requiem” for those who have died from coronavirus)
JULY 1 (discussion with and songs by Southside Johnny and Steven Van Zandt)
JULY 15 (summertime songs and memories)
JULY 29 (discussion with and songs by Patti Scialfa).
AUG. 14 (“In Dreams,” nocturnally themes songs and memories)
SEPT. 2 (songs about work, in honor of Labor Day)
SEPT. 16 (end of summer)
OCT. 7 (songs about cars)
Also, click here for some of my thoughts on this ambitious series in general.
Springsteen has been doing these shows regularly for more than six months.
The shows have lasted between one and two hours each, and are being broadcast on SiriusXM’s E Street Radio channel (channel 20), with repeats and on-demand availability following the initial broadcast. Episode 14 will be rebroadcast Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.; Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. and 3 p.m.; Oct. 30 at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and midnight; Oct. 31 at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Nov. 1 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Nov. 2 at 7 a.m., 4 p.m. and midnight; and Nov. 3 at 8 a.m.
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