Springsteen calls Trump a ‘delusional, broken carny barker of a president’ on SiriusXM DJ show

springsteen trump insurrection

Bruce Springsteen angrily criticized President Trump on his 17th DJ show on SiriusXM satellite radio.

Calling President Trump “a delusional, broken carny barker of a president, who knows allegiance only … to himself,” Bruce Springsteen shared his thoughts on the Jan. 6 insurrection on the 17th show in his “From My Home to Yours” DJ series on SiriusXM satellite radio.

The show, which premiered Jan. 20, was subtitled “Lawyers, Guns and Money: An Inaugural Special” and also featured music by Leonard Cohen, Jay-Z, Link Wray, Green on Red and others, as well as Springsteen’s own “Land of Hope and Dreams,” “Reason to Believe” and “House of a Thousand Guitars.”

Springsteen said that while watching television coverage from the Capitol on Jan. 6, “my responses went from ‘What?,’ to ‘Huh?,’ to ‘Whoa!,’ to surprise, to shock, to becoming infuriated, to depression, to deepening anger as the days passed by and what had actually happened, most of which we barely knew yet, began to seep in.

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.

“Welcome, E Street Nation. Fans, friends and listeners from coast to coast, and around the world. Welcome to our first show of 2021, and our first broadcast after the Jan. 6 attempted insurrection at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. This is Vol. 17, titled ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money: An Inaugural Special.’ So let’s get started.”

“Lawyers, Guns and Money,” Warren Zevon

“First We Take Manhattan,” Leonard Cohen

“That was ‘First We Take Manhattan,’ by Leonard Cohen. And we started, of course, with ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money,’ that masterpiece of paranoia, perfect for this moment, by my departed friend and outlaw songwriter, Warren Zevon.

“Now, I don’t know about you, but sitting in front on my TV on the afternoon of Jan. 6, my responses went from ‘What?,’ to ‘Huh?,’ to ‘Whoa!,’ to surprise, to shock, to becoming infuriated, to depression, to deepening anger as the days passed by and what had actually happened, most of which we barely knew yet, began to seep in.

“Now, I’m curious: What kind of narcissist are you that thinks you have the right to trash our People’s House, stop the wheels of our democracy, while we are in the process of performing one of our most sacred duties, the peaceful transfer of power, in the most powerful nation on Earth, and to act based on a cheap, easily disproven lie of a stolen election, a lie that has been reviewed, disproven, debunked and rejected by every court in the land, including our own Trump-filled Supreme Court. I mean, who do you think you are to desecrate the halls of our democracy purely on the word of a delusional, broken carny barker of a president, who knows allegiance only … to himself. He is a dime store seditionist and a low-rent traitor to the Constitution, and to the United States of America.

“I ask my good American brothers and sisters to value yourselves and your allegiances more deeply. Donald J. Trump does not deserve your good soul and your honest and heartfelt commitment. Your country, your real country, awaits and needs you. So I say this with pain and love in my heart: Don’t waste your compassion on those who do not deserve it. You are better and worth much more than that. In this world, God’s world, no infallible truth resides in just one man. There is only one truth, God’s truth, and it is a truth of deep inquiry, humility in the face of facts, and it is grounded in the faith and love and respect you carry for your neighbors and your country. Let us all pray to God we have the strength to see clearly with our mind, heart and eyes, and that we may hold our faith high, humbly, and in service of our country and the truth.”

“Land of Hope and Dreams,” Bruce Springsteen

“There’s a valuable piece by (New York) Times opinion writer David Brooks that inspired some of my last spoken piece, and I want to bring to your attention. It’s called ‘Trump’s War Within the Church.’ It’s really good reading. And I’d advise you to check it out.”

“Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love),” Jay-Z

“Thursday in the Danger Room,” Run the Jewels, featuring Kamasi Washington

“That was ‘Thursday in the Danger Room,’ by Run the Jewels, and before that ‘Heart of the City’ by Jay-Z, rapping over Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland’s classic blues, ‘Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City.’ Well, we’re gonna send this next one down to Mar-a-Lago.”

“You Couldn’t Get Arrested,” Green on Red

“It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” Link Wray

“That was the visionary guitarist Link Wray, the man who also gave us ‘Rumble,’ and invented the power chord. Ask Pete Townshend. And that was his majestic, deadly version of ‘It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,’ by Bob Dylan. Link was an American Shawnee rock ‘n’ roll guitarist and vocalist who first came to popularity in the ’50s, but I met him in the ’70s, I think, when he was playing with Robert Gordon. A great guy. Just a beautiful guy. And a deep, deep rock ‘n’ roll heart. We love and miss you, Link.”

“All Along the Watchtower,” Neil Young

“The Future,” Leonard Cohen

“That was ‘The Future,’ by Leonard Cohen, off his great album The Future, recorded in 1992. Recorded as the Berlin Wall was falling, and the Los Angeles riots of the early ’90s were occurring. They were all influences working at that time. Coming up, once more, my good friend Warren Zevon, with ‘I Was in the House When the House Burned Down.’ ”

“I Was in the House When the House Burned Down,” Warren Zevon

“Reason to Believe,” Bruce Springsteen

“We are creatures whose veins pulse with hope, and faith, and love. I’ve made most of my life’s work the pursuit of that hope, faith and love, and its evidence and power here in this world. We need shared beliefs and common values, to give us the ties that will bind us into a country and a people that will define our character and deepen our national soul. These days, I know those things are hard to come by. But they’re there, and today is a day to celebrate them. So I’d like to send a small prayer out to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, to you and our country.

“That’s our show for today, folks. Go in peace.”

“House of a Thousand Guitars,” Bruce Springsteen

You can read transcripts of what Springsteen has said on the previous 16 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)

OCT. 28 (Election Day and Halloween preview)

NOV. 25 (Election Day victory, “music about music”)

DEC. 16 (“Hits of the Week”: music that he has been listening to lately)

Also, click here for some of my thoughts on this ambitious series in general.

Springsteen has been doing these shows regularly since April.

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. “Lawyers, Guns & Money” will also be played Jan. 20 at 6 p.m.; Jan. 21 at 6 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Jan. 22 at 10 a.m., 4 p.m. and midnight; Jan. 23 at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Jan. 24 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Jan. 25 at 7 a.m., 4 p.m. and midnight; and Jan. 26 at 8 a.m.

Visit siriusxm.com.

We need your help!


Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.


Custom Amount

Personal Info

Donation Total: $20.00

Explore more articles:


Patrick January 20, 2021 - 7:32 pm

Been a Springsteen fan since I was 16. I am now 52. I watched him tear down walls both physical and social with his music. I have to say I am disappointed with him. In the last 12 days I have seen the very citizens he wants to welcome back censored and silenced. Had companies threaten to not do business with them and heard newscasts about de-programming them. And who speaks for them Bruce? Where are your thoughts on these dangerous thoughts? These people are not outcasts. They are not cultists. They are not racists. They are people who buy and listen to your music whom just happen have different political viewpoints than you. They have been forgotten. The very people you write about. Where is your voice on this Bruce? Right now it sounds like condescension not a voice for the very things you used to stand against. I remember that Bruce. The one who stood against Censorship and advocated for free speech. I wish that Bruce had the courage to show up again.

Ed Manolio January 22, 2021 - 9:04 am

Bruce is one of the greatest singer/songwriters in American History. However he is just another liberal celebrity. People must understand that just because celebrities have a national platform, they also have a must different lifestyle than the average citizen. Years fom now these people will understand what Trump did for the good of the country. The worst reason why this country is so divided is the media. Years ago the news was strictly based on facts. Not opinions as it is today. These 24 hour “news channels” brainwash the public to believing whatever there side is. Do the intelligent citizens really think if all you got was the straight news the country would be this divided. I think not.

Big T January 22, 2021 - 9:06 am

Stick to music please.

MAGAGirl January 23, 2021 - 12:40 pm

But yet they area all okay with the whole corrupt Biden family, that’s okay and all the irregularities that went on during the election. How can anyone who really supposedly cares about our Country look at all that is going on and be okay with it all. These people do not live in the real world or our world. And I really could care less wtf they think. They are only entertainers and nothing more. But really has turned me off on all of them.

Val McDowell January 25, 2021 - 12:06 pm

People please. Bruce was talking about a man who sent people out to try an overthrow a duly elected President and government. People were killed a treasured historical building was destroied
The life of every congressman and senator in our country along with the targeted Vice President of the United States was threatened or in danger. It is not a partisan stand to be appalled by that and more
Trump at the very least sat by and watched it and refused call for help
And people are ok with that? Sad and tragic
Thank you Bruce. Play on

Patrick February 9, 2021 - 10:25 pm

Yes, much like the riots that destroyed lives, families, and businesses all summer. Democrat leaders said nothing and in some cases supported the violence. I’m not trying to argue with anyone. But to find unity we have to hold all our leaders to the same standards. We can’t have rules applied to some and not to others. Hate Trump the rest of your life if you want. But once that hatred starts infringing on people’s rights and targets people for simply exercising their right to vote for whom the want. Well that’s when things like censorship and spying on citizens becomes the norm That should bother everyone.

David February 24, 2021 - 7:42 am

I clearly remember Joe Biden speaking (more than once) in public about how the violence and looting has to stop and has nothing to do with your constitutional right to protest. That was during the presidential campaign and the protests in Portland. It was televised nationwide, so it is not true that “democratic leaders said nothing”.
I agree with you on how even hatred of a despicable person like Trump can lead to wrong acts and discrimination of those who supported him – in doing so one would follow the simplistic logic of the Bible’s “eye for an eye” policy. Expressing an opposite view is fine, hatred is always wrong.

But don’t you also think that something like censorship and “spying on citizens” became more often the norm under Republican presidents like Nixon and George W. Bush?


Leave a Comment

Sign up for our Newsletter