"We Take Care Of Our Own" as written by and Bruce Springsteen....
I've been knockin' on the door that holds the throne
I've been lookin' for the map that leads me home
I've been stumblin' on good hearts turned to stone
The road of good intentions has gone dry as bone
We take care of our own
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag's flown
We take care of our own

From Chicago to New Orleans
From the muscle to the bone
From the shotgun shack to the Superdome
There ain't no help the cavalry's stayed home
There ain't no-one hearing the bugle blown
We take care of our own
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag's flown
We take care of our own

Where the eyes, the eyes with the will to see
Where the hearts, that run over with mercy
Where's the love that has not forsaken me
Where's the work that set my hands, my soul free
Where's the spirit that'll reign, reign over me
Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea
Where's the promise, from sea to shining sea
Wherever this flag is flown
Wherever this flag is flown
Wherever this flag is flown

We take care of our own
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag's flown
We take care of our own
We take care of our own
We take care of our own
Wherever this flag's flown
We take care of our own


Lyrics submitted by Danche

"We Take Care of Our Own" as written by Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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We Take Care Of Our Own song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song sounds like an anthem of american selfishness "Those good intentions have gone dry as bone" an "we take care of our own" basically say we don't care about anyone else then the second verse goes on to show the geographic area that america cares about gosh I never knew bruce was such an A$$hole
    jonesthemightyon February 28, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn response to cubfever7...Springsteen was classified as 4F by his local draft board due to a rather nasty head injury he'd suffered in a motorcycle accident the year before. Also, I'd say his commentary on the war has generally been very sympathetic. Nothing personal, just thought I'd throw my opinion out there.

    In regards to this song...I think it's a commentary on the general greed and selfishness that have taken over this country. It's both an indictment...but also maybe a plea for us to find ourselves as neighbors, friends, brothers and sisters so maybe we will someday take care of our own!
    Fenway77on April 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis is a song about the platitudes and the reality of American exceptionalism.

    The Platitude: "We take care of our own, wherever this flag is flown."

    This is the idea that Americans will be looked after by other Americans, that all matter in a democracy, and that Americans always look after their fellow citizens.

    The Reality:

    "From Chicago to New Orleans
    From the muscle to the bone
    From the shotgun shack to the Superdome
    There ain't no help the cavalry's stayed home
    There ain't no-one hearing the bugle blown"

    "The shotgun shack to the superdome". - This is two references, the "shotgun shack" is a tiny house, presumably lived in by a poor person. The superdome is a reference to the evacuees of hurricane Katrina, trapped in the Louisina Superdome for weeks, while the federal agencies tripped over each other failing to help. The then FEMA chief, claimed they had plenty of food.

    "There ain't no help the cavalry's stayed home" - a reference to the widely considered, poor federal reaction, to the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

    "There ain't no-one hearing the bugle blown" - No one's paying any attention to the call to arms, or people who need helping - they are too busy thinking about themselves, and their own tax dollars.

    The song is about how great America claims to be as a nation - but won't lift a finger or spare a dollar of taxpayers money when the chips are really down.

    This was written in 2012, but if it was written today, I'm sure he would have added a line about the current president throwing paper towels at Puerto Ricans after the recent violent hurricane and how they aren't real Americans either.
    chris11197on November 24, 2017   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretationas expected, this is a highly politicised song by Bruce. to take his personal political views into consideration, when I say 'the government', I really mean 'the Republicans', because Bruce is staunchly Democrat.

    'I been knocking on the door that holds the throne'
    = questioning those in power

    'stumbling on good hearts turned to stone'
    = politicians who came to do good and stayed to do well

    'we take care of our own'
    = the government doesn't take care of us, so we've got to do it ourselves. 'our own' probably refers to Americans.

    'wherever this flag's flown'
    = this could mean any number of things, but given the USA's status as the 'international police', they make their presence felt in a LOT of places around the world, i.e. fly their flag.

    'where...
    where...
    where...'
    = these are all typical questions that voters ask of their politicians. the line 'where's the work that'll set my hands, my soul free' is particularly interesting, because it has its origins in Nazi concentration camps. the Nazis placed 'arbeit macht frei' on a sign above the entrance to their Auschwitz concentration camp, which is translated as 'work sets you free'. basically Bruce is drawing a parallel between the govt. and Nazis.
    whosecultureisthison January 19, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJust like "Born in the USA", I can hear the distant discussions of campaign managers talking about using this song in their campaign. Of course, this is based only on a cursory listen to the refrain and the triumphant nature of the melody.

    Unlike "Born in the USA", I can't quite seem to comprehend who Bruce is aiming his arrow at. The brilliance of "Born" was that it followed a single character who ended up going off to "fight the yellow man", had his brother killed, and found himself "ten years down the road", with no opportunity.

    I would tend to suspect that it's our ruling class - the lyrical reference to the Superdome, and that the cavalry wasn't coming. We can bomb a country on the other side of the planet in hours, but we can't send our military in to rescue our own drowning people? Are we really taking care of our own?

    However, some small part of me believes this is an indictment of the average American's selfish attitude these days. Sure, if your neighbor's house burns down, you'll see the whole community respond and come to their aid. But politicians get applauded for telling the unemployed to "just get a job", they get applauded for saying we should just deport illegals, they get applauded for promoting endless war around the world.

    I know that may just be a small nutty contingent of our population, but the brazen, heartless things coming out of some of our leaders' mouths gives me pause. They wouldn't be saying those things if it didn't get them votes and attention. Maybe the "hearts that have turned to stone" Bruce is referring to includes us, the people, as well as our politicans - I sure hope not. But I have to admit it could be true.
    kimjongsurgeon January 28, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPowerful stuff as usual from the Boss - but slightly undermined by a lifted hook from A Flock of Seagulls.
    Paul Fon February 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionThe line 'Those good intentions have gone dry as bone' should read 'The road of good intentions has gone dry as a bone. It even says so in the music video.
    SmashTheElderon February 10, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a clear criticism of the Obama administration. All you need to do is read the first verse of the song. Bruce is obviously disappointed with Obama and the Democrats.
    AndrewV1996on August 24, 2014   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI'm a huge fan of Bruce's talent but not of his politics. Most Viet Nam vets like me do NOT support his positions on that war and wonder where he was? What kind of deferment did he get? The President he campaigned for is the most corrupt in history. If you check news outlets that aren't afraid to tell all, you'd see th headlines roll in weekly. Funny how he uses Chicago and New Orleans in the lyric. The two most corrupt cities in the country--Illinois is a total joke with like 4 out of the last 5 governors in jail or under suspicion.

    As for Katrina--yea it got botched pretty bad. But the LA governor and NOLA mayor were offered aid ahead of time and said told no thanks, we got this. It's not all that hard to find this information. When the cavalry is told to stay home--who do you blame? The other party--naturally. More job loses and tons of poverty were caused by the inept handling of the oil spill and the order to lay off all the oil workers. Write a song about that.
    cubfever7on March 08, 2012   Link

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