Death to My Hometown

"Death to My Hometown" is a song written and recorded by American musician Bruce Springsteen and was the third single from his album, Wrecking Ball. It is a protest song, as well a prominent example of Springsteen's experimentation with Celtic rock rhythms.

A music video for the song was released through Springsteen's website on April 13, 2012, and was compiled from live performances and rehearsals at the Apollo Theater, Atlanta, and SXSW featuring Tom Morello.[1]


"Death to My Hometown" became a staple of the Wrecking Ball Tour, usually being played towards the beginning of the sets. The tin whistle riff from the album version was handed over to the newly assembled 5-piece horn section during the shows. The song has been played at every Wrecking Ball show as of June 11, 2012.[2][3]


The song is an allegorical protest song concerning the causes and fallout of the financial crisis of 2007–2008. Springsteen uses archaic imagery to show how "death" came to his hometown not by war, but by allegedly reckless economic practices. He also references the supposed lack of accountability for the practices by bankers that allegedly led to the crisis. "The greedy thieves who came around/And ate the flesh of everything they found/Whose crimes have gone unpunished now/Who walk the streets as free men now," he sings.[4]

The album version of the song contains a sample of "The Last Words of Copernicus", a hymn by Sarah Lancaster on the subject of death from The Sacred Harp, recorded by Alan Lomax in 1959.[5]

Chart (2012) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[6] 51



  1. ^ "Tom Morello Joins Bruce Springsteen in 'Death to My Hometown' Video". Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Death to My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen Song Statistics -". Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  3. ^ Video on YouTube
  4. ^ "Death to My Hometown". Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  5. ^ Plunkett, John; Karlsberg, Jesse P. (March 28, 2012). "Bruce Springsteen's Sacred Harp Sample". The Sacred Harp Publishing Company Newsletter. 1 (1).
  6. ^ "Bruce Springsteen – Death To My Hometown" (in Dutch). Ultratip.

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