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This is about an unemployed steelworker in Youngstown, Ohio. Most people think that Bruce is singing this song to a woman named Jenny ("my sweet Jenny I'm sinkin' down" etc.), but "Jenny" is the nickname given to the Blast Furnace at Youngstown steelworks - The Jeanette Blast Furnace (named after the daughter of W.A. Thomas, who was the President of Brier Hill Steel). It's common practice at steelworks to have nicknames for blast furnaces - for example, at Scunthorpe steelworks in the UK the four furnaces are known as Bess, Victoria, Anne and Mary (after 4 Queens of England/Britain). The fact that Bruce's character is singing to the furnace, rather than a person, changes the song considerably. (thanks, Alex - Newport, Scotland)
Springsteen wrote this as part of a series of songs on The Ghost Of Tom Joad where one character develops into another.
This revisits a common Springsteen theme: the division between the wealthy and the working class.
Springsteen performed this on the 1999 E-Street Band reunion tour.
Mike Watt - "History Lesson, Pt. 2"
Mike Watt of the Minutemen tells the story of the song that became an Indie Rock touchstone. It's also the story of what Mike calls "The Movement."
Shaun Morgan of Seether
Shaun breaks down the Seether songs, including the one about his brother, the one about Ozzy, and the one that may or may not be about his ex-girlfriend Amy Lee.
Jon Anderson of Yes
From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.
He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.