Independence Day

Album: The River (1980)
Play Video


  • This is about Springsteen's relationship with his dad, who worked at the Nescafé plant in Freehold, New Jersey. They didn't get along, but later in life Bruce realized his father worked very hard to support his family and came to appreciate his efforts. Bruce can also thank his dad for inspiring the rebellious spirit that led him to follow his dreams. Determined not to work a typical factory job like his dad, Springsteen followed his dreams and made music for a living.
  • This song was written and recorded in 1977 for Darkness on the Edge of Town. Bruce left this song off the album because he felt that the song was a transition of what happened to his protagonist when he moved on to a later chapter in his life. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ken Thomson - Edmonton, AB
  • Introducing this song at a New Jersey show in 1981, Springsteen said: "I could never talk to my old man, he could never talk to me, my mother couldn't talk to him. So I was glad when I finally got old enough and I started to live alone. Then for about ten years I never saw my folks that much. And just recently we came back from Europe and I got a phone call a night or two later that my father had gotten sick.

    I went out to California where he was in the hospital there. I started thinkin' on the way about all the things that I always wanted to say to him and I never said and I always figured, well, someday we'll sit down and we'll talk about why it was the way it was when I was young, talk about why he felt the way he did. But the years go by and it never comes up. I guess it feels like a dangerous subject or something. But he got sick and I realized that he was gettin' old and that if I had somethin' to say to him, I should say it now."

Comments: 1

  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaYes it is, Steven. This is about how his dad inspired the rebel in Bruce. Independence Day is Bruce going on a different path then his father. Sad.

    (The song, not the choice)
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien Songs

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien SongsSong Writing

The trail runs from flying saucer songs in the '50s, through Bowie, blink-182 and Katy Perry.

Boy Bands

Boy BandsFact or Fiction

From NKOTB to 1D, how well do you know your boy bands?

Adam Young of Owl City

Adam Young of Owl CitySongwriter Interviews

Is Owl City on a quest for another hit like "Fireflies?" Adam answers that question and explains the influences behind many others.

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine

The Untold Story Of Fiona Apple's Extraordinary MachineSong Writing

Fiona's highly-anticipated third album almost didn't make it. Here's how it finally came together after two years and a leak.


U2Fact or Fiction

How did The Edge get his name? Did they name a song after a Tolkien book? And who is "Angel of Harlem" about?


RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.