This was one of two songs (the other is "Dark and Bloody Ground") Bruce Springsteen co-wrote for the American Babylon
album, which he also produced. While working on the album, The Boss encouraged Grushecky to put more effort into his songwriting. "So I went home and I was on a mission to write some good songs," he explained in our interview
. "I had this lyric for something about Homestead, which is like the quintessential steel mill town here in Pittsburgh. I knew a lot of guys that worked there personally, and our families worked there. So I had to come up with a really good lyric."