Times Like These

Album: Born Free (2010)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This a track from American rock artist Kid Rock's eighth album, Born Free. The song was originally performed as a work-in-progress at Rock's two stadium shows during July of 2009 in his hometown of Detroit.
  • Rock was spurred to write this topical ballad as a result of Detroit's economic problems. He explained to MTV News this song was the springboard for the rest of the album. Said Kid: "The catalyst for this record was Detroit, and my thoughts on the world through the lens of Detroit. Watching everything go downhill over the past few years, the economy, the loss of jobs everywhere, I wanted to make a record that reflected the times but that still had soul."
  • Rock expanded on this song in an interview with Billboard magazine: "It's all about Detroit. Detroit was really the catalyst with the decline of the auto industry, and it sent a shockwave around the world and led to these economic times we're in. That became apparent when Time magazine came and set up shop in Detroit, bought a house just to be there to report on it all, all the media conglomerates were down there reporting on this, Sports Illustrated, because they thought it was the catalyst, too. It's right there in my face, with my neighbors losing their houses and their jobs and the struggles they're going through. When I had my two stadium shows at Comerica [Stadium] a few years ago, I thought we've gotta sing something about this. I wanted it to be the truth, and it's a hard truth, but I also wanted it to be inspirational, which is where we went with the second and third verses. 'I'm still here,' you know.

    When we played that and showed big images of Ford and everything great in Detroit, people were in tears. It's really heavy, but really powerful, just saying Detroit 's still class and style, we've got a lot of great heritage here and a lot of good people. Whenever you get a lot of people that really want something to happen for the better, no matter what it is, it usually takes place, and that's what's going on in Detroit now. People really do care what's going on there and want to help, from the inner city to the suburbs. It's gonna happen. I don't know what the time frame is, but people really give a s--t. The people have turned a corner, they are really starting to unite there. There's been a lot of stuff since the '67 riots, white flight, tension between the city and the suburbs. I didn't really grow up with that because I had friends on both sides. It was really weird to me when nationally and internationally people would always ask me about it. But right now, people really want to get together, whatever side of 8 Mile they're on, they want to see Detroit do well."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Joe Jackson

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

Al Kooper

Al KooperSongwriter Interviews

Kooper produced Lynyrd Skynyrd, played with Dylan and the Stones, and formed BS&T.

Keith Reid of Procol Harum

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular Music

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New York

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.