Bruce Springsteen: Youngstown Meaning
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Back in eighteen-o-three
James and Dan Heaton
Found the ore that was linin' Yellow Creek
They built a blast furnace
Here along the shore
And they made the cannonballs
That helped the Union win the war
anonymous Aug 23rd, 2017 8:41am report
Great song! I was there my father worked at Youngstown sheet and tube steel mill. When mills laid of workers . They became alcoholics as a child I stool bread for my parents. So we could eat. Famous grilled cheese sandwiches! Beer gardens became famous. More children were born than ever befor.spousal abuse and child abuse were ramped.there was nothing to do but DRINK / SCREW/ and fight !! BB
anonymous Jun 7th, 2011 6:31am report
The song is about the demise of the blue collar America. Youngstown, Ohio, was once known as the steel center of American Manufacturing Belt.
Bruce Springsteen sings of the life of the worker in the steel mills. Steel is produced from iron ore by first reducing the ore into pig iron in blast furnace, and further refining the pig iron into steel and then into steel products (ingots, slabs, rails, shets, tubes, wire).
The protagonist is a second generation steelworker, who has returned from Viet Nam to work as scarfer - his task is to burn away the impurities of the refined steel before the rolling mill. His father worked at blast furnaces, which operate at extremely high temperatures. Taconite (iron ore), coke and limestone are the feedstocks of blast furnace and the smokestacks refer to the stacks of the open hearth furnace, which is used to refine pig iron into steel.
"Sweet Jenny" is not girlfriend, wife or daughter, but the blast furnace named Jeannette of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. It was taken out of blast 1979 and demolished 1997.
The demise of Youngstown began in 1977 with the crisis of the steel industry. "Big boys did what Hitler couldn't do" - mismanagement and bad business practises led several companies into bankruptcy, and those words refer to demolishing of the six blast furnaces of Republic Steel.
The result was the collapse of the American working class. The protagonist wonders what for did the Americans fight in the first place as the jobs disappeared and all the hope of social climbing.
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