Livin’ in the Future

The song Livin’ in the Future is an upbeat and, on the surface, catchy and happy song starting off with a snare drum and big bright saxophone (Clarence is doing a fab job throughout the song). The guitar work is also fantastic. Musically the song is very R n’ B and it has an explicit chorus which sticks easily.

Don’t worry, darlin’. No baby, don’t you fret. We’re livin’ in the future and none of this has happened yet

When looking closely on the lyrics you see that they are designed as a distinct political critique and Springsteen has also clearly stated that. When he performed this on the Today show, September 28, 2007 he said:

“This is a song called ‘Livin’ In the Future.’ But it’s really about what’s happening now. Right now. It’s kind of about how the things we love about America, cheeseburgers, French fries, the Yankees battlin’ Boston, the Bill of Rights, v-twin motorcycles, Tim Russert’s haircut, trans-fats and the Jersey Shore. We love those things the way womenfolk love on Matt Lauer. But over the past six years we’ve had to add to the American picture: rendition, illegal wiretapping, voter suppression, no habeus corpus, the neglect of that great city New Orleans and its people, an attack on the Constitution. And the loss of our best men and women in a tragic war. This is a song about things that shouldn’t happen here happening here. So right now we plan to do something about it, we plan to sing about it. I know it’s early (in the morning), but it’s late. So come and join us.”

Livin’ in the Future was written over 10 years ago (2007) and, at the time, it was directed towards the Bush administration. However, the song is more than relevant today with all that happens politically, not only revolving the current administration in the USA, but also around the world.

Today (September 9, 2018) is Election Day in Sweden and the future is very uncertain; neither the current government, a minority centre-left coalition made up of the Social Democrats and the Green Party, nor the main centre-right party coalition are likely to win a majority. It means that they might be dependent on the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats (which are expected to win around 20% of the vote) and that worries me a lot.

The Swedish Democrats have a tendency to blame almost every political issue on the increased immigration and they have won a lot of the voters’ sympathy. Although Sweden’s economy is booming many voters are concerned about housing, healthcare and welfare services which came under pressure from a wave of immigration during the 2015 migrant crisis.

The increased support for the Swedish Democrats has caused many of Sweden’s traditional parties to hardened their tone towards immigrants and the immigration too. The Swedish Democrats and the mainstream parties’ approach to migration is a disappointment to me, who has been brought up in an environment where the foundation was always characterised by humanity and solidarity.

My faith’s been torn asunder. Tell me is that rollin’ thunder, or just the sinkin’ sound of somethin’ righteous goin’ under

To return to the song and its message. To me Livin’ in the Future is a protest song and a warning: we live on borrowed time and we seem to be losing the standards and the ethics as a nation. Racism, extremism and fascism have no place in our society (or in this world). No matter the outcome of today’s election I’ll never surrender my own core views and perspective of life and I will never give in to anything that oppose them.


Livin’ in the Future is a song written by Bruce Springsteen and it was released in 2007 on the album Magic.

Photo: NJ.com

2 comments

  1. Best of luck with today’s Election . Great analysis of one of Bruce’s most underrated songs ( and albums) in my view Regards Terry Smith

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