My Hometown

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"My Hometown"
Single by Bruce Springsteen
from the album Born in the U.S.A.
B-side"Santa Claus is Comin' to Town"
ReleasedNovember 21, 1985
RecordedJune 29, 1983[1]
StudioThe Hit Factory
GenreHeartland rock
Length4:33 (4:10 edit)
Songwriter(s)Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen singles chronology
"I'm Goin' Down"
"My Hometown"
A portion of the Karagheusian Rug Mill as it stood, long abandoned, in Freehold in 1990.

"My Hometown" is a single by Bruce Springsteen off his Born in the U.S.A. album, that was the then-record-tying seventh and last top 10 single to come from it, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It also topped the U.S. adult contemporary chart, making the song Springsteen's only #1 song on this chart to date.[2] The song is a synthesizer-based, low-tempo number that features Springsteen on vocals.


The song's lyrics begin with the speaker's memories of his father instilling pride in the family's hometown. While it first appears that the song will be a nostalgic look at the speaker's childhood, the song then goes on to describe the racial violence and economic depression that the speaker witnessed as an adolescent and a young adult. The song concludes with the speaker's reluctant proclamation that he plans to move his family out of the town, but not without first taking his own son on a drive and expressing the same community pride that was instilled in him by his father.

Some of the song's images reference the recent history of Springsteen's hometown Freehold Borough, New Jersey, in particular the racial strife in 1960s New Jersey and economic tensions from the same times (such as the "textile mill being closed" was the A & M Karagheusian Rug Mill at Center and Jackson Streets of Freehold).[3]


Cash Box called it a "tender and somber look at the real American hometown" that is "evocative in rare way."[4] Billboard called it a "contemplative, insightful single."[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "My Hometown" was a straightforward video filming of a performance of the song at a Springsteen and E Street Band concert late in the Born in the U.S.A. Tour, eschewing fast-paced cutting for slower montages of Springsteen and various band members. Despite its lack of visual excitement, it still managed substantial MTV airplay in late 1985 and early 1986.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "My Hometown" - 4:33
  2. "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" - 4:27

The B-side of the single, "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town", was a semi-comical live recording of the Christmas favourite from a Springsteen and E Street Band concert on December 12, 1975, at C. W. Post College on Long Island, New York. Long familiar to Springsteen fans from its distribution years earlier to rock radio stations, it had previously been released on the fairly unknown 1981 children's album In Harmony 2; now in time for the Christmas season it was being issued again. Always a radio favorite, "Santa Claus" would benefit from the all-holiday-music-all-the-time formats of the 2000s, and during the 2005 holiday season "Santa Claus" would appear on the Billboard Top 40 Adult Recurrents and Hot Digital Songs charts.



According to authors Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon:[7]

The E Street Band


Chart (1986) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 47
Canada (RPM Magazine)[8] 16
Irish Singles Chart 6
Netherlands Music Chart 24
New Zealand Music Chart 28
Sweden Music Chart 21
UK Singles Chart 9
US Billboard Hot 100 6
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard) 1
US Album Rock Tracks (Billboard) 6

Sales and certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[9] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heylin, Clinton (2012). Song By Song. London: Penguin. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  3. ^ Demasters, Karen (April 9, 2000). "A Factory That Wove Rugs and Bound a Town Together". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-28. The mill was referred to in the Bruce Springsteen song My Hometown; Mr. Springsteen's father worked there for a time. ...
  4. ^ "Single Releases" (PDF). Cash Box. December 7, 1985. p. 9. Retrieved 2022-08-02.
  5. ^ "Reviews". Billboard. December 7, 1985. p. 75. Retrieved 2022-08-02.
  6. ^ Greene, Andy (18 April 2014). "Neil Young's New Covers Album Available Right Now: Surprise!". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  7. ^ Margotin, Philippe; Guesdon, Jean-Michel (2020). Bruce Springsteen All the Songs: The Story Behind Every Track. London: Cassell Illustrated. p. 252. ISBN 978-1-78472-649-2.
  8. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - February 1, 1986" (PDF).
  9. ^ "American single certifications – Bruce Springsteen – My Hometown". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 1, 2022.

External links[edit]