There were so many Bruce Springsteen songs licensed for Blinded by the Light — the new coming-of-age crowdpleaser about a British Muslim teen whose life forever changes when he's introduced to "The Boss" — that the soundtrack isn't all that dissimilar from what an actual Bruce Springsteen biopic would sound like.
"Dancing in the Dark." "Badlands." "Born to Run." "Hungry Heart." "Because the Night." And on and on.
There is one noticeable mega-hit missing, though, Springsteen's 1984 rock anthem "Born in the U.S.A."
And there's a simple reason for that, according to writer-director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham) and Sarfraz Manzoor, the co-writer whose real-life story the film (starring Viveik Kalra as Javed Khan) is based on.
"There was no place for it," Chadha told Yahoo Entertainment (watch above). "Every song that was selected in the film had to be in the film because it referenced Javed's journey. It was the narrative of the film. We could've played lots of other songs. There are songs that we both love that we wish were there."
That's not to say "Born in the U.S.A." doesn't have a presence in the film. When told by a friend he should listening be listening to British music instead of something so "American," Javed laments the fact that the song isn't the rah-rah, patriotic love letter to the stars and stripes that many assume it is.
"It was important to us because 'Born in the U.S.A.' is seen as meaning something completely opposite to what it is," Chadha explained.
"That was a common misapprehension that people had about the film," Manzoor added. "[President] Ronald Reagan famously quoted him, but not really understanding what the music was about."
Beyond the memorable chorus, the song's sociopolitical lyrics actually deal with the hardships faced by Vietnam vets returning to a country that wasn't supporting them.
"In truth, I think that misunderstanding paid a lot of my bills," Springsteen's longtime E Street Band collaborator Steven Van Zandt recently told Yahoo. "Bruce did call Reagan's people and said, 'Stop using the song.' Because it was becoming embarrassing … for them, if you actually read the lyrics."
Blinded by the Light opens Friday.
Watch Steven Van Zandt reflect on Born in the U.S.A.:
Read more on Yahoo Entertainment:
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