I’ve called Bruce Springsteen the poet laureate of a blue collar generation. That was a long time ago and he hasn’t stopped, so really I guess it’s more apt to say poet laureate of blue collar generations.

I know he’s never worked real jobs and was rich and famous when he was still in his 20’s. He himself said in his Bruce on Broadway show that he was a fraud when it came to his working man image. But with the way he grew up, with the things he saw his dad go through, he clearly understands the working man even if he wasn’t one.

That’s being recognized now with his receiving the Woody Guthrie Prize. It’s awarded by the Woody Guthrie Center to artists from any medium who carry on the legacy of its namesake by speaking “for the voiceless with an understanding of how a platform can be used to shine a light on our world, showing us what needs to be fixed and how to fix it.” According to the center’s Twitter the prize will be accepted on May 13.

The “voiceless” referred to by the Woody Guthrie Center know who they are. They’re the poor, the struggling, the left behind, the counted out. They’re the overworked, the under-appreciated, the mentally ill. The discriminated against. The marginalized. They’re the ones who recognize themselves in Bruce’s lyrics. I can think of a few examples.

9 Springsteen lyrics that won him the Woody Guthrie Prize

The award is given to artists from any medium who carry on the legacy of its namesake by speaking “for the voiceless with an understanding of how a platform can be used to shine a light on our world, showing us what needs to be fixed and how to fix it.” 

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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