DEARBORN, Mich. — Working class icon and rockstar Bruce Springsteen recently penned a ballad about a fictional character who is proud of his job despite being taken advantage of by the company for the sake of profit, greasy-handed sources report
“In my storied career, I’ve proven numerous times that I identify with and understand the plight of the working man,” said Springsteen as his voice echoed throughout the massive halls of his multi-million dollar mansion. “In the heart of every working class American, there lies a gullible shill. A shill who will defend billionaire business owners who don’t give a shit about them. And I believe ‘The Ballad of John Duddy’ is my greatest representation of that mundane, meaningless life yet.”
Ronald Andersen, Springsteen fan and longtime employee at a local automotive stamping plant, sees the similarities between the song’s subject matter and himself.
“I love Bruce, I’ve seen him in concert with the wife twice, and also once after she left me,” Andersen said. “I’m honored that he gets people like me. My back hurts, I can’t afford rent, and I haven’t gotten a raise since the ‘90s, but I honestly couldn’t imagine working for another company. Once a year they even give us a free pizza slice. When Bruce sings the lines, ‘Good ol’ John Duddy, really thinks the boss is his buddy, 84 hours a week, work your hands to the bone, that’s why you live alone,’ I feel like he’s singing directly at me. I’m not exactly sure what it means, but the riff is pretty neat.”
Randolph Johnson, historian of American folk music at the Smithsonian Institute, detailed the history of songs based around the world of the exploitation of workers.
“Pretty much since the industrial revolution, Americans have been in denial about their exploitation in the workforce,” Johnson explained. “Sure, in the early 20th century, singers like Joe Hill fought for worker’s rights, but now we have country artists like Alan Jackson who embrace workers lying down, and being stomped on by their employer for years until they are considered old and unfit to work, and have to work as Wal-Mart greeters in their 80s because they can’t afford to retire. It’s as American as apple pie.”
At press time, Springsteen announced a follow-up song about how Duddy fills with pride every time Republican politicians threaten to cut Social Security benefits.