Bruce Springsteen, quoted in the Sunday New York Times by John Pareles:
"Once you start doing that kind of writing, it feeds off itself. You write 'The Rising' for this, it gets picked up and used for that, so you end up here. If someone had told me in 2001 that 'you're going to sing this song at the inaugural concert for the first African-American president,' I'd have said, 'Huh?' . . . But eight years go by, and that's where you find yourself. You're in there, you're swimming in the current of history and your music is doing the same thing. . . . A lot of the core of our songs is the American idea: What is it? What does it mean? 'Promised Land,' 'Badlands,' I've seen people singing those songs back to me all over the world. I'd seen that country on a grass-roots level through the '80s, since I was a teenager. And I met people who were always working toward the country being that kind of place. But on a national level it always seemed very far away. . . . And so on election night it showed its face, for maybe, probably, one of the first times in my adult life. I sat there on the couch, and my jaw dropped, and I went, 'Oh my God, it exists.' Not just dreaming it. It exists, it's there, and if this much of it is there, the rest of it's there. Let's go get that. Let's go get it. Just that is enough to keep you going for the rest of your life. All the songs you wrote are a little truer today than they were a month or two ago."