Joe Biden's Victory Speech Walkout Song Explained

If the song that was playing as Joe Biden walked up to the podium to give the first speech of his president electancy (or whatever we're calling it) sounded familiar, that's because he's been playing that song at each one of his campaign events — plus, as Medium reminds us, Bruce Springsteen's "We Take Care of Our Own" was also the theme song for the 2012 Obama/Biden campaign. Well, that makes sense, since The Boss, like Biden, has famously positioned himself as a man of the people, and he very publicly endorsed Obama for president.


Well, if his Twitter account is anything to go by, Bruce is quite the Biden backer, too, even narrating the candidate's recent "Scranton isn't just where I'm from" video So the Springsteen connection is pretty solid. But what about the song's actual message? Well, as with many Springsteen songs, this 2012 hit seems to be more complex than at first listen.

The message behind Bruce Springsteen's song

As Springsteen once told NPR's Terry Gross, "In my songs, the spiritual part, the hope part, is in the choruses. The blues and your daily realities are in the details of the verses." While "We Take Care of Our Own" does reference hard times in the U.S. of A. circa the early 20-teens (none of which have gotten any easier over the past eight years), it is obvious from the context –- Biden's message of hope and unity in his subsequent speech –- that he never intended the song to convey even a hint of the "exclusivist, menacing and even racist tinge" that  The New York Times seemed to impart to it back in 2016. It is clear from every word Biden says that "our own" doesn't mean Biden voters alone, but each and every one of us.


In fact, it seemed as if Biden's entire speech was meant as an answer to the question the song's lyrics (via Genius) are asking. Springsteen: "Where's the promise from sea to the shining sea wherever this flag is flown?" Joe Biden: "I got your promise right here! We take care of our own!"