When President Barack Obama delivered his farewell address to the nation on January 10, 2017, he stepped off the stage to record Bruce Springsteen’s “Land of Hope and Dreams”, embracing his family while Mr. Springsteen sang by offering unwavering support to his broken friends, and the power of traveling together toward a common future.
So it was a warm and memorable conclusion that Mr. Springsteen himself performed the song “The Land of Hope and Dreams” to open Wednesday’s special “Celebration of America” at the prime time of Biden’s inauguration. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Springsteen stands alone, dressed in a navy pea coat and jeans, clearly holding an old guitar.
His vocals were gritty and a little nervous, a reflection of the song’s optimism bent on taking on challenges. Leave your sorrows behind / Make this day the last, “Tomorrow there will be sunlight / And all this darkness past.”
The next artist – John Bon Jovi, another son of New Jersey – confirmed the arrival of the light on the cover of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun”. But in the context of the pandemic and the recent political turmoil that has ravaged the country, his cheerful exhilaration has felt frail and unaware, especially after Mr. Springsteen admitted to the cold season now drawing to a close.