6. "Born in the U.S.A."
At some point during Bruce Springsteen's writing sessions for Nebraska, he began singing a tune about a veteran that comes back from the war and couldn't find a job. "You died in Vietnam, you died in Vietnam," he sang on the chorus. "Boy, don't you understand, you died in Vietnam." By the next take, he decided to flip it, turning "Died in Vietnam" into "Born in the U.S.A." The bleak song wouldn't make Nebraska, but it became the title track of his next studio release with the E Street Band. The song was clearly meant as a condemnation of the way America treated the Vietnam vets, but many just heard the booming chorus and saw it as a patriotic anthem. Today it ranks up there with "This Land Is Your Land" as one of the mostly widely misunderstood tunes in American history, although when when Springsteen belts out, "Forty years burning down the road, nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go!" it's impossible to miss his intent today.