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Springsteen Sings the Songs of Seeger

Shelley Gollust, Daniel Kirch and Jill Moss



Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC, in VOA Special English.


I'm Doug Johnson. On our show this week:

We answer a question about the Internet …

Play some new recordings of folk songs by Bruce Springsteen …

And report about a few movies being released this summer.

Summer Movies


Summer is the most popular season for Hollywood movies. Faith Lapidus tells about three movies that opened recently.


One of the most talked-about movies is called “United Ninety-three.” It tells about one of the planes that Islamic terrorists hijacked in the United States on September eleventh, two thousand one. The movie shows how several of the passengers tried to gain control of the plane from the terrorists. The target of the plane was thought to be either the White House or the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. However, the plane crashed in a field in the state of Pennsylvania, killing everyone.

“United Ninety-three” was directed by Paul Greengrass, who is British. There are no famous actors in the film. In fact, several people who took part in the events of that day play themselves in the movie.

Many critics praised “United Ninety-three” as realistic. However, some Americans refuse to see it because they say it presents a tragic event for entertainment purposes.

The first big adventure movie of the summer is “Mission: Impossible Three.” It is the third in a series of movies based on a popular American television program of the nineteen sixties. Tom Cruise again stars as secret government agent Ethan Hunt. In this movie, he must rescue another secret agent. Later, he must rescue the woman he marries in the film. And he must stop a dangerous weapons dealer, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

“Mission: Impossible Three” has exciting car crashes, helicopter chases and explosions. Tom Cruise even jumps between tall buildings in Shanghai, China. This is the first motion picture directed by J.J. Abrams, who created two popular television series.

“The Da Vinci Code” opened last Friday. It is based on the book by Dan Brown that has sold more than forty million copies. The movie stars Tom Hanks as a professor who must solve a murder mystery involving art history and religion. Some of the movie was filmed in the Louvre Museum in Paris where parts of the story take place.

Some Catholic officials around the world have urged people not to see “The Da Vinci Code.” They say it presents theories about Jesus that insult the Christian religion. However, director Ron Howard said people should remember that "this is supposed to be entertainment."

Early reports said “The Da Vinci Code” had an estimated two hundred twenty-four million dollars in ticket sales worldwide during its first three days in theaters.

Internet Connections

Our listener question this week comes from Vietnam. Tran Khanh Linh wants to know how a dial-up Internet connection, a DSL connection and an ADSL connection are different.

A dial-up connection is where the computer connects to the Internet over a traditional telephone line. With dial-up service, users enter a phone number into their computer and wait until the connection is set up. Dial-up connections are slow. That means it can take a long time to load Web sites.

Until a few years ago, dial-up connections were the only way most people could use the Internet. New and improved technologies offer much faster connections.

In the United States, the use of dial-up service is less and less common. Today, most Americans who use the Internet have a high-speed connection, also known as broadband. With broadband, the computer always stays connected to the Internet.

Several kinds of technologies provide high-speed connections. Among them are DSL and ADSL.

DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. With DSL connections, Internet users have much faster download speeds than with a traditional phone line. The download speed is how long it takes to see a Web page or save a music file or an e-mail attachment.

Another kind of DSL is ADSL. It stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. Asymmetric means unequal. With ADSL, the upload speed is slower than the download speed. That means it takes longer to send information from a computer to the Internet than to receive information from the Internet.

ADSL connections cost less than other DSL service. People usually have ADSL because they do not need to upload large amounts of information like a business would. To them it is more important to have fast download speeds.

Other ways to get fast Internet are by cable modem, fiber optic connection and satellite. People can also find wireless service in more and more public places. And some lucky people have high-speed service on their cell phones.

Springsteen Plays Seeger


Rock and roll musician Bruce Springsteen has released a new album. It honors folk music singer Pete Seeger. The collection of thirteen traditional folk songs can be described as music to listen to loudly. Barbara Klein tells us more.


Springsteen’s new record is called “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions.” Springsteen and a new group of musicians performed some of the songs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival last month. The city is still recovering from damages caused by Hurricane Katrina last August.

“The Seeger Sessions” is Springsteen’s first album of “cover” songs. They are Springsteen’s version of folk music made popular by Pete Seeger. Seeger is a musician, songwriter and social activist.

He was a leader of the political folk music movement of the nineteen fifties and sixties. For example, Seeger recorded this song in nineteen sixty-three. He was performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

(MUSIC: “We Shall Overcome”)

Here is Bruce Springsteen with the same song.


Bruce Springsteen says he got the idea for the album in nineteen ninety-seven. At that time, Springsteen was recording music for a different album in honor of Pete Seeger. Springsteen says that experience sent him looking for a new band. He says he wanted a special sound – the sound of people just sitting around playing music. This song from “ We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions” represents just that sound. It is called “Old Dan Tucker.”



I'm Doug Johnson. I hope you enjoyed our program today.

Our show was written by Shelley Gollust, Daniel Kirch and Jill Moss. Caty Weaver was our producer.

Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.