“We Weren’t Born to Follow” is the first single released in August 2009 from Bon Jovi’s eleventh studio album, The Circle. The single premiered on radio on August 17, 2009. Jon Bon Jovi explained to the Daily Mail that this song is “about working people picking themselves up by their bootstraps in hard times.” The single was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
Since then, the song has reached the peak position on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 68.
The music video for the song was released on October 14, 2009. It features the band performing on the roof of the Clinton Recording Studios in New York City with skyscrapers visible behind them. Interspersed with these scenes are archive clips and pictures of important events and people in history. These echo the themes of the song. The video includes images of:
- Bringing down the Berlin Wall in 1989
- Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France
- The Dalai Lama
- A collection of the Wright brothers plane, a space shuttle and Spaceship One of Virgin Galactic
- Virgin Records owner Richard Branson
- The Great Wall of China
- The protests at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 and the famous Tank Man picture
- Images of US President Barack Obama
- Princess Diana in Africa
- Patrick Thibodeau, a renowned basketball player of Cumberland, Maine, who suffers from Down’s Syndrome, playing on the Greely High School boys’ basketball team.
- Martin Luther King delivering the “I Have a Dream” speech
- Protests about climate change
- The late guitarist Les Paul
- The successful emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 and pilot Chesley Burnett Sullenberger III
- Scenes of the separation stage of a Saturn V rocket along with various astronauts in EVA
- Gloria Steinem and feminist demonstrations.
- Robert Kennedy
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu
- 2009–2010 Iranian election protests
For the week ending November 21, the music video for “We Weren’t Born to Follow” reached number 1 on the VH1 Top 20 in the USA.
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