Like everyone else from New Jersey, I love Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen fandom was made mandatory for all New Jersey residents through a state constitutional amendment that was passed sometime in the early 80s. You gotta problem with that?

Seriously, I love Bruce. And as I’ve written before in this space, I also adore Lorde, the teen pop sensation from New Zealand. But I never thought of them as inhabiting the same musical universe, which is why his cover of her breakthrough hit from last year, “Royals,” is as delightful as it is unexpected. It’s an unlikely pairing because musically and generationally, the two are so different. But once you start thinking about their work thematically — the class-conscious populism, especially — it makes absolute sense.

Here’s the clip of his performance, which is from a concert earlier this year in Australia. As you can see, the passion is still there, even after decades of performing. He may be a 64-year old covering a song composed by a teenager, but the man sings like it he wrote it. It totally works.

YouTube video

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Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee