Land of Hope and Dreams – Bruce Springsteen anthem for us all

There has been some push back on Bruce Springsteen by more conservative voters in North Carolina for canceling a concert in Greensboro in protest of the oppressive law that was passed that restricted the rights of LGBT folks, in general, as well as the rights of transgender people specifically. But, this is not new for Springsteen to lend his voice to fight for the disenfranchised folks in the world. In fact, if people listen to his songs, many are about those who have little voice in a society that sometime steps on them.

One of my many favorite Springsteen songs is called “Land of Hope and Dreams” which speaks of the train taking us all to a better place. To me the song lives in the chorus which is repeated often as the song winds down. This is one song where the live version sounds better than the studio-recorded one, in part as the studio version was recorded after Clarence Clemons had passed with his saxophone being overdubbed.

Here are most of the lyrics, with the chorus highlighted at the end.
Grab your ticket and your suitcase, thunder’s rolling down this track
Well, you don’t know where you’re going now, but you know you won’t be back
Well, darling, if you’re weary, lay your head upon my chest
We’ll take what we can carry, yeah, and we’ll leave the rest

Well, big wheels roll through the fields where sunlight streams
Meet me in a land of hope and dreams

I will provide for you and I’ll stand by your side
You’ll need a good companion now for this part of the ride
Yeah, leave behind your sorrows, let this day be the last
Well, tomorrow there’ll be sunshine and all this darkness past

Well, big wheels roll through fields where sunlight streams
Oh, meet me in a land of hope and dreams

Well, this train carries saints and sinners
This train carries losers and winners
This train carries whores and gamblers
This train carries lost souls

I said, this train, dreams will not be thwarted
This train, faith will be rewarded
This train, hear the steel wheels singing
This train, bells of freedom ringing

Yes, this train carries saints and sinners
This train carries losers and winners
This train carries whores and gamblers
This train carries lost souls

I said, this train carries broken-hearted
This train, thieves and sweet souls departed
This train carries fools and kings thrown
This train, all aboard

I said, now this train, dreams will not be thwarted
This train, faith will be rewarded
This train, the steel wheels singing
This train, bells of freedom ringing

Folks, The Boss’ words are compelling. We are all imperfect. We are all sinners. But, there is a place on the train for everyone. I for one applaud Springsteen’s stance. It is not a stretch for him to make it.


44 thoughts on “Land of Hope and Dreams – Bruce Springsteen anthem for us all

  1. We just heard that our Bryan Adams did exactly the same re concert in Mississippi! More power to them! It is so nice to see examples of where $$$$$ are not the most important item “on the menu”!

      • I agree. This train has left the station. Remember the post mortem for the GOP after the Romney loss, which ironically was here in Charlotte. Former GOP Governor Bobby Jindal said “we have to stop being the stupid party.” The party wanted to pursue other demographic groups. With Trump, Cruz and now these state actions (which have been occurring through ALEC for several years), they have run in the opposite direction. To me, that is where Rubio threw his chance away – he could have represented younger voters on being the future of the GOP – but he wanted to out-Trump Trump.

  2. Wow, that’s absolutely awesome. It really fits my quote totally. I love the lyrics. Thank you for sharing this. I will go to YouTube and listen to the song now.

      • I did, Keith! Awesome and powerful. He truly deserves the title The Boss! It would be great if you could provide a link to your posts about songs, just to make sure that people listen to the version you are talking about! At least the one I listened to was really great!!! Thank you for sharing this song with us. I did not know the song before…. shame on me… lol!

      • I am glad you liked it. I have tended to stay away from links, as I wanted to focus on the words. But, will start doing so at your request.

      • I understand that! I think it only matters when there is really a particular version and you could decide from post to post 😊

  3. Love that Jersey boy. Loved him back when he was on my soap opera back in the 80’s. He’s not the only one pulling out of deals. I read the Duetch bank unsure of spelling was suppose to bring some 900 jobs to the erea has changed their minds. I think these acts are good. As they say money talks.

      • I heard on PBS Newshour, NC Governor Pat McCrory has decided to continue the protection for public employees for sexual orientation. He is asking the General Assembly to restore that by amending that portion of the new law which took it away. He said nothing about the transgender bathroom issue. He also spoke very condescendingly about misunderstandings and hypocrisy which some have tried to paint companies and entertainers with who have made demonstrative statements or actions against the bill. But, he said he was listening.

        My hope is someone will push for a vote to repeal it. I think they GOP recognizes they screwed up, and are trying everything short of repeal. But, the pressure will continue.

    • Yes Ma’am, not only does money talk, it screams. And I find it hard to keep quiet as well, so I just wanted, for the record, to suggest you may be confusing Rick Springfield with Mr. Bruce Springsteen. An honest mistake, that in fact, I’m sure I’ve made on occasion. But that allows me to link to the Great Clarence Clemons and an early Springsteen doing 10th Avenue Freeze Out.


  4. Keith, firstly, thanks for posting this, secondly, I concur. I was dismayed at the pushback and hope Dolly Parton et al, will follow his brave lead. My favorite Springstein L.P. is Tunnel of Love. He’s a genius poet in that album, his words swallow me.

  5. While understanding the discomfort that some may feel in discussing the best way to facilitate public facilities for all our fellow citizens, I, for the life of me, can’t fantom why a segment of the political power feels the need to approach the problem with such blatant mean-spiritedness. And it’s not as if there’s not a track record of push back by the economic powers that be. Just ask the Gov. of Indiana. This isn’t politics, or policy…. it’s idiocy.

    Over/under…Carolina over turns the law within six weeks.

    Nice and timely post Keith.


    • Thanks Doug. Let’s hope so. The Governor is walking back what he can as of yesterday, but in our state, the Governor does not have too much power. This law was rammed through the General Assembly and signed by the Governor in less than one day in a special session. This means they had to rush in to do such damage to our state and its citizens. As I noted earlier, the transgender bathroom part gives the illusion of safety, but is not policeable. Plus, we have forced folks who look like their preferred gender to go in a restroom that would cause more problems. The sad part is too many folk have equated transgender folks with predators, which the data does not support. True predators often look like the nice neighbor next door.

    • I agree. They really screwed up on this one, which is why they are attacking back to save face. What may not be reported nationally is 13 groups have canceled conventions – that means lost hotel, restaurant, cab fares, über fares, tips , etc.

    • Susan, we have to fight the fight. With ALEC’s cookie cutter language, this is being considered in several state houses. It is entirely political as the legislation accomplishes little except make the state look foolish and backward.

  6. Note to Readers: The conservative leaning Kathleen Parker wrote an excellent editorial on the bigotry and economical suicide of the NC law. She noted that 75,000 of 600,000 furniture retailers have canceled trips to the Semi-annual Furniture Mart in High Point, NC. This city relies heavily on this event and has come close to losing it to sexier places like Las Vegas. So, the impact of this law is more than short term. I also read that some of the conventions being canceled or under consideration of such are after this year, so unless changed, it may be the gift that keeps giving.

  7. Note to Readers: Our General Assembly here continues to hold firm blaming everyone who is against this as liberal extremists. They also equate this with Houston’s law, where they did not see business reaction against. The difference is our General Assembly added discrimination into the law. Another update pegs 20 convention cancelations just in Charlotte, with an estimated economic loss of $86 million.

  8. Sorry…I do need to add this note.

    We’ve had unisex bathrooms and domestic partnership in San Francisco for decades and people are still growing up straight and having babies.

    Some of these straight people had openly gay parents.

    All of them grew up in a city where gays are very visible.

    The right also used this bathroom nonsense in the 1970’s to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment.

      • Every last bit of justice on this planet is resisted by reactionaries who are always biggest losers in the perfect right wing world that they envision…

        They will always be at the bottom of the class structure despite their fervent devotion to their rich manipulators.

        What does an unemployed white father of two have to gain from so called Right to Work Laws and cuts in the SNAP program?


        Why does he vote for these things?

        Because he’s brainwashed into believing that preserving the illusion of white privilege is more important than feeding and schooling his children.

      • I totally agree. Also, why is increasing the minimum wage a bad thing? Why is having access to healthcare a bad thing? I have written before how more than 1/2 of the GOP voters are voting against their economic interests. This is where the Trump appeal comes in. What they do not realize is the GOP has mislead them for years about representing their specific economic interests and Trump is just a different version of self-interest that sounds appealing, but is built on a house of cards.

      • There is a great quote from a CFO in “The Rich and the Rest of Us.” He said a business leader would get by with hiring no one if he could. This dovetails the venture capitalist on a Ted Talk who said giving me a tax break will not make me buy something. I can only eat so many meals and own so many things. He said it is arrogant for people to call themselves “job creators.” He said customers create jobs not business leaders. A minimum wage or extended EITC would be accretive to the economy.

      • Was that CFO a Millennial?

        I see a great deal of criticism of the Millennial generation but I like them and find their common sense humanism hopeful and long overdue.

        We Baby Boomers did change some of the World for the better…we also made serious mistakes that we seem loathe to correct.

        The guy in that Ted Talk made an observation that seems painfully obvious — unless ignoring the obvious is the agenda.

        I keep going back to the problem of the mentally ill homeless.

        It is obvious our mental health policies are a failure

        It is obvious that a person with an illness that affects judgment and insight will refuse treatment

        It is obvious that under those circumstances imposed treatment is not a breach of civil rights but an act of compassion for both the individual and the community.

        All of this was obvious before ‘de-institutionalization’ and the failure of ‘de-institutionalization’ was obvious by 1985.

        This means that our nation’s political and business leaders have spent decades passively destroying the lives of thousands of innocent men and woman by refusing to recognize and act on the obvious.

        If the Millennial generation make it possible for people to walk our city streets without the daily assault of the sight and stench of people living in artificially induced poverty then I gladly support them as they assume control of the direction of our country.

      • I love your comments about acceptance of differences, understanding of mental health challenges, etc. I would add they are far more environmentally conscious than us baby boomers. We do need more baby boomers to raise issues and abet the discussions on these important issues. We need to also help identify when candidates, politicians and businesses are being less than truthful. Look for a post tomorrow on ExxonMobil’s troubles with the NY AG for misrepresentations.

    • Hugh, while the bathroom feature gets the notoriety and disinformation from the law proponents, most North Carolinians think the law went too far and feel it is costing us business. Our General Assembly is renowned for unconstitutional laws. Keith

      • It’s not only costing your state business. It is making them look like a bunch of reactionary no-minds. Not long ago your state was at the cutting edge. Now they want to retreat into a fictional past.

      • Hugh, you are so right. What is underestimated is the negative echo bounces higher and lingers longer. Now, first thoughts of our state may be negative rather than good for business. Keith

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