Land of Hope and Dreams – a Bruce Springsteen song to relish this July 4th

Whether it is people in poverty, the abused, the disenfranchised, or specific groups whose civil rights are threatened, Bruce Springsteen has been a consistent voice of reason and support. Like Bono, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Harry Belafonte, Joni Mitchell, John Mellencamp, Elton John, etc., Springsteen does not mind sticking his neck out or 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 for what he does to help. It is not a stretch for him to do so.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – Land of Hope and Dreams (Live in New York City) – Bing video

15 thoughts on “Land of Hope and Dreams – a Bruce Springsteen song to relish this July 4th

  1. I have not heard this song before but yes, the lyrics are absolutely compelling, as you said. It truly is a song that describes the journey of all of us in general and individually. One world with so many passengers and their countless stories they carry along. Thanks for sharing, Keith!

    • Thanks Erika. I first heard it on a Springsteen compilation album, so I missed it the first time around, as well. It is a terrific message. Keith

      • Erika, agreed. I remember John Lennon writing “All you need is love” so simply to reach so many when it was recorded live on
        TV. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: Two songs that also stand out of his are “American Skin” also known as “41 Shots” about yet another dark skinned shooting death at the hands of overzealous police officers. The other is “The River” which highlights a life following a teen pregnancy which should be played in every high school freshmen orientation.

  3. The Boss never disappoints. A great song and I love this performance. I’d add Jackson Browne to your list of songwriters who care and make a difference – he’s been doing it for more than fifty years and is still as good as ever.

    • Clive, thanks for noting Jackson Browne. We got to see him a few years ago. Artists who give back make a huge impact beyond their own role as influencers. Keith

    • Dear Keith and Clive,

      I concur with both of you about The Boss. Keith, thank you for such a lovely introduction about him as follows:

      Whether it is people in poverty, the abused, the disenfranchised, or specific groups whose civil rights are threatened, Bruce Springsteen has been a consistent voice of reason and support. Like Bono, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Harry Belafonte, Joni Mitchell, John Mellencamp, Elton John, etc., Springsteen does not mind sticking his neck out or 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.

      Happy Sunday!
      Happy July!
      Happy Independence Day!
      Happy Summertime!

      “In SUMMER the song sings itself” ― William Carlos Williams

      Yours sincerely,
      SoundEagle

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