Land Of Hope And Dreams (2012)

Bruce Springsteen

Wrecking Ball
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Part of Springsteen’s onstage repertoire since 1999 but first released as a studio cut only in 2012, “Land Of Hope And Dreams (This Train)” drives the golden spike into America, past present and future. It does the same with the entire Springsteen canon. The song echoes, it stands tall, it ponders, it worries. Like the train at the center of the work, it enters a tunnel of despair and emerges if not quite in victory, certainly beaming with hope.

Clarence Clemons plays one of his last solos on the song. Woody Guthrie inhabits it, setting alive again all the sentiments of the Folk songs he learned riding the rails. The Victorious Gospel Choir of Asbury Park, New Jersey, exhales clouds of church-going faith vibes. There is a touch of Highland Fling to it. America, America, all that has come and gotten lost and found again through the magnificence of Rock-N-Roll – it’s all there.

Curtis Mayfield’s stupendous classic “People Get Ready” sneaks in at the very end because for all the irreligiousness running through the land, the collective attraction of the pure feeling of church continues to attract us.

Only a train, only a train, only a train can convey all of that. The power, the loss, the plea for renewal, the plea for inclusion.

This Train
Carries lost souls
This Train
Dreams will not be thwarted
This Train
Faith will be rewarded
This Train
Hear the steel wheels singin’
This Train
Bells of freedom ringin’