Land of Hope and Dreams

Album: Wrecking Ball (2012)

Songfacts®:

  • A long standing encore staple on E Street Band tours, Springsteen first performed this song of hope for America's immigrants back in 1999.

    This train carries saints and sinners
    This train carries losers and winners
    This train carries whores and gamblers
    This train carries lost souls
    This train, dreams will not be thwarted
    This train faith will be rewarded


    The tune was reworked for Wrecking Ball with the addition of electronic drums and the Victorious Gospel Choir. It incorporates Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" into the mix.
  • This is one of only two songs on the album to include the late Clarence Clemons' saxophone, the other one being the title track. Said Springsteen at the unveiling of Wrecking Ball in Paris of his colleague who died in June 2011: "I met Clarence when I was 22, my son's age, still a child really. Something happened when we got close, it fired my imagination. So losing Clarence was like losing something elemental, the air or the rain. There's just something missing. We were lucky to get him on 'Land of Hope and Dreams.' When the sax solo comes up, its a lovely moment for me." (reported by The Daily Telegraph)
  • Speaking with NPR correspondent Ann Powers, Bruce said they spent a lot of time laying down this song, "because it was difficult to match or beat the live version." He added, "We played with it rhythmically, we played with it arrangementally; didn't know if we were gonna get it; didn't know if we had it. And then Bob Clearmountain came up with a mix of it that suddenly presented it to us and we said, 'OK, that's great.'"
  • The night of Joe Biden's 2021 inauguration, Springsteen opened the Celebrating America concert special with a solo performance of this song at the Lincoln Memorial. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, traditional inaugural balls were canceled and performances were either virtual or socially distanced.

    Springsteen threw his support to Biden during the election, appearing in promos for his campaign and allowing use of his songs.

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