Mansion On The Hill

Album: Nebraska (1982)
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Songfacts®:

  • Springsteen wrote this from a child's point of view. It's based on memories of a place Springsteen used to visit with his father.

    In the live version of "Mansion on the Hill" from Shoreline Amphitheatre '86, Springsteen mentions that the song is about when he was a kid and his father used to drive them out to this old house on the outside of town that felt really distant to Bruce. "My father was always transfixed by money," Bruce explained. "He used to drive out of town and look at this big white house. It became a kind of touchstone for me. Now, when I dream, sometimes I'm on the outside looking in – and sometimes I'm the man on the inside."
  • According to the book Bruce by Peter Carlin, around 1970 Springsteen took his girlfriend out to a family meeting at his grandfather Zerelli's house, which they referred to as "the house on the hill."

    The lyrics in the song also mention a sister, which suggests Bruce implicitly talks about his sister. Later in the book there is a confirmation of this: "Recollections of a summertime party in "Mansion on the Hill" (the name clearly reminiscent of Anthony Zerilli's House on the Hill) filter through the stalks of corn where the uninvited young narrator hides with his sister to take in the music and lights." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Rasmus - Stockholm, Sweden, for above 2
  • This was the first song Springsteen finished writing for Nebraska. Springsteen recorded it as a demo on a 4-track tape recorder in his house on Jan 3, 1982. This and the other songs he recorded that day became the album.
  • "Mansion On The Hill" is also the title of 1948 Hank Williams song.
  • Johnny Cash covered this on the 2000 album Badlands: A Tribute to Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska.

Comments: 2

  • Mark from Worcester, MiBruce would sometimes talk about how he used to look up at, but now lives in, the mansion on the hill.
  • Dan from Winthrop, MaAlso a title of a song from Ragged Glory a feed back drenched album by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
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