According to Racing in the Street: The Bruce Springsteen Reader
, this is "his song about an American workingman who has grown weary of living in a country that urges you to dream and then leaves 'you nothing but lost and brokenhearted.'"
Bruce performed this song live in front of the Federal Building in the downtown Westwood section of Los Angeles during a political rally. One of the issues at the time was Proposition 209, which sought the sharp reduction of affirmative-actions programs across the state. Bruce said he felt America should be a country where everyone could find "work that fulfills you, brings meaning and purpose to your life." He continued by saying "I believe that the Promised Land is still attainable, but we're not there yet. Let's stand together in defense of that Promised Land."
Mike - Johnstown, PA