Springsteen closes his seventeenth album, Wrecking Ball, with this campfire song for the oppressed and downtrodden, who having passed away have risen again, their faith rewarded. Springsteen's Catholic upbringing has surfaced from time to time in his lyrics over the years, and Wrecking Ball is filled with biblical imagery. "I got brainwashed as a child with Catholicism," joked Springsteen at an unveiling of the album in Paris , adding that he almost can't help including references from the scriptures into his songs almost unbidden. "Its like Al Pacino in The Godfather: I try to get out but they pull you back in! Once a Catholic, always a Catholic." (Reported by The Daily Telegraph.)
American multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz plays the prominent banjo that can be heard on this song. He has appeared throughout the years on hundreds of recordings by artists including Smashing Pumpkins, Ray Lamontagne, Beck, Joni Mitchell, Sheryl Crow, Robert Plant, Alison Krauss and Bon Iver.
Recognise that horn riff? Co-producer Ron Aniello borrowed it from Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire."