The Promised Land

Album: Darkness On The Edge Of Town (1978)
  • On a rattlesnake speedway in the Utah desert
    I pick up my money and head back into town
    Driving cross the Waynesboro county line
    I got the radio on and I'm just killing time
    Working all day in my daddy's garage
    Driving all night chasing some mirage
    Pretty soon little girl I'm gonna take charge

    The dogs on Main Street howl
    'Cause they understand
    If I could take one moment into my hands
    Mister I ain't a boy, no I'm a man
    And I believe in a promised land

    I've done my best to live the right way
    I get up every morning and go to work each day
    But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
    Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
    Explode and tear this whole town apart
    Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
    Find somebody itching for something to start


    There's a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
    I packed my bags and I'm heading straight into the storm
    Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
    That ain't got the faith to stand its ground
    Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
    Blow away the dreams that break your heart
    Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted


    I believe in a promised land...
    Na, na na, na na, na na,... Writer/s: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 12

  • Tim from San DiegoYou can’t understand this song unless you know the heartbreak that he went through up to this point. He basically still broke after Born to Run, paying off creditors and studio cost. But in the end he fought through and overcame! We all have to weather storms in our lives because for most of us the start with nothing.
  • Gary Steinberg from Ambler, PaSo was he really living in/near a desert town in Utah? It doesn't seem to fit or advance the lyric. Now he's in his daddy's garage. Is that in Utah, too. Why? it adds nothing. Next: one moment he's addressing his girl, and the next some Mister. All that breaks the sense of place or genuine "song-reality"..... And then finally he really
    hits his stride. I wonder why he didn't go back and edit out the b.s.
  • Cody from Windber, PaIf you do not understand what Bruce says in any of his songs you really should not listen to him. Almost all of bruce's songs,if not all of them are based on reality and his personal experiences.
  • Jim from Hillsdale, Nj, NjCharles you obviously just don't get Bruce. it is Ok, he is not for everyone. 90% of the people in our country can relate to a song like this. Life is about overcoming obsticles and trying to make the best out of life even though it can be very frustrating at times. Especially in the world we are living in today, it should not be hard to get Bruce's messages. Maybe you were born with a silver spoon in your hand, but not most!
    Can't wait for the finally tonight at The Stadium!!
  • Dave from Old Tappan, NjCharles from Bronxville was getting there but then got a little judgemental of the character. Being a man is never self-evident as the range of a person's insecurities vary widely in type and degree. We all have dreams but reality (like doing what it takes to get the bills paid)can either be a part of it, or in the character's case, keep him from whatever his dreams are. The song never implies that he made mistakes or was given breaks but failed to action them and is now whining about it. Nor does it say that life was so unfair it just beat him down. Interpretations as to the demographics surrounding this man's current condition is left up to the listener's interpretation. There are componenets that are implied but it's the concentration to a working man's human condition that the song focuses on.
  • Charles from Bronxville, NyIf one believes that their life's situation is purely a result of external forces over which they have little responsibility or control, then this is a brilliant comment on perseverance.

    If, however one believes that their actions and decisions are primarily responsible for where they "are in life" then I contend my previous observations of these lyrics will have validity.

    If you're a Springsteen fan it's likely that for you Bruce can do no wrong and you'll resort to calling me names. To these lovely people I can only reply "I know you are but what am I?"

    To quote Sgt. Hulka-
    "Lighten up, Francis"
  • Gene from San Diego, CaIt is more about how one would face difficult odds and fight off the going-to-lose feeling. The third verse analyzes how everyone will have to work for something they will really wish for. Even though their life isn't what one would really want, as shown in the first and second verse. Tell Charles I think he is a ****head and should reassess the song.
  • Charles from Bronxville, NyThis is a song about what what you think life is about when you're a kid. It is not clear what this boy is whining about, but he's a great complainer full of platitudes and trite, overused expressions. A teenager boy would find this song full of the wonderful angst and frustration that is so much of part of the needy world of the adolescent. Anyone with any real life experience will recognize that that this whining self centered little kid has a lot of growing up to do and boasting to the listener "Mister, I ain't a boy, no I'm a man" just re-inforces that both he and whoever he's addressing are less than sure of his status in that department. Being a man is something that is self evident.

    Perhaps this kid is unbalanced. He should probably seek some kind of professional help. There are plenty of decaffeinated brands that are as tasty as the real thing.
  • Mark from Lakewood, OhBruce's work over the years has led me to believe his definition of "faith" is as follows- "complete belief that your efforts will pay off big time."
  • Scott from St. Louis, MoMaybe my favorite song of all time. It's the most profound manifestation of all the themes present in Springsteen's music, and everything rock and roll should be about. It's inspiring, heartbreaking and intense. From the opening harmonica part it just grabs you. One of the Big Man's best solos, too. I'm 17, but Mister, I ain't a boy...
  • Tyler from Hamilton, CanadaBruce sings about how a hard working mechanic works in his daddy's garage. A hard working guy who works hard every day. This illustrates the fact further that Springsteen really is just a working man.

    An incredible song, a favourite at Springsteen shows to this day.
  • Carlos from Albacete, SpainThis song is one of Bruce´s favourites of his own compossitions
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