Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Springsteen Lyrics of the Week - Land of Hope and Dreams


This train....
Carries saints and sinners
This train....
Carries losers and winners
This train....
Carries whore and gamblers
- "Land of Hope and Dreams", from Wrecking Ball

Even before Wrecking Ball, I loved the live version of "Land of Hope and Dreams", especially his listing of the passengers on the train.  The extra emphasis on the "whores" always stood out to me.  Upon re-examination, this is an interesting listing, as the first two sets of passengers are diametric opposites, whereas whores and gamblers seem like two peas in a pod.  I believe Bruce is linking these two together to highlight that neither "sin" is completely black-and-white, as the gamblers and whores fall into a gray area.  

He hasn't shied away from either subject in the past, with songs like "Reno" and "Lucky Man" portraying depictions of both lifestyles.  Pulling from my own life, I do love to gamble, and, while I have no desire to use the services of a lady of the night, I recently read a graphic novel called "Paying For It" by Chester Brown which explored the world of prostitution and raised many interesting points that may make people question their stance on the issue.  Regardless, the overall message of the song is that there is room for everyone upon this "train", and we should leave our judgments aside to better help everyone improve their worlds.