One Track Mind: Bruce Springsteen, "American Land" (2012)

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Bruce’s song of the immigrant underpinnings of America has become a staple of the E Street live experience. “American Land” first surfaced during the Seeger Sessions tour but since then has attached itself to the encore segment of most shows. As you might expect, this annoys a lot of people who attend multiple shows, with the usual refrains of “stale” and “worn out its welcome.” Well, some people are easily annoyed. Seriously, how can you get tired of these joyous words:

There’s diamonds in the sidewalk the gutter’s lined in song
Dear I hear that beer flows through the faucets all night long
There’s treasure for the taking, for any hard working man
Who will make his home in the American Land

Wrecking Ball sees an updated version that’s a little heavier, a little more rockin’. The Dropkick Murphy’s influence is hard to miss.

My ear parts have always loved this song. It’s Springsteen smashing headlong into The Pogues. It’s some righteous fun. Or, as Bruce shouted late one night in Hartford, just before launching into the final chorus: “Long live happiness!!”

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to Jazz.com, Blogcritics.org and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Mark Saleski
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