RCC Honors History Project

“The American Land”

Posted by nrohr on April 3, 2009

Just one more…this is a song I meant to post when we were doing How the Other Half Lives. I think it captures the great big dream of America and the hardships of the people who sought it. I’m posting a video, too. Before Barack Obama came along, hearing Springsteen and the E Street Band may have been the most patriotic moment of my life…

I couldn’t find a great video, but here’s one:

It has clips from Gangs of New York and Spanish subtitles 🙂 So here are the lyrics below:

The American Land
by Bruce Springsteen

What is this land America so many travel there
I’m going now while I’m still young my darling meet me there
Wish me luck my lovely I’ll send for you when I can
And we’ll make our home in the American land

Over there all the woman wear silk and satin to their knees
And children dear, the sweets, I hear, are growing on the trees
Gold comes rushing out the rivers straight into your hands
When you make your home in the American Land

There’s diamonds in the sidewalk the’s gutters 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

I docked at Ellis Island in a city of light and spires
She met me in the valley of red-hot steel and fire
We made the steel that built the cities with our sweat and two hands
And we made our home in the American Land

There’s diamonds in the sidewalk the’s gutters 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

The McNicholas, the Posalski’s, the Smiths, Zerillis, too
The Blacks, the Irish, Italians, the Germans and the Jews
Come across the water a thousand miles from home
With nothin in their bellies but the fire down below

They died building the railroads worked to bones and skin
They died in the fields and factories names scattered in the wind
They died to get here a hundred years ago they’re still dyin now
The hands that built the country were always trying to keep down

There’s diamonds in the sidewalk the gutters 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
Who will make his home in the American Land
Who will make his home in the American Land

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