Studio rehearsal version

Well I dreamed I was a gypsy riding the land
With a tambourine and a gypsy queen and a rainbow caravan
Happy old land sailor, that's what I wanna be
Stealing diamonds from the rich men to throw in the sea

Singing look toward the land
'Cause the land holds the key
Keep an eye on the land
And an eye on the sea

Yes I dreamed I was the cabin boy on an American clipper line
Stealing cargo to colonies of South Caroline
Watering flowers for the captain that they may not wilt
On the best ol' clipper Donald McKay ever built

Singing look towards the land
'Cause the land is the key
Keep an eye on the land
And an eye on the sea

Whoa alright

Yes I dreamed I was the captain of the river queen
Caressing Mississippi waters down to New Orleans
Just a riverboat captain, that's what I wanna be
Won't you come -- come on now, I'd let you ride my mama for free

Singing look towards the river
'Cause the river's the key
Keep an eye on the river
And an eye on the sea

And you know it's all right

Where the river flows, I'll follow
Where the sun shines, I will go
Mama take my hand, I want to bring you to the land
Where the wild wind blows
And the mountains grow
And the people know
Yes they know
You must let the river flow
Let the river go

Where the river flows, I will follow
Where the sun shines, I must go
And mama take my hand, I want to bring you the land
Where the wild wind blows
And the people know
And the mountains grow
Yes they grow
And the river flows
Gotta let the river flow

Yes I dreamed I was a river flowing free
And I dreamed that everybody just flowed naturally
Yes I dreamed I was a crystal mountain stream
Running down the biggest mountain you ever seen

Singing look towards the river
For they are the key
Keep an eye on the river
And an eye on the sea

Dreamed I was your lover 'cause that's what I wanna be
I dreamed that every night you dreamed only of me
We walked together by the sea, a hand in hand
I'm telling you were my only woman and I'd be your only man

Singing look toward the lovers
For they are the key
Keep an eye on the lovers
And an eye on the war machine


LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND is a song written by Bruce Springsteen. He performed it live in 1971 and 1972.

The above lyrics are for a Bruce Springsteen Band studio rehearsal of LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND that took place in early 1972 at Challenger Eastern Surfboards in Highlands, NJ. See the below section for more details.

Challenger Eastern Surfboards Rehearsals

Bruce Springsteen wrote numerous songs in 1971 but did not record any material in a professional recording studio during that period. However, studio rehearsal sessions were frequently conducted at the Challenger Eastern Surfboards factory in Highlands, NJ, in 1971 and early 1972. The primary purpose of the sessions was not to make audio recordings, but to prepare for live shows. So only a fraction of this extensive body of rehearsal sessions was ever recorded, and when they were, it is an unfortunate reality that the reel-to-reel tapes made at Challenger Eastern were often erased and reused to record live shows.

Fortunately, high-quality audio of one Challenger East session is known to exist – a continuous 8-song / 83-minute segment of a rehearsal that took place in early 1972 at Challenger Eastern Surfboard. The recording was engineered and produced by Carl "Tinker" West. The session line-up was Bruce Springsteen, Steve Van Zandt, David Sancious, Garry Tallent, and Vini Lopez.

  8. DO IT WITH A FEELING [a partial take and a full take]

The recording is on three reel-to-reel tapes. The first two, which contains the first six songs listed above, is in circulation among collectors. The third reel, which contains the last two songs listed above, is no in circulation and remains in the hands of a private collector. This third tape may have been recorded before the other two.

The original tapes note the audio as emanating from 1972 but do not mention the exact date. However, according to Brucebase, this session is most definitely from very early in the year, prior to Springsteen's March 1972 contract signing with Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos. Bearing in mind that The Bruce Springsteen Band had been idle for over a month due to Springsteen's trip to California, it's likely that this rehearsal took place in order to prepare for the numerous shows scheduled for late January thru early March. Indeed, the arrangements of these songs are remarkably similar to those that have surfaced from live gigs during this specific period. Brucebase lists the recording under its 14 Mar 1972 entry.

In addition to 76 minutes of music, the recording contains nearly 7 minutes of between-song studio chat, much of it between Springsteen and Tinker West. The discussions seem to indicate that the primary intent of the session is for rehearsing, not recording, with the recording merely being done because West wanted to test some new recording equipment. The sound quality is uniformly excellent. Although all the audio is from the same day, it is evident from the discussions that the rehearsals had been going on for some hours before the recording started. It should be noted that this is not Challenger's more famous Wanamassa, NJ factory location, the one that Springsteen had lived at and rehearsed in during the 1969-1971 Child and Steel Mill era. Tinker West had relocated that factory to Highlands, NJ in mid-1971 and had then constructed a more professional rehearsal room (which included a control room like a regular studio) for the various bands he managed.

Live History

LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND is known to have been performed at least twice in Bruce Springsteen's early years (pre-October 1972). Very little is known about shows from this early period, and therefore, the song must have been played on some more dates.


As far as it's known, no artist has recorded and released Bruce Springsteen's LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND.

Credits / References

Thanks Albee Tellone for the help. Most of the above info about the Challenger Eastern Surfboards rehearsals and the song's live history is taken from Brucebase.


If you have any comments, additions, or corrections to this page, please contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

Available Versions

List of available versions of LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND on this website:

LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND [Studio rehearsal version]
LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND [Live 15 May 1971 version]
LOOK TOWARDS THE LAND [Live 23 Oct 1971 version]

Page last updated: 25 Jan 2017