THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD

Live 10 Dec 1998 version


[Concert presenter (spoken intro):] Encore une fois, Bruce Springsteen!

[Bruce Springsteen (spoken intro):] Merci. C'est bon de vous voir.

Yeah men walking 'long the railroad tracks
Going someplace, there's no going back
Highway patrol choppers coming up over the ridge
Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretching 'round the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleeping in their cars in the southwest
No home, no job, no peace, no rest

Well the highway is alive tonight
Nobody's kidding nobody about where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
I'm searching for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls a prayer book out of his sleeping bag
Preacher lights up a butt and he takes a drag
Waiting for when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box 'neath the underpass
You got a one-way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand
Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock
Bathing in the city aqueduct

Well the highway is alive tonight
Where it's headed everybody knows
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
Just waiting on the ghost of Tom Joad

Tom said, "Ma, wherever there's a cop beating a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cry
Where there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Well look for me, Mom, I'll be there
Where there's somebody fighting for a place to stand
Or a decent job or a helping hand
Wherever somebody's struggling to be free
Well look in their eyes, Mom, you'll see me"

Yeah the highway is alive tonight
But where it's headed everybody knows
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
Just searching for the ghost of Tom Joad


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 10 Dec 1998 performance of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy in Paris, France, during a benefit show for the Amnesty International Foundation. The song was played in a sped-up solo acoustic guitar and harmonica arrangement.

The 10 Dec 1998 Show

Following a successful court case settled in London earlier that day, Bruce Springsteen flew to Paris on 10 Dec 1998 where he joined the cast of performers for a benefit show for the Amnesty International Foundation commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights (UDHR). The concert took place at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy in Paris and was broadcast on French TV. Springsteen's appearance was not promoted (see poster and ticket scans below).

Promotional poster for the 10 Dec 1998 show at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, Paris, France
Promotional poster for the 10 Dec 1998 show at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, Paris, France
Ticket stub for the 10 Dec 1998 show at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, Paris, France
Ticket stub for the 10 Dec 1998 show at Palais Omnisports De Paris-Bercy, Paris, France

Springsteen first joined Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, and Youssou N'Dour on GET UP STAND UP, just like they did 10 year earlier during the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! Tour, before performing a 4-song acoustic set of his own: THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD, BORN IN THE U.S.A., WORKING ON THE HIGHWAY, and NO SURRENDER.

  1. GET UP STAND UP (with Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, and Youssou N'Dour)
  2. THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD (solo)
  3. BORN IN THE U.S.A. (solo)
  4. WORKING ON THE HIGHWAY (solo)
  5. NO SURRENDER (solo)

BORN IN THE U.S.A. was performed twice due to equipment failure.

Available Versions

List of available versions of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD on this website:

THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [1995 album version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [2006 studio version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [2009 (first) studio version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [2009 (second) studio version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [2014 album version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 28 Oct 1995 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 27 Nov 1995 (NBC Studios) version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 20 Feb 1996 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 23 Feb 1996 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 19 Mar 1996 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 27 Apr 1996 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 26 Feb 1997 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 05 May 1997 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 22 Jan 1998 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 10 Dec 1998 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 19 Mar 1999 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 10 Mar 2000 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [26 Jun 2000 rehearsal version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 19 Feb 2002 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 16 Sep 2003 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 14 May 2005 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 19 Nov 2006 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 07 Apr 2008 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 04 Oct 2008 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 05 Oct 2008 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 06 Oct 2008 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 15 Apr 2009 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 03 May 2009 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 07 May 2009 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 29 Oct 2009 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 15 Mar 2012 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 26 Apr 2012 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 11 Jul 2012 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 11 Feb 2014 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 16 Jul 2016 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 25 Aug 2016 version]
THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Rage Against The Machine's cover version]

Page last updated: 20 Sep 2016