THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD

Rage Against The Machine's cover version


Man walks along the railroad track
He's going someplace and there's no turning back
The highway patrol chopper coming up over the ridge
Man sleeps by a campfire under the bridge
The shelter line stretching around the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleeping in their cars out in the Southwest
No job, no home, no peace, no rest, no rest!

And the highway is alive tonight
Nobody's fooling nobody as to where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
Searching for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls his prayer book out of his sleeping bag
The preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
He's waiting for the time when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box 'neath the underpass
With a one way ticket to the promised land
With a hole in your belly and a gun in your hand
Looking for a pillow of solid rock
Bathing in the city's aqueduct

Rock!

Well the highway is alive tonight
Nobody's fooling nobody as to where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad

Now Tom said, "Ma, whenever you've seen a cop beating a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Wherever there's a fight against the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me, Ma, I'll be there
Wherever somebody's struggling for a place to stand
For a decent job or a helping hand
Wherever somebody is struggling to be free
Look in their eyes, Ma, you'll see me
You'll see me!
You'll see me!
You'll see me!
You'll see me!
You'll see me!
You'll see me!
You'll see me!
You'll see me!

Rock!
Yeah!

And the highway is alive tonight
Nobody's fooling nobody as to where it goes
I'm sitting down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of Tom Joad


Info

The above lyrics are for Rage Against The Machine's cover version of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD. The song was originally releases as a free single which shipped with an early release of the VHS version of their 1997 home video Rage Against The Machine.

Rage Against The Machine -- Rage Against The Machine
Rage Against The Machine -- Rage Against The Machine

VHS + CD - Epic Music Video (19V 50160) - USA, 1997

Early release of the Rage Against The Machine home video came in box set that also included The Ghost Of Tom Joad bonus single (catalogue no. ESK 3455). The VHS also contains a version of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD recorded live on 19 Sep 1997 in Irvine, CA.

This set was also released in Australia, Europe, and Japan.

Rage Against The Machine re-recorded THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD for their 2000 album Renegades. That version differs slightly form the 1997 single version, with some musical rearrangement and more heavily echoed vocals, but the lyrics are exactly the same. The band also released several live versions of the song, including the one released on the above-mentioned home video.

Other Official Releases

The 1997 original version of Rage Against The Machine's cover version of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD was released as a single and was also included on a various artists benefit album. The 2000 re-recorded version was released on the Renegades.

Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad

CD single - Epic (SAMP 1001) - Australia, 1997

Promo, housed in a black die-cut generic card sleeve.

01- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad

CD single - Epic (SAMP 990) - Australia, 1997

This single was included with the Australian issue of the Rage Against The Machine home video.

01- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
02- VIETNOW [Live]
03- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live]
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad

CD single - Epic (SAMPCS 4742) - Europe, 1997

Promo.

01- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad

CD single - Epic (XPCD2223) - Europe, 1997

This single was included with the European issue of the Rage Against The Machine home video.

01- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
02- VIETNOW [Live]
03- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live]
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad

MiniCD single - Sony Records (SRVM 1531) - Japan, 1997

This single was included with the Japanese issue of the Rage Against The Machine home video.

01- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
02- VIETNOW [Live]
03- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live]
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad

7" single - Epic (ES7 3705) - USA, 1997

Promo.

A1- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
B1- VIETNOW [Live]
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad
Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad

CD single - Epic (ESK 3455) - USA, 1997

This single was included with the U.S. issue of the Rage Against The Machine home video.

01- THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD
Various artists -- No Boundaries: A Benefit For The Kosovar Refugees
Various artists -- No Boundaries: A Benefit For The Kosovar Refugees

CD - Epic (EK 63653) - USA, 1999

Includes the 1997 original version of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD. This album was also released in Europe, Australia, and Latin America with various bonus tracks not found on the U.S. and Canada issues.
Rage Against The Machine -- Renegades
Rage Against The Machine -- Renegades

CD - Epic (EK 85289) - USA, 2000
LP - Epic (E 85289) - USA, 2000

Includes the 2000 re-recorded version of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD.

Request

Please contact me if you have scans for or info about any official release containing Rage Against The Machine's cover version of THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD that's not mentioned on this page. I also need scans for the following releases:

  • Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad || CD single - Epic (SAMP 1001) - Australia, 1997
  • Rage Against The Machine -- The Ghost Of Tom Joad || CD single - Epic (SAMP 990) - Australia, 1997

Any additions, comments, or corrections to this page are welcome. You can contact me via the below form or by email: . You will be credited. Thanks in advance.

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: 13 Oct 2016