THIS HARD LAND

Live 09 Dec 1995 version


[Spoken intro:] (chuckles) Ah you're a bunch of suckers, alright (chuckles). This is a song about hope, friendship, community, struggle, survival, every Western movie I ever saw. About how it ain't over till it's over.

Well hey there mister, can you tell me what happened to the seeds I've sown
Can you give me a reason, sir, as to why they never grown
Well they just blown around from town to town till they're back out on these fields
Where they fall from my hand back into the dirt of this hard land

Now me and my sister, from Germantown yeah we did ride
We made our beds, sir, from the rock on the mountain side
We've been blown around from town to town, yeah looking for a place to land
Where the sun bursts through the clouds to fall like a circle, like a circle of fire down on this hard land

Now even the rain it don't come around, don't come around here no more
And the only sound at night's the wind, the wind slamming that back porch door
Well it just stirs you up like it wants to blow you down, yeah just twisting and churning up the sand
Leaving all them scarecrows lying face down, face down in the dirt of this hard land
Hey!

From a building up on the hill I can hear a beat box blasting "Home On The Range"
I can see them bar rim choppers sweeping low across the plains
And it's me and you Frank, we're looking for lost cattle, our hooves twisting and churning up the sand
We're riding in the whirlwind, searching for lost treasure way down south of the Rio Grande
We're riding across that river in the moonlight yeah up onto the banks of this hard land

Hey Frank, won't you pack your bags and meet me tonight down at Liberty Hall
I just want a kiss from you my brother and we'll ride 'til we fall
We'll sleep in the fields, we'll sleep by the rivers and in the morning we'll make a plan
Well if you can't make it, stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive if you can and meet me in a dream of this hard land
Say!

[Spoken outro:] Thank you.


Info

The above lyrics are for the live 09 Dec 1995 performance of THIS HARD LAND at Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA, during The Ghost Of Tom Joad Solo Acoustic Tour. In this version Springsteen replaces "tape deck" with "beat box".

Ticket stub for the 09 Dec 1995 show at Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA
Ticket stub for the 09 Dec 1995 show at Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA

Columbia Records Radio Hour

A selection of four studio tracks from The Ghost Of Tom Joad album (see track list below) intercepted with interview segments with journalist Bob Costas were originally broadcast on the 21 Nov 1995 edition of the syndicated Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show which aired on U.S. album oriented rock stations. Costas conducted the interview with Bruce Springsteen that same day (21 Nov 1995) either prior to or following Springsteen's public warm-up show at the State Theater in New Brunswick, NJ. A total of 35 minutes of the 90-minute interview were used in the radio show.

Additionally, one track from Springsteen's 08 Dec 1995 show and nine tracks from his 09 Dec 1995 show at Upper Darby's Tower Theater (see track list below) were broadcast on the 14 Dec 1995 edition of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.

The complete Columbia Records Radio Hour show was officially issued in December 1995 on cassette and reel-to-reel tapes for promotional use in the United States. Six of the ten live tracks from part 2 of the radio show (the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast) were never made available in commercial form.

  1. THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [1995 album version]
  2. SINALOA COWBOYS [Album version]
  3. YOUNGSTOWN [Album version]
  4. STRAIGHT TIME [Album version]
  1. THE GHOST OF TOM JOAD [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  2. STRAIGHT TIME [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  3. DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  4. BORN IN THE U.S.A. [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  5. YOUNGSTOWN [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  6. SINALOA COWBOYS [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  7. BALBOA PARK [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  8. DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET? [Live 08 Dec 1995 version]
  9. THIS HARD LAND [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
  10. STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]

Side A is part 1 of the radio show: the 21 Nov 1995 broadcast. The tracks on this side are interspersed with segments from the interview with Bob Costas. Side B is part 2 of the radio show: the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast.

Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour Part 1 & 2
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour Part 1 & 2

MC - Columbia (CAT 7698) - USA, 1995

Promotion-only cassette tape.

Side A: part 1
Side B: part 2
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour Part 1

MC - NOW! Recording Systems (no catalog number) - USA, 1995

Promotion-only cassette tape. This release contains only part 1 of the radio show (the 21 Nov 1995 broadcast) on one side, while the other side is blank.

Side A: part 1
Side B: blank
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour

2-reel-to-reel- Columbia (no catalog number) - USA, 1995

Set of two promotion-only reel-to-reel tapes, comes in two separate boxes featuring labels with company logos of the manufacturer "NOW! Recording Systems, Inc.". These are 10.5-inch reel-to-reel tapes, 1/2" wide, and run at 7.5 in/s.

Reel 2: part 1
Reel 1: part 2

Part 2 of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show (the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast) was commercially released in the UK. Since 2005 some enterprising record labels in the UK have been releasing Bruce Springsteen radio and TV broadcasts (and some soundboard recordings) from the seventies, eighties, and nineties. Though these releases are not authorized by Bruce Springsteen or his record company, they are lawful due to a legal loophole in the UK.

Bruce Springsteen -- 1995 Radio Hour - The Tom Joad Sessions
Bruce Springsteen -- 1995 Radio Hour - The Tom Joad Sessions

CD - Good Ship Funke (GSF020) - UK, 2016

This release contains the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.
Bruce Springsteen -- Upper Darby Theater '95
Bruce Springsteen -- Upper Darby Theater '95

CD - Rox Vox (RVCD2045) - UK, 2016

This release contains the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour
Bruce Springsteen -- Columbia Records Radio Hour

Digital album - Lilith Records (no catalog number) - UK, 2016

This is a download-only digital album. It contains the 14 Dec 1995 broadcast of the Columbia Records Radio Hour radio show.

Other Official Releases

The live 09 Dec 1995 performance of THIS HARD LAND was also released on the B-side of DEAD MAN WALKIN' in Europe and included on the Dead Man Walkin' European EP in 1996. It was also included on the Live & Rare European EP in 2003.

Bruce Springsteen -- Dead Man Walkin' (Holland single, front sleeve)
Bruce Springsteen -- Dead Man Walkin'

7-inch single - Columbia (663190 7) - Holland, 1996

Never available in stores, but distributed directly by employees of Columbia/Sony Holland's Haarlem offices to private collectors and fan clubs.

A1- DEAD MAN WALKIN'
B1- THIS HARD LAND [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Dead Man Walkin' (Austria single, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- Dead Man Walkin'

CD EP - Columbia (663190 1) - Austria, 1996

Austrian pressing for the European market.

01- DEAD MAN WALKIN'
02- THIS HARD LAND [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Dead Man Walkin' (Austria EP, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- Dead Man Walkin'

CD EP - Columbia (663190 2) - Austria, 1996

Austrian pressing for the European market.

01- DEAD MAN WALKIN'
02- HIGHWAY 29
03- THIS HARD LAND [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
04- DOES THIS BUS STOP AT 82ND STREET? [Live 08 Dec 1995 version]
Bruce Springsteen -- Live & Rare (Austria EP, front)
Bruce Springsteen -- Live & Rare
CD EP - Columbia (SAMPCM 12867 2 / 0128672000) - Austria, 2003

Austrian promo pressing for the European market. This promo EP was issued as a freebie item for customers purchasing any Springsteen CD at selected record stores throughout Europe during his tour of the continent in May and June 2003.

01- GROWIN' UP [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]
02- DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
03- THIS HARD LAND [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
04- THE BIG MUDDY [Live 22 Sep 1992 version]

Available Versions

List of available versions of THIS HARD LAND on this website:

THIS HARD LAND [Official 1982 studio version]
THIS HARD LAND [Official 1995 studio version]
THIS HARD LAND [Unofficial 1995 studio version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 23 Mar 1993 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 21 Feb 1995 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 05 Apr 1995 (Sony Music Studios) version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 28 Oct 1995 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 09 Dec 1995 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 11 Dec 1998 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 14 Dec 1998 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 29 Jun 2000 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 19 Feb 2003 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 20 Feb 2003 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 28 Jul 2013 version]
THIS HARD LAND [Live 28 Jan 2014 version]

Page last updated: 24 Feb 2015