Where the road is dark, and the seed is sowed
Where the gun is cocked, and the bullet's cold
Where the miles are marked in the blood and gold
I'll meet you further on up the road

Got on my dead man's suit and my smilin' skull ring
My lucky graveyard boots, and song to sing
I got a song to sing, to keep me out of the cold
And I'll meet you further on up the road

Further on up the road
further on up the road
Where the way is dark and the night is cold
One sunny morning we'll rise, I know
And I'll meet you further on up the road

Now I been out in the desert, just doin' my time
Searching through the dust, lookin' for a sign
If there's a light up ahead, well brother I don't know
But I got this fever burnin' in my soul
So let's take the good times as they go
And I'll meet you further on up the road

Further on up the road
Further on up the road
Further on up the road
Further on up the road

One sunny mornin' we'll rise I know
And I'll meet you further on up the road
One sunny morning we'll rise I know
And I'll meet you further on up the road

Lyrics submitted by deathbear

Further On (Up the Road) song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentwow, i cant believe no one has left a comment. i love this song. its my favorite from The Rising.

    anyway, my idea is that he is searching for something, a relationship or something else, but he cant seem to find it. "Now I been out in the desert, just doin' my time Searching through the dust, lookin' for a sign If there's a light up ahead, well brother I don't know", could mean that after searching and searching, he has finally found hope, "further up on the road"
    blondxgurlyon April 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Where the road is dark, and the seed is sowed. - Where the gun is cocked, and the bullets load. - Where the miles are marked, in the blood and gold - I'll meet you further on, up the road."

    Everybody wants to be wealthy. For some people the search for wealth becomes its' own stigma. This is clearly a song about gold fever, and how the character in the song is obsessed with finding gold in the desert. Picture him wandering the desert with his spike and hammer, chiselling away at rocks, looking for a claim. The opening stanza gives us an insight into the rest of the song, and the rest of the song follows suite.

    He doesn't know if he's ever going to find a life beyond his obsession, a happier life in the future. But he isn't looking that far ahead. Right now he's only looking for gold, his driving ambition.
    Genesin2000on August 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI first heard this on the Seeger Sessions Band tour (at Birmingham). It was a stunning song then, with all the band coming together to sing in in a slow, melancholy style. I swear I listened to it with my mouth wide open.

    Then I heard the Rising version. I wasn't expecting it to be better. It was.
    nosurrenderon December 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love genesin2000's post, "This is clearly a song about gold fever." haha what? it might be about that, but it's definitely not clear. i'd say considering springsteen's writing style it's pretty possible the "desert" is a metaphorical one, meaning he's been lost in a lonely no-man's land due to an unresolved conflict. I tend to think the song is about revenge. The guy in the song is a badass. He wears a dead man's suit, a smiling skull ring, and sings songs to keep his revenge-obsessed mind calmed. He's counting on meeting whoever wronged him further on up the road. If it was written about September 11th like most of the rest of the album, it could be about a widowed man's thirst for revenge on those who took his wife.
    dontgetsentimentalon May 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSimply put, this song is about a man who finds himself experiencing the darkness on the edge of town. The song is non-descript: it could be an outlaw, a soldier, or the blue collar (anti-) hero of so many Springsteen songs. But he's there. The first verse overviews the situation, the journey ahead is one where some get paid and others pay in blood. The second verse is the man's bravado; his gallows humor in describing his clothing and his reliance on his song to sing is his own attempt to find strength. The third verse is the reality -- he's alone, lost, searching, and he doesn't know whether he'll come out of this thing. But still, the hope that humanity (the fever in his soul) will save him.

    "I'll meet you further on up the road" is a promise to make it through. It's a farewell put off (what do you say to the ones you leave behind when you head off into danger?). It's also an acknowledgement of something better no matter what -- "one sunny morning, we'll rise I know" is refusing to acknowledge the finality of mortality.

    Personally, in the context of 9/11, I've always seen it as a song about a military man confronting the war ahead. However, I believe this song pre-dates 9/11 (possibly from the Tom Joad era?).
    tijakoon December 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf you look at the imagery of the lyrics you get a clear picture of a wander type narrator, in some ways conjuring images of characters from Western movie such as Clint Eastwood’s ‘Man with no Name’ (‘gun is cocked’ ‘miles are marked in the blood and gold’) and Franco Nero’s ‘Django’ (‘dead man’s suit’ ‘graveyard boots’) whilst also suggesting such musical heroes as Antonio Banderas’ ‘El Mariachi’ (‘song to sing’). Without specifically naming or referring to any specific character the lyrics create an image of a stereotypical gunslinger/vagrant in a desert. So on the surface the song could be said to be about a gunslinger confronting his violent and dangerous lifestyle, searching a literal or metaphorical desert as he is driven by the fever in his soul, perhaps aimed at someone specific who is to wait further on ahead for the answer.

    However I feel this immediate imagery makes more sense when taken in context of the album, while maybe not about 9/11, certainly seems strongly influenced by the Christian themes of the album. If you see the desert as possibly an allusion to Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, or perhaps a more broad ‘desert of the soul’, a concept backed up by the lines ‘Searching through the dust, looking for a sign… but I got this fever burning in my soul’. In this context the original imagery of a gunslinger/vagrant could be seen as a state of mind, being both an ideal of individuality & self-reliance while also being very violent and morally grey, perhaps representing these qualities in the average person. When this image goes through the desert as an allegory for temptation, self-reflection, or hardship then lines such as ‘If there’s a light up ahead, well brother I don’t know’ ‘let’s take the good times as they go’ & ‘One sunny morning we’ll rise I know’ begin to become as possible allusion for the search for God, morality, or simply the self.

    I guess I think this song is about is about putting one’s life on hold, sending it further on up the road to wait for the narrator to find some kind of answer, and holding onto the optimism that things will work out in order to make such self-reflection possible. Just my opinion though ^_^
    TheOnlyMoggyon April 27, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree that you all have some great explanations for this song. What I hear when I listen to it gives me the picture of something out of Poltergeist II.

    A timeless entity from somewhere during the gold rush and this entity is saying "I will get you sometime," with the vague statement "I'll meet you further on up the road" collecting on people's misdeeds.

    The description of his attire (dead man's suit, smiling skull ring, lucky graveyard boots) sounds sinister. The line "one sunny morning, we will rise I know" brings the idea of him forecasting when its all catching up home.
    AlbertMilleron July 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Commentas far as i'm concerned, this is a song about coping with death -- it's addressed to a lost loved one
    suckmykisson December 20, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou can interpret it as you like… That’s the god thing about free will. And normally a song means something different to each person. But sorry to tell you this, but this is a Johnny Cash song.
    laustsenon June 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningTo me this song is about the human condition itself, more than any particular character or story. We are conceived and then born into this heavy, material world of shadows amongst the light, immersed in the constant potential for danger and violence, whether we suffer it or perpetrate it or both.

    The one thing we are given is a path to take, the choice whether to keep surviving and putting one foot in front of the other, or not. Some make their way with violence or greed or both, whether trying to get ahead or just get by, and their ways are in evidence all along the way, but it doesn't really change the road they must travel along with everyone else; you might just as well pass the time singing, taking it easy, enjoying yourself any way you can find along the way.

    Regardless, we never get to wherever the road leads; we're born on the road and we die on the road. Some say they know where it goes, some have doubts or don't care. Aside from inspiration to keep on going, it ultimately doesn't matter whether a destination really exists or not, if we're never gonna get there anyway. You don't have to know where the road goes in order for it to get you there, not like there's any other road to travel anyway.

    No matter how well and long we keep walking, eventually our walk comes to an end; we're already dead from the moment we're born. These clothes and shoes we're wearing belong to the inevitably deceased. Those who have walked before us, we will someday find dead and cold, just as those who walk behind us will someday find us dead and cold. We'll only cross paths with them again if there's another life after this one. Until then, every new day you wake up is another good day you get to spend on the road.
    SubGothiuson October 18, 2010   Link

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