Lights out tonight trouble in the heartland
Got a head-on collision smashin' in my guts man
I'm caught in a crossfire that I don't understand
But there's one thing I know for sure I don't give a damn
For the same old played out scenes I don't give a damn
For just the in-betweens honey I want the heart I want the soul
I want control right now talk about a dream
Try to make it real you wake up in the night
With a fear so real spend your life waiting
For a moment that just don't come
Well don't waste your time waiting

Badlands you gotta live it every day
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you've gotta pay
We'll keep pushin' till it's understood
And these badlands start treating us good

Workin' in the field till you get your back burned
Workin' `neath the wheels till you get your facts learned
Baby I got my facts learned real good right now
You better get it straight darling
Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king
And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything
I wanna go out tonight, I wanna find out what I got
Now I believe in the love that you gave me
I believe in the faith that could save me
I believe in the hope and I pray that some day
It will raise me above these


For the ones who had a notion, a notion deep inside
That it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive
I wanna find one face that ain't looking through me
I wanna find one place, I wanna spit in the face of these


Lyrics submitted by oofus

Badlands song meanings
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  • +6
    General Comment"Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king
    And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything"

    Wow... I used this quote in a philosophy essay on Kant. Basically Immanuel Kant used 25 pages to say what Bruce summed up in 2 lines. My professor loved the use of an outside artist (poet in Bruce's case), and I received an "A".

    Is there any other artist out there that can sing so deeply? I'll answer that for you. No.
    hoagiejon March 11, 2008   Link
  • +5
    General CommentIt's saying that world won't waste any time getting you down if you let it, SO DON'T LET IT!

    He talks about the way people are never happy/satisfied in life, how they let things get them down, but "it ain't no sin to be glad you're alive"

    Bruce is the fuckin man
    originlon March 30, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I was between the ages of 35 and 38, and in a mini-mid life crisis, I listened to this song every day. Having passed that stage, the song has a lot less meaning for me and even seems a little contrived. Still love the opening riff though.
    benjyedwardson July 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyea this is like an anthem of hope
    Georgieboy84on August 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love to listen to this song when I'm down... I don't think it needs any explanation, the power of the words explain it all. I especially love the lines, "You wake up in the night, with a fear so real, spend your life waiting for a moment that just don't come, well don't waste your time waiting..."
    psycheon May 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so incredible to listen to when you're in a bad mood. Bruce really captured what he was feeling with this one. Because he is right, even if you hate where you are you have to live it everyday.
    Good OL MCon June 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think one of my faveorite lines is" spend your life wainting for a moment that just don't come, don't waste your' time waiting
    benlevine68on January 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLove that piano riff!
    bkat004on January 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of his best - great sax Clarence
    vasnmoGoon March 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlong with several Bruce Springsteen tunes, this song is perfect to listen to when driving. I thing that the lyrics are relatively self-explanatory, but it is still a great song.
    floydtheater07on August 30, 2006   Link

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