Promised Land (song)

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For the Bruce Springsteen song, see The Promised Land (Bruce Springsteen song).
For the song by Vesuvius, see The Rocker (film)#Promotion.
"Promised Land"
Single by Chuck Berry
from the album St. Louis to Liverpool
Released 1965
Genre Rock and roll
Length 2:24
Label Chess Records
Writer(s) Chuck Berry
Producer(s) Leonard Chess, Philip Chess

"Promised Land" is a song lyric written by Chuck Berry to the melody of "Wabash Cannonball", an American folk song. The song was first recorded in this version by Chuck Berry in 1964 for his album St. Louis to Liverpool. Released in 1965, it was Berry's first single issued following his prison term for a Mann Act conviction.

In the lyrics, the singer (who refers to himself as "the poor boy") tells of his journey from Norfolk, Virginia to the "Promised Land", Los Angeles, California, mentioning various cities of the American Southeast that he encounters along his journey. It has subsequently been covered by numerous other artists.

Background[edit]

Berry wrote the song while still in prison, and borrowed an atlas from the prison library to plot the itinerary. Describing himself as a "poor boy," he boards a Greyhound bus in Norfolk, Virgina. that passes Raleigh, N.C., stops in Charlotte, North Carolina, then bypasses Rock Hill, South Carolina. The bus rolls out of Atlanta but breaks down, leaving him stranded in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. He then takes a train "across Mississippi clean" to New Orleans. From there, he goes to Houston, where he is bought a silk suit, luggage and a plane ticket to Los Angeles. Upon landing in Los Angeles, he calls Norfolk, Virginia ("Tidewater four, ten-oh-nine") to tell the folks back home he's made it to the "promised land."

Cover versions[edit]

There are numerous cover versions of this song:

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2nd to None (Media notes). Elvis Presley. Columbia Records. 2003. 
  2. ^ "Covered Berries". Official Chuck Berry Website. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "The SetList Program - Grateful Dead Setlists, Listener Experiences, and Statistics". Setlists.net. Retrieved 14 July 2012. 

External links[edit]