The Great Depression of 1929 destroyed the lives of thousands of U.S. citizens, its effects stretching as far as Europe.

“The Ghost of Tom Joad” is a song by Bruce Springsteen. It is the title track to his eleventh studio album, released in 1995. The character Tom Joad, from John Steinbeck’s classic 1939 novel The Grapes of Wrath, is mentioned in the title and narrative.

This song touches my soul so deeply, makes my throat tighten everytime I’m listening to it.

If we measure unemployment the way they did during the 1930s, today’s unemployment would be worse than any single year of the Great Depression.
1931 – 15.3% 2009 – 21%
1932 – 22.9% 2010 – 22%
1933 – 20.6% 2011 – 22%
1934 – 16% 2012 – 23%

Youth Unemployment have never been worse
United State 16%
Europe 24%
France 27%
Italy 37%
Spain 56%
Portugal 38%
Greece 58%


Ghost of Tom Joad by Bruce Springsteen


Men walkin’ ‘long the railroad tracks
Goin’ someplace there’s no goin’ back
Highway patrol choppers comin’ up over the ridge

Hot soup on a campfire under the bridge
Shelter line stretchin’ ’round the corner
Welcome to the new world order
Families sleepin’ in their cars in the Southwest
No home no job no peace no rest

The highway is alive tonight
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
Searchin’ for the ghost of Tom Joad

He pulls a prayer book out of his sleeping bag
Preacher lights up a butt and takes a drag
Waitin’ for when the last shall be first and the first shall be last
In a cardboard box ‘neath the underpass
Got a one-way ticket to the promised land
You got a hole in your belly and gun in your hand
Sleeping on a pillow of solid rock
Bathin’ in the city aqueduct

The highway is alive tonight
Where it’s headed everybody knows
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
Waitin’ on the ghost of Tom Joad

Now Tom said “Mom, wherever there’s a cop beatin’ a guy
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there’s a fight ‘gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I’ll be there
Wherever there’s somebody fightin’ for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin’ hand
Wherever somebody’s strugglin’ to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you’ll see me.”

Well the highway is alive tonight
But nobody’s kiddin’ nobody about where it goes
I’m sittin’ down here in the campfire light
With the ghost of old Tom Joad

Crazy performance of Bruce Stringsteen & Tom Morello playing together.

Bruce Springsteen talking about Ghost Of Tom Joad

Filmed in Second Life

Crael City
Thanks to people at Crael, particulary Brighid ‘Bree’ Riordan, Bryndi Ingersoll, Teyrin Miller
Far Away
Virtual Decay


Grapes of Wrath with Henry Fonda from John Steinbeck Book

I’ll Be There Speech that inspired Bruce Springsteen


Dorothea Lange
Margaret Bourke-White