What does Hungry Heart mean?

Search Login

Bruce Springsteen: Hungry Heart Meaning


No tags, suggest one.

Hungry Heart Lyrics

Got a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack
I went out for a ride and I never went back
Like a river that don't know where it's flowing
I took a wrong turn and I just kept goingCHORUS:
Everybody's got a hungry heart
Everybody's got a hungry heart


    click a star to vote
    Mar 9th, 2017 3:19pm report

    You need to back to the source material, which is the Tennyson poem where the title line originates. Ulysses/Odysseus in the Greek as the classic hero (tragic?) seeks adventure because he cannot stomach a calm life in his Kingdom, with his wife and child.

    The last stanza may relate to Odysseus's desire to get back home from his travels. None the less, as one with a Hungry Heart it is questionable if he will ever be satisfied with a quiet domestic life.

    Notice how he goes to the bar, falls in love, and it has to end, only to eventually end up in the bar again. This can relate to Odysseus's two periods being with the Nymph Calypso.

    You lay down your money is likely a reference to leaving his Kingdom and riches behind.

    Play your part is playing the role of the Hero in the story.

    Now, whether the narrator in Hungry Heart is trying to justify his actions by equating them to a Greek hero or Springsteen is merely giving the myth an update as contemporary reading as is often done with Shakespeare we don't know.


    click a star to vote
    Apr 29th, 2016 4:46pm report

    He's a horrible husband and father. One day one of his sons will track him down and beat him to within an inch of his selfish life for the way he treated his mother and his siblings.


    click a star to vote
    Jun 23rd, 2013 6:34am report

    It says he has a secure everyday life and family. Baltimore is significant because it's not considered a glamourous or romantic place but rather a blue collar drab workaday town. He's trapped .

    He wants to see more and made the decision go to a Jimmy Buffet type of place called Kingstown or Kingston. Where he can escape. He meets a woman and has a fling like a ship passing in the night...which he probably needed.

    And he's still searching for whatever it is that's going to satisfy him and that's what he's living for now. With all that he's given up (a lot) he's driven to find the love of all loves.

More Bruce Springsteen song meanings »


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

A Thousand Years, Pt. 2 anonymous
Blue Eyes anonymous
Human anonymous
You Are Not anonymous
Forsaken anonymous
Pray anonymous
Wrong Side of Heaven anonymous
The Resistance anonymous
Monster anonymous
Lovely anonymous
Lay, Lady, Lay anonymous
Cinnamon Girl anonymous
This is Home anonymous
Dirt anonymous
Last Christmas anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

Dirt Road
Kidd G
We Didn't Have Much
Justin Moore
Come As You Are
Tenille Townes
Make It A Good One
Brothers Osborne
If It Wasn't For Trucks
Riley Green
Baby, I'm Jealous
Bebe Rexha
My Way, Soon
Greta Van Fleet
Show Them The Way
Stevie Nicks