Be Careful

  • songfacts ®
  • This song was inspired by the Gordon Sumner composition "I Hung My Head", a short ballad about a moment of madness in which the narrator shoots a stranger dead for absolutely no reason at all, and eventually pays the ultimate price. If any unwitting musicologist were asked to put a name to the authorship of this song, the name Johnny Cash would surely appear way ahead of that of Gordon Sumner - who is better known as Sting. "I Hung My Head" is the kind of song Cash was born to write, and it should come as no surprise that he recorded it, in 2002, and it was this version in particular that inspired Boh to come up with "Be Careful".
  • Unlike its inspiration which looks back in gloom, "Be Careful" looks forward optimistically...

    "Yesterday was a bad day
    And I’m glad it’s dead and gone...
    Kiss goodbye, and so long..."

    ...but with a strong caveat, remember where you've been, and don't make the same mistakes again, a sentiment that is enchoed by her more uptempo "Would You Give Your Love".
  • Boh co-wrote "Be Careful" with Jimmy Messer, and the song is copyright Pop Shop/Chrysalis Music Publishing/Warner Chappell Music Publishing. The lady herself said: "[Messer] played me some chords and a verse melody he had been tinkering with. After coming up with the chorus and pre-chorus together we threw some vocals down. I had to go to Serj [Tankian’s] place for a drink so I played him the demo when I got there. I was musing with him about how I’d like a male voice in the song and he offered to put down some ideas. When it came to doing the final recording Serj was sweet enough to take time out of his busy schedule and make a trip into Hollywood to record his vocal parts." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Gary Brooker of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer and pianist for Procol Harum, Gary talks about finding the musical ideas to match the words.

Justin TimberlakeFact or Fiction

Was Justin the first to be Punk'd by Ashton Kutcher? Did Britney really blame him for her meltdown? Did his bandmates think he was gay?

Stan RidgwaySongwriter Interviews

Go beyond the Wall of Voodoo with this cinematic songwriter.

Al Jourgensen of MinistrySongwriter Interviews

In the name of song explanation, Al talks about scoring heroin for William Burroughs, and that's not even the most shocking story in this one.

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?