Cautious Man

Album: Tunnel of Love (1987)

Songfacts®:

  • Tells the story of a man who has doubts about his marriage. Springsteen was having problems with his marriage to Julianne Phillips, but claims this was not autobiographical.
  • Springsteen recorded this by himself in his home studio in Rumson, New Jersey.
  • The character in this song had "Love" tattooed on one hand and "Fear" on the other, symbolizing his inner conflict.

Comments: 4

  • Girl E from Florida I think this is a great song - well the whole album is! This song tells me about a man who has doubts and lots of questions... like we all do in relationships. He loves her, way over thinks, only to find himself with nothing but road... the road of life. In the end he returns to her, enjoying what he has in spite of uncertainty... life.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyI guess my hearing was off the first time I heard this song; I thought the opening line was "The warden was a cautious man" {Well, I was 43 years old when 'Tunnel of Love' was released, so maybe that explains it}...
  • Scott from Detroit, MiI think James from Chattanooga has some anger issues...good luck with that.
  • James from Chattanooga, TnWhat a farce? He promised his roadies if they sacrificed for him on the way to the top, he would reward them. They ended up in court with Bruce losing Big Time Bucks. He spoke of his roadies as common dirt labor. Contrast this with a Elvis that gave out bonus's to all after every concert. Bruce's lyrics are less than mature and sophistacated. On one hand he "FEARS" that his narcissic "LOVE" will be his downfall.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Best Band Logos

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.

AC/DC

AC/DCFact or Fiction

Does Angus really drink himself silly? Did their name come from a sewing machine? See if you can spot the real stories about AC/DC.

Don Felder

Don FelderSongwriter Interviews

Don breaks down "Hotel California" and other songs he wrote as a member of the Eagles. Now we know where the "warm smell of colitas" came from.

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Subversive Songs Used To Sell

Subversive Songs Used To SellSong Writing

Songs about drugs, revolution and greed that have been used in commercials for sneakers, jeans, fast food, cruises and cars.

Sam Phillips

Sam PhillipsSongwriter Interviews

Collaborating with T Bone Burnett, Leslie Phillips changed her name and left her Christian label behind - Robert Plant, who recorded one of her songs on Raising Sand, is a fan.