Secret Garden

Album: Greatest Hits (1995)
Charted: 17 19
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This tender ballad is about a woman who is very guarded in relationships; if you prove your worth, she might let you into her heart, but there is always a place - her "secret garden" - that is off limits to everyone but her.
  • Springsteen wrote this for his 1992 album Human Touch, but decided not to use it on that album. He didn't record it until 1995 and released it on Greatest Hits.
  • In the liner notes of Greatest Hits, Springsteen wrote: "Men and women... and the big man sweeter than ever." The big man is sax player Clarence Clemons.
  • This became a radio hit when a disc jockey mixed in bits of dialogue ("You had me at hello") from the film Jerry McGuire, starring Tom Cruise and Renée Zellweger. The song was featured in the movie.
  • This song was an influence on Howie Day's 2003 hit "Collide," which is about a person who keeps closed off emotionally.
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Comments: 22

  • Dianne Zosche from New JerseyA prostitute? Are you kidding me? If you were a true Bruce fan, and not so dumb, you'd know the song had absolutely nothing to do with prostitutes. I regret busting the site after reading these comments.
  • Smurfpumper from UsaA prostitue? Thanks for ruining the songs beauty. Now whenever I hear it I will think "well at least I'm not as simple as that poor soul that gets it wrong, even with cliff notes".

    This is why schools make students do book reports. To teach how things are laid out and formed to create art. Obviously someone took a phrase out of context and inserted more lyrics.

    To "pay the price" does not refer to money. It refers to " putting in the work, to get something in return".

    /facepalm. If this song is about a prostitue, it is a horrible song in its entirety. Please try to look at things as a whole, not in television sound bytes, you'll find out the meaning of life.
  • Smurfpumper from Usa"Pay the Price" relates to dedication. To declare your love or to even dare, marriage. Not money for sexy.
  • Smurfpumper from Usa"Secret Garden" is about the AGE OLD, often written about, always hinted at, only for the romantics, story of the mysteries of a woman, and her ways. If you think it any other thing, you have no soul or intellect.
  • Smurfpumper from UsaA prostitute? Really?
    I am amazed how I can visit this site and find out how stupid people are...really? A hooker is what you get from this song? Meatballs, stupid meatballs with keyboards.

    "Pay the price" (in reference to this song) does not have anything to do with money. If your tiny mind can't connect the dots of the entire composition, or if you have not yet found out what courtship and connection between souls is all about, then you need to rethink your direction in life, for you will end up six feet under without the taste of life in your story.

    A prostitute? You minimized this song into a bumper sticker from a Walmart store.
  • Vivian from California, CaAt a party, a man is covertly watching a woman who is being spoon-fed lobster in cream sauce, by another man. She is aware of being watched and although she is drawn to him, she is honor-bound to remain distant. As is he. For what separates them is not another man, nor another woman, nor religion. They are separated by life.
  • Gee from Mcminnville, TnHow many prostitutes you know with a car? Let you in her mouth? a kiss Let you in her house etc? It might come to that but if she is scared she will still hold back... Don't you think that there is a part of a woman that aught to be beautiful for a man to descover much like an exotic Garden beyond sex... Love... true love were you become one and you know each other in a certain way? A man that loves a woman is going to want to go to that Secret Garden and she is going to be on guard until she knows he truely loves her and her fear is gone. She will let you know she is there but you have to enter in the Secret Garden when the time is right... I think this is beautiful but everyone will have thier own interpretation. ... even prostitutes have a Secrete Garden... the heart & soul of a woman may be something you never see unless you notice the look she gives you where she lets you know she is there... there with you totally in the moment wanting to share. Wake up guys!
  • Xuaan from Mumbai, Indiathis song is abt a gal...just a normal mysterious gal....and not prostitute....every gal keeps something to her ownself....with letting the guy noe abt tht he make attempt to find it....thts her secret garden...
  • Tom from Bakersfield,Oh please don't tell me that this song is about a woman of the night. It's just too beautiful a song to be about a working girl. Put me down with Jared; I like to believe the secret garden is a metaphor for a past relationship that she poured her heart and soul in to and it ended badly for whatever reason. She has never been able to move on from her past love and does not want to lose again.
  • Dan from Carlisle, United KingdomThis song cannot be about a prostitute although the boss may want you to think this at first. I agree with Kate and Sarah. The last verse is incredible and gives the game away.
  • Sarah from Kennewick, Wa@Ayon, Dhaka, Bangladesh: While Bruce does say "if you pay the price/she'll let you deep inside", this does not mean it's about a prostitue.This is not literal. If you are referring to Clapton's song, yes, I love that song too, but Clapton's lyrics are cut and dry. Bruce almost never writes things kinda have to dig deep & feel what he's saying. In this song I think he's saying "us men will never understand how the hell a woman truly can love a woman, but you can never understand everything inside of her."
  • Ayon from Dhaka, BangladeshI also think its about a prostitute.
    @>Sarah, Kennewick, WA
    this is a wonderful song.
    but you can also try wonderful tonight.
  • Johnny from Vancouver, BcWow, I'm surprised nobody figured out this song is about a 'working girl' (aka. hooker, prostitute, lady of the night, call-girl, etc.)
  • Megan from Winnipeg, CanadaI love the intro and the ending part of this song.
  • Tony from Toledo, OhI swa the movie JERRY MCGUIRE where this was played-that love affair between Tom Cruise and Renee Zelwenger. but this year I was studying the romantic love song THE SONG OF SOLOMON from the Bible. Solomon called his new wife's body her garden of delights, as well. So, I had a good idea what SECRET GARDEN was getting at-her "Suzie" or whatever you might call it. I know that my study of THE SONG OF SOLOMON from ths Bible and the memory of this song got me to shhot a bunch of photos of the TOLEDO BOTANNICAL GARDENS this year. This and the SONG OF SOLOMON were both fun songs for me. I have Bruce's greatest hits CD from 2004.
  • Dean from Kansas City, MoThere's two interpretations of this song that have occurred to me -- 1) being attracted to a married woman who kinda wants to, but won't, cheat on her husband; and 2) the woman being a "Jesus freak," so to speak -- the guy has to deal with God being #1 to her. (That's if you interpret "the big man" to be God, rather than Clarence Clemons ... though I suppose they could be the same; I mean, I've never seen them together ...)
  • Sarah from Kennewick, WaThis is the most beautiful song about women any man has ever written. Someone please correct me if they have a better song.
  • Jared from New York, Ny"i think its about a girl who has been hurt and wont let someone all the way in again"
    That's what she said!
  • Don from San Antonio, TxI wish that outtro sax solo was 90 minutes longer!
  • Kate from San Diego, United Statesi think its about a girl who has been hurt
    and wont let someone all the way in again
  • Paul from Greenwood, ScI love this song. There is a three note phrase that resonates as a foundation to everything else. Lyrically, it can be interpreted as the secret place in her heart that she just won't let the Boss come into, or ala Madonna, it is about her private parts. The Bible itself in the Song of Solomon attributes garden like qualities to the private places of a woman.
  • Pat from San Rafael, CaThis song actually charted twice. Once when the "Greatest Hits" album was released and then again when the "Jerry McGuire" soundtrack came out. Cameron Crowe is obviously a big Bruce fan, as evidenced by the inclusion of this moody and mesmeizing song in the movie. Also at the end montage of "Vanilla Sky", along with the cover image from "The Freewheeling Bob Dylan" is the cover of "The River". Dylan and Springsteen are longtime labelmates at Columbia Records and have been with that label from the beginning of their careers, both discovered by the legendary John Hammond.
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