This is a beautiful love song describing the development of the singer's relationship with a new lover from its inception through its maturity. First the lover appears without explanation or question one morning next to his bed. The second verse is often ridiculed and parodied for its use of the word "brang," but it is excusable - songwriters make up words all the time for lyrical purposes. The third verse looks back on how the love of this person has guided the singer "on a road that was thorned and narrow." What isn't clear is whether the love is still current or has passed him by, once again. Being Neil Diamond, there is a good chance it has passed him by, yet again. The chorus celebrates how people complement each other to complete each other.
The guitar is somewhat reminiscent of "If You Could Read My Mind" by Gordon Lightfoot, and assuming the love is lost, the song is in the same spirit.
Suggestion credit: Kelley - Hickory, KY, for above 2
Henry from Hayward, CaliforniaI was quizzing my buddies about this song, very few of them know about this wonderful song. :(
Senses from EnglandIt's it all about how it makes you feel!
Seventhmist from 7th HeavenJenny, thanks for mentioning "Desiree," which this site doesn't address. First "cougar" song I ever heard and probably the last Diamond song that I wanted to listen to. I had little use for his post-70s songs.
Kimberly from New YorkI think he is singing of his muse, who comes to him, provides inspiration, lives in him, and births the creation of a song. And it happens again and again. It’s a love song for his creation process, which, I imagine, is a very personal thing to him
Bob Harvey from SpainI have always believed that his guitar which was beside his bed was speaking to him as he woke up out of a bout of depression “You are the words, I am the tune...play me!” His guitar was trying to help him back on the path of creativity even if it was going to be difficult “Thorned and narrow” the guitar was missing him and thought it had done something wrong “For I’ve been lonely, as though I’d done someone wrong somewhere but I don’t know where”
Emily from GeorgiaVince from Houston and Candy from Colorado...YES!!!
Jenny from SydneyI may be 51 years old but it was this song and Neil's "Desiree" that got me hooked as a 5 year old little girl Dad played them all the time He finally sat me down and told me all about the wonderful singer/songwriter that is Neil Diamond This is a song that for me just makes me want to sit quietly and not just listen but FEEL the beauty of both the music and the lyrics It really doesn't matter what the song is actually about but what it means to you and how it makes you feel Neil has ALWAYS done that so well He can "Play Me" anytime
Candy from ColoradoVince from Houston; after listening to the song since the early 70s and now over and over again, Neil could very well be talking about his guitar. "laying be beside me" " play me" "songs brang to me and words that brang in me". I absolutely agree with you!!! The pictures are shown with guitars. Very awesome Vince it just didn't make sense this was about a woman!!!!
Tammy from NoneWhen you are raised in a church you are tought a lot of scripture and even though you might leave your faith it is still there. If you listen close to his music you will hear and feel Christ still using him as his instrument to work in the hearts of man.
Karan from Napoleon, OhioI would also like to offer a different interpretation. It is the Holy Spirit that he wakes up to find beside his bed. The Holy Spirit brings him song- which could also represent life. The thorned and narrow road is the way of the cross.
Vince from HoustonI'd like to offer a different interpretation of this song as its really about his relationship with his guitar, not a woman.
Mary Ann from Houston, TxThe perfect lovers song.....!
David from Youngstown, OhYet another beautiful song from Neil's early 70s mellow period. Other songs from this period would include Stones, Suzanne, Last Thing On My Mind, Song Sung Blue, Morningside and of course, I Am ... I Said.