Bridge of Spies

Album: Bridge of Spies (1987)
Play Video


  • The "Bridge of Spies" is the Glienicke Bridge in Germany, which connects Potsdam with Berlin. During the Cold War, the Potsdam side was controlled by communist East Germany, and the Berlin side was part of West Germany, which was aligned with the United States and other NATO countries. Since it connected enemy territories, it was used for the exchange of spies and prisoners.

    This song was inspired by the final exchange, which took place in 1986 (Germany unified in 1990) and involved Anatoly Sharansky, a Russian who was held in a Soviet prison, accused of spying for the US. The song is sung from his perspective, as he crosses the bridge to meet his wife.
  • T'Paul lead singer Carol Decker wrote this song with the band's guitarist Ronnie Rogers, who was her boyfriend at the time. In America, their first album was issued as T'Pau, but elsewhere this song was the title track. Released as a single, it failed to chart, although the album went on to sell over 4 million copies in the UK.
  • In 2015, a movie called Bridge of Spies, its title also taken from the Glienicke Bridge, was released. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Tom Hanks as a negotiator trying to broker a prisoner exchange. This song was not a part of it, which displeased Carol Decker. "So f--king annoying Spielberg did not put it on the soundtrack to his film!" she told Songfacts.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & Tears

David Clayton-Thomas of Blood, Sweat & TearsSongwriter Interviews

The longtime BS&T frontman tells the "Spinning Wheel" story, including the line he got from Joni Mitchell.

Band Names

Band NamesFact or Fiction

Was "Pearl" Eddie Vedder's grandmother, and did she really make a hallucinogenic jam? Did Journey have a contest to name the group? And what does KISS stand for anyway?

John Lee Hooker

John Lee HookerSongwriter Interviews

Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write the blues.

90s Metal

90s MetalFact or Fiction

Test your metal - Priest, Maiden, and Beavis and Butt-head show up in this one.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

Martin Page

Martin PageSongwriter Interviews

With Bernie Taupin, Martin co-wrote the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "These Dreams." After writing the Pretty Woman song for Go West, he had his own hit with "In the House of Stone and Light."