Bridge of Spies

Album: Bridge of Spies (1987)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

TV Theme Songs

TV Theme SongsFact or Fiction

Was a Beatles song a TV theme? And who came up with those Fresh Prince and Sopranos songs?

Jello Biafra

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

Album Cover Inspirations

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

Eric Burdon

Eric BurdonSongwriter Interviews

The renown rock singer talks about "The House of the Rising Sun" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood."

Dr. John

Dr. JohnSongwriter Interviews

The good doctor shares some candid insights on recording with Phil Spector and The Black Keys.

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s Edition

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: '80s EditionMusic Quiz

You know the scenes - Tom Cruise in his own pants-off dance off, Molly Ringwald celebrating her birthday - but do you remember what song is playing?