Brilliant Disguise
Bruce Springsteen Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

I hold you in my arms
As the band plays
What are those words whispered baby
Just as you turn away
I saw you last night
Out on the edge of town
I want to read your mind
To know just what I've got in this new thing I've found
So tell me what I see
When I look in your eyes
Is that you baby
Or just a brilliant disguise

I heard somebody call your name
From underneath our willow
I saw something tucked in shame
Underneath your pillow
Well I've tried so hard baby
But I just can't see
What a woman like you
Is doing with me
So tell me who I see
When I look in your eyes
Is that you baby
Or just a brilliant disguise

Now look at me baby
Struggling to do everything right
And then it all falls apart
When out go the lights
I'm just a lonely pilgrim
I walk this world in wealth
I want to know if it's you I don't trust
'Cause I damn sure don't trust myself

Now you play the loving woman
I'll play the faithful man
But just don't look too close
Into the palm of my hand
We stood at the alter
The gypsy swore our future was right
But come the wee wee hours
Well maybe baby the gypsy lied
So when you look at me
You better look hard and look twice
Is that me baby
Or just a brilliant disguise

Tonight our bed is cold
Lost in the darkness of our love




God have mercy on the man
Who doubts what he's sure of

Overall Meaning

Bruce Springsteen's song "Brilliant Disguise" is a reflection on the doubts and insecurities in a relationship, despite the facade of love and trust put on display. The song begins with the singer holding his partner in his arms while a band plays, but he is left wondering about the thoughts and feelings she has that are never expressed. He reveals that he saw her out on the edge of town the previous night, indicating a possibility of sneaking around or infidelity. He wants to know what he has with her and whether it is genuine or just a facade.


In the second verse, the singer hears someone calling his partner's name from under their willow tree and sees something hidden under her pillow in shame. He cannot comprehend why a woman as amazing as her would be with him, leading to his doubts and uncertainty of whether the relationship is a "brilliant disguise." The singer then shifts the focus onto himself, admitting that he has been struggling to do everything right, but it still falls apart when the lights go out, indicating an inability to maintain the appearances. He concludes that he could never really trust himself no matter what the gypsy predicts of his future with his partner.


The third verse sees the singer and partner as a couple standing at the altar with the gypsy promising them a bright future, but the singer doubts the prophecy, considering it a brilliant disguise. The song concludes with the singer unable to sleep, lying in bed next to his partner. His mind is filled with doubts and uncertainties that he prays will be obliterated by the love shared between them.


Line by Line Meaning

I hold you in my arms
I am physically holding you.


As the band plays
We are in a place where there is a live band performing music.


What are those words whispered baby
I want to know what you whispered to me.


Just as you turn away
You are moving away from me as I try to hear what you said.


I saw you last night
I saw you yesterday at night.


Out on the edge of town
You were outside town and away from other people.


I want to read your mind
I want to know what you are thinking.


To know just what I've got in this new thing I've found
I want to understand what my relationship with you really is.


So tell me what I see
Tell me what I am perceiving when I look at you.


When I look in your eyes
When I make eye contact with you.


Is that you baby
Is the person I am looking at really you?


Or just a brilliant disguise
Or are you faking your identity?


I heard somebody call your name
Someone called your name and I heard it.


From underneath our willow
We were near a willow tree when I heard it.


I saw something tucked in shame
I saw something hidden and secretive.


Underneath your pillow
It was under your pillow.


Well I've tried so hard baby
I have made an effort.


But I just can't see
I still don't understand.


What a woman like you
Why someone like you


Is doing with me
Is involved with me.


So tell me who I see
Tell me who I am perceiving.


Is that you baby
Is the person I am looking at really you?


Or just a brilliant disguise
Or are you pretending to be someone else?


Now look at me baby
Look at me now.


Struggling to do everything right
I am trying hard to be a good partner.


And then it all falls apart
But then things go wrong.


When out go the lights
When the lights go out.


I'm just a lonely pilgrim
I am alone and searching for something meaningful.


I walk this world in wealth
Despite having money, I still feel unfulfilled.


I want to know if it's you I don't trust
I am uncertain if I can trust you or not.


'Cause I damn sure don't trust myself
I am not even sure if I can trust my own judgement or actions.


Now you play the loving woman
Now you are acting affectionate.


I'll play the faithful man
I will continue to be loyal to you.


But just don't look too close
But don't scrutinize too much.


Into the palm of my hand
Don't examine my motives too closely.


We stood at the alter
We got married.


The gypsy swore our future was right
A fortune-teller predicted a happy future for us.


But come the wee wee hours
But in the early morning.


Well maybe baby the gypsy lied
Maybe the prediction was false.


So when you look at me
When you are viewing me.


You better look hard and look twice
You should inspect me thoroughly and carefully.


Is that me baby
Is the person you see really me?


Or just a brilliant disguise
Or am I disguising my true self?


Tonight our bed is cold
Our home feels empty and loveless.


Lost in the darkness of our love
Our relationship is struggling and we feel lost.


God have mercy on the man
May God be kind to the man.


Who doubts what he's sure of
Who is uncertain about what he is confident about.




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on or correct specific content, highlight it

Genre not found
Artist not found
Album not found
Song not found
Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@xuanincm

I hold you in my arms
As the band plays
What are those words whispered baby
Just as you turn away
I saw you last night
Out on the edge of town
I wanna read your mind
To know just what I've got in this new thing I've found
So tell me what I see
When I look in your eyes
Is that you baby
Or just a brilliant disguise

I heard somebody call your name
From underneath our willow
I saw something tucked in shame
Underneath your pillow
Well I've tried so hard baby
But I just can't see
What a woman like you
Is doing with me
So tell me who I see
When I look in your eyes
Is that you baby
Or just a brilliant disguise

Now look at me baby
Struggling to do everything right
And then it all falls apart
When out go the lights
I'm just a lonely pilgrim
I walk this world in wealth
I want to know if it's you I don't trust
'Cause I damn sure don't trust myself

Now you play the loving woman
I'll play the faithful man
But just don't look too close
Into the palm of my hand
We stood at the alter
The gypsy swore our future was right
But come the wee wee hours
Well maybe baby the gypsy lied
So when you look at me
You better look hard and look twice
Is that me baby
Or just a brilliant disguise

Tonight our bed is cold
I'm lost in the darkness of our love
God have mercy on the man
Who doubts what he's sure of



All comments from YouTube:

@kimberlyl9844

This is the most honest love song I have ever heard. It speaks to the raw emotions of both love and the heartbreaking end of a marriage. We all were masks to protect ourselves and others, especially loved ones. This song describes that perfectly.

@NYNick49

Well said....

@pegkuratko7813

💕

@pegkuratko7813

Handsome

@jimmortimore3894

Truth!!

@pilarantunavazquez3901

No me canso de escucharlo, una y mil veces ❤❤❤

1 More Replies...

@BaladasDelRecuerdo2023

One of the greatest lines ever: “god have mercy on the man, who doubts what he’s sure of” I live it a lot.

@shawnclare-nb1up

Amen

@BaladasDelRecuerdo2023

@@shawnclare-nb1up Por favor apoyen a mis chicos de música, como el amor que les di, les deseo siempre felicidad.

@pegkuratko7813

Oh Yes♥️

More Comments

More Versions