"Tunnel Of Love" as written by and Mark Knopfler....
Getting crazy on the waltzers but it's the life that I choose
Sing about the six blade sing about the switchback and a torture tattoo
And I been riding on a ghost train where the cars they scream and slam
And I don't know where I'll be tonight but I'd always tell you where I am

In a screaming ring of faces I seen her standing in the light
She had a ticket for the races just like me she was a victim of the night
I put my hand upon the lever said let it rock and let it roll
I had the one arm bandit fever there was an arrow through my heart and my soul

And the big wheel keep on turning neon burning up above
And I'm just high on the world
Come on and take a low ride with me girl
On the tunnel of love

It's just the danger when you're riding at your own risk
She said you are the perfect stranger she said baby let's keep it like this
It's just a cakewalk twisting baby step right up and say
Hey mister give me two give me two 'cause any two can play

And the big wheel keep on turning neon burning up above
And I'm just high on the world
Come on and take a low ride with me girl
On the tunnel of love

Well it's been money for muscle another whirligig
Money for muscle another girl I dig
Another hustle just to make it big
And rock away rock away

And girl it looks so pretty to me just like it always did
Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids
Oh girl it looks so pretty to me just like it always did
Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids

She took off a silver locket she said remember me by this
She put her hand in my pocket I got a keepsake and a kiss
And in the roar of dust and diesel I stood and watched her walk away
I could have caught up with her easy enough but something must have made me stay

And the big wheel keep on turning neon burning up above
And I'm just high on the world
Come on and take a low ride with me girl
On the tunnel of love

And now I'm searching through these carousels and the carnival arcades
Searching everywhere from steeplechase to palisades
In any shooting gallery where promises are made
To rock away rock away from Cullercoats and Whitley bay out to rock away

And girl it looks so pretty to me like it always did
Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids
Girl it looks so pretty to me like it always did
Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

"Tunnel of Love" as written by Mark Knopfler

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Tunnel Of Love song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentThe best track Mark Knopfler ever created - bar none. This is a magical story about meeting a girl, liking her, and not wanting to spoil things by getting too deep. The song begins with Knopfler telling us that he likes the dangerous side of life, using fairground metaphors "Getting crazy on the walzers, but it's the life that I choose". Amongst the riff-raff he finds a like-minded female "In a screaming ring of faces I seen her standing in the light. She had a ticket for the races, yeah, just like me she was a victim of the night" and the girl decides they should enjoy the moment but remain anonymous in order to retain feeling of mystery and danger "It's just the danger when you're riding at your own risk. She said you are the perfect stranger, she said baby let's keep it like this". Then, in a bid to retain the feeling that the nameless relationship is perfect in its current state, she walks away and Mark knows its best not to go after it, but to remember this good time for what it was "And in the roar of dust and diesel I stood and watched her walk away. I could have caught up with her easy enough but something must have made me stay". However, he has a late change of heart, and sets off to find her "now i'm searching through these carousels and the carnival arcades". Many speculate that the song is merely about having a good time at a fun park, but I think there is a deeper meaning here. For example, "the big wheel keep on turning" in my mind is a clear reference to the fact the world keeps turning regardless of how he plays this out, and he claims that he is "high on this world" thanks to the excitement of the day, then he requests that the girl "take a low ride with me...on the Tunnel of Love". This seems to suggest to me that he knows falling in love would remove the "high" and the danger, but he still wants to get to that stage anyway. Musically, this has a curious opening (namely 'The Carousel Waltz') but, once it kicks into life, you know it's Dire Straits. Knopfler's playing on this track is more influenced by the blues than you may think. He sings a line, plays a bit, sings a line, plays a bit - a blues trait if ever there was one. Speaking of the guitar work, on this track the man really excelled himself. His solos are often similar to David Gilmour's in that he doesn't just play the whole way through the instrumental sections, he leaves plenty of gaps - an often underrated idea - and every time he stops for breath it just leaves the listener begging for more. Great playing, great lyrics - one of the best songs of the 80's without any shadow of a doubt.
    Bazalinhioon March 12, 2010   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningMark Knopfler said this was about a girl he met at the Spanish City amusement park where he grew up. He spent an evening with her and they decided on remaining anomonyous to each other. He said he never felt stronger for someone than the girl he writes about in this song and you can tell. The guitar solo at the end of the song is just amazing. Evokes the feeling of longiness of wanting to find and be with someone you lost along the way.

    Best Dire Strait song bar, from a spiritual, lyrical and composition standpoint.

    donjuansdaddyon September 21, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAt DS\'s 1983 concert in Sydney Australia (Hordern Pavilliion) Mark Knopfler introduced this song as about his growing up in Newcastle, England. The Spanish City is a part of Newcastle.
    chrisb1on April 23, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSpringsteen's Tunnel of Love is a truly outstanding song, and indeed album, but Knophler's Tunnel of Love is in my opinion, the downright most heartfelt song I have ever. I recently watched the film "An Officer and a Gentleman," which contains a large segment of this song. The song, as heartfelt as it already is, was so appropriate in this situation, as those who have seen this film would know. This prompted me to come on SM and comment on just how amazing this song is. None of this 3 minute crap released today can even come close to masterpieces like this, When someone can manage to make an 8 minute song remain interesting and progressive for its entirety, you can tell they have real talent.
    mushie01on July 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe guitar at the end tells a story of its own.
    tyrockon April 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've always kind of assumed this was an ode to the short-lived bliss that filling a gambling addiction (slots in particular) gives, and how that was reminiscent of the thrill of meeting a girl at a carnival when he was younger. The most obvious lyric is the one about grabbing the lever, letting it rock n roll, he had the one-armed bandit fever.

    But it goes on. The big wheel turning can be both a ferris wheel and the reels of a slot. The neon lights burning are the sirens that go off when you win, which is where the "high on the world" comes in, the "low ride" is what you experience as you constantly lose quarters to the insert slot.

    Finally at the end of the song he is told to go away. She left a single quarter in the prize tray (the keepsake in the pocket), which he manages to not spend despite wanting desperately to run back and do. He remembers how excited he was as a kid going to the carnival and riding the ride with a girl, but now he only finds such joy as the anonymous addicted loser planted in front of a slot machine.

    Probably not what the singer intended the song to mean, but you gotta admit the similarities are uncanny.
    wasabi51989on July 30, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is my fravourite song of all time...I think it's about living in the moment.
    leddedon April 09, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the 'girl' in this song is just Rock and Roll in general. Knopfler might be talking about how he lost track of the real music because of the crazy, glamorous, money-soaked life he leads (and in the roar of dust and diesel I stood and watched her walk away/i could have caught up with her easy enough but something must have made me stay).
    majiion September 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti've heard its about the carnival, and how you can go there and find a girl, or guy, and hang out for the evening as a couple, and then when its over, neither care that much because though they had a passion, it was just a flash in the pan. so as they part, they give each other a "remember me" gift, a kiss, and say goodbye. then he stays at the carnival for a while, and remembers the rest of the evening.
    Rodan2000on October 16, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI like how smooth the song is. His voice just goes with the guitar like most of their songs. But in this one the drums and piano are right there too. It rocks.

    I like how he uses the word rockaway. Its an awesome word. He uses it as a verb when its realy a noun meaning a carriage or a town name. Thats awesome.
    So it doesn't have a definition, but I know exactly what he means, even though I couldn't tell you 'cus I don't know how to describe it.
    U-235on May 22, 2005   Link

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