"The Guitar Man" as written by and David Gates....
Who draws the crowd?
Who plays so loud?
Baby, it's the guitar man
Who's gonna steal the show?
You know
Baby, it's the guitar man

He can make you love, he can make you cry
He will bring you down, he will get you high
And something keeps him going miles and miles away
To find another place to play

And night after night, who treats you right?
Baby, it's the guitar man
Who's on the radio?
You know
Baby, it's the guitar man

When he comes to town and you see his face
And you think you might like to take his place
Something keeps him drifting miles and miles away
Searching for the songs to play

Then you listen to the music and you'd like to sing along
And you want to get the meaning out of each and every song
And you find yourself a message and some words to call your own
And take 'em home

He can make you love, he can get you high
He will bring you down, he will make you cry
Something keeps him moving, but no one seems to know
What it is that makes him go

Then the lights begin to flicker and the sound is getting dim
The voice begins to falter and the crowds are getting thin
But he never seems to notice
He's just got to find another place to play
Got to play


Lyrics submitted by Eamon

The Guitar Man song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentLong time since anyone has posted. I heard the song and all of the sudden I think I found the hidden meaning of the "Guitar Man" (or at least something that works). If you think of the guitar man as Satan the song kind of takes on a completely new, dark meaning. The guitar man is at the forefront at the begininning of the song just giving everyone what they want. People eventually shift their focus away from him but he just continues onward, searching for someone, somewhere who he can give what he wants. I can't really explain it too well. Listen to the song with that perspective and see what you think... maybe I'm crazt
    kidwhoaon January 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's not about a real musician, he just compares with the routine of one. Like we're all musicians who go from place to place, trying to figure out what we want.
    I heard the song as if it was about someone who is the kind of person that brights up the place. The kind of person that stops all conversation when gets into a bar, and everyone who know him believes he is an interesting and amazing person. He doesnt think that way, thou.
    He is lost, he doesn't know what he wants, he doesnt really have a place to go, so hes just wandering around, trying to find something to get attached to. So he goes from place to place trying to find something or someone to live for. but he never truly does.
    Because he's such an intense person, people want to get to know him so bad. People get curious about him, they think they know what he's been through or what he's all about, and try to connect with him. He let this people in, and he gives himself to te fullest, so he loves them all he can, but at some point he realizes that's not what he wants, so he need to find someone else, somewhere else. And b/c of that, he break people down.
    I also think that the last part is because he is never really commited to anything, so even thou people get really excited with him at the begining, he creates a distance between he and everyone else, so he ends up fading away in his friendships; but not that he really cares, he's just trying to figure out whats important for him, so he doesnt mind disappearing in the crowd.

    I think its a song for all those moments we feel lost, we feel we need to get our $h!t together, os just figure out who we really are; for those moments we try to do something that really means for ourselves. At least that's how i feel about the song. It says we're all musicians at some point, trying to sing our hearts out, eve thou the crowd just treates you like ambient music, and so we need to keep on the road till we find whatever weve been looking for.
    carolinnebeeon December 16, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Then you listen to the music and you'd like to sing along
    And you want to get the meaning out of each and every song
    And you find yourself a message and some words to call your own
    And take 'em home"

    Now whatever does he mean??? I need to find some message soon!
    lewikeeon October 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a cover of an old song...I think the band that sang it first was called Bread.
    myhotelyearon October 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dont care if its a cover of an old song or something he pulled outta the air at 3am ... this song has it all right.

    There are those of us who live to listen to the music and dream of being the guitar man and there are those of us who are the guitar man. Either way, the music is still where it's at. It's what we live for. Living vocariously thru music ... umm yeah ... thats me .... *shrug*

    As an additive .... this is my 5 year old daughters favorite song right now. Im sure it's got nothing to do with song meaning and its all about the crazy cool beat ... but it's hellishly sweet to hear her singing it in the back of the car!
    kpismpstpon October 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHa, the original version sucks. I love how Cake covers songs that are generally hated and makes them better.
    Wrapidon November 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCake is great. I really do like the music. Espically this song. And most songs I do find some "message". Some lyrics in the song that i can connect with, some that i understand and know personally, some i can "call my own" like mentioned in the song. The Bread version of the song doesn't have much do it, but Cake makes it great again. Cake can take any song and make it wonderful, thats why really love their music.
    Meek A Leekon November 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so much more emotional than the original by Bread (which btw is still a good song). The life of the Guitar man is music, music is is entire reason for existence. Even when the sun is setting on his career all he wants to do is keep moving and play for the next group of people.
    DotNon December 22, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI actually love the original, I don't know how anyone who likes this version could not like the other. =D Oh well. (And for the record, I don't really dig all the digitized stuff in this one, but oh well. Cake still took something good and made it great).

    But this is definately one of those songs I think most everyone can relate to, at least a little. That quote from the song in the first comment is the part that I think I relate to the most. Very cool song. And the meaning isn't hidden in metaphors and symbolism! =D
    Immortal113on December 30, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis cover is SO much better than the original.. I love this one. its about a traveling musician, without a home or family- a variable bard. Everyone wants to be that dude...everyone wants to be a rock star. but it's a harder life than they think, and then he gets old etc
    rocklobster7on April 15, 2005   Link

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