"Take A Bow" as written by and Kenneth Edmonds . Madonna....
Take a bow, the night is over
This masquerade is getting older
Light are low, the curtains down
There's no one here (There's no one here, there's no one in the crowd)

Say your lines but do you feel them
Do you mean what you say when there's no one around (No one around)
Watching you, watching me,
One lonely star (One lonely star you don't know who you are)

I've always been in love with you (Always with you)
I guess you've always known it's true (You know it's true)
You took my love for granted, why oh why
The show is over, say good-bye

Say good-bye (Bye bye), say good-bye

Make them laugh, it comes so easy
When you get to the part
Where you're breaking my heart (Breaking my heart)
Hide behind your smile,
All the world loves a clown (Just make 'em smile the whole world loves a clown)
Wish you well, I cannot stay
You deserve an award for the role that you played (Role that you played)
No more masquerade,
You're one lonely star (One lonely star and you don't know who you are)

I've always been in love with you (Always with you)
I guess you've always known it's true (You know it's true)
You took my love for granted, why oh why
The show is over, say good-bye

I've always been in love with you (Always with you)
I guess you've always known it's true (You know it's true)
You took my love for granted, why oh why
The show is over, say good-bye

Say good-bye (Bye bye), say good-bye

All the world is a stage (World is a stage)
And everyone has their part (Has their part)
But how was I to know which way the story'd go
How was I to know you'd break (You'd break, you'd break, you'd break)
You'd break my heart

I've always been in love with you (I've always been in love with you)
Guess you've always known
You took my love for granted, why oh why
The show is over, say good-bye

I've always been in love with you (Always with you)
I guess you've always known it's true (You know it's true)
You took my love for granted, why oh why
The show is over, say good-bye

Say good-bye (Bye bye), say good-bye
Say good-bye


Lyrics submitted by spliphstar

"Take a Bow" as written by Kenneth Edmonds . Madonna

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Take A Bow song meanings
Add your thoughts

27 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +9
    General CommentThis is an exquisitely written, lushly arranged postmortem of a relationship. Few songs capture the essence of heartbreak and melancholy like this one does, both lyrically and musically, and make it so easy on the ears in the process.

    Lyrically, the song is clothed in the language of the stage arts. The singer compares her ex-lover's romance of her to a "show" and a "masquerade," with him playing the "one lonely star." But "there's no one here, there's no one in the crowd" -- she's left him. She doubts the sincerity of her ex-lover's words to her: "Say your lines but do you feel them / Do you mean what you say when there's no one around." Evidently his words rang hollow because his love wasn't there; maybe his love had faded and he just couldn't admit it to her, or maybe he never genuinely loved her on a deep level. She is crushed because she always loved him, and he never reciprocated that love. He "took [her] love for granted" and broke her heart, so she's calling it quits: "The show is over, say good-bye."

    There's a hint of bitter irony in the second verse, with its parting sideswipes "Hide behind your smile, all the world loves a clown" and "You deserve an award for the role that you played." The singer, perhaps, is too overcome with sorrow to manifest her bitterness as rage, so instead she resorts to flinging sardonic barbs at her ex-lover.

    But what really boosts this song to the highest echelon is the arrangement, which hits all the right notes. The languorous melody, spare bass line, muted synths, background vocals echoing key lines -- breaking up never sounded so sad, yet at the same time, so soothing.

    I hesitate to categorize this as a breakup song, because it is no ordinary breakup song; it is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard, period. I think this song is perfect for listening to as night falls at the end of a long day, leaving us to reckon with ourselves. It's a reminder that words and appearances only go so far; in the end, it's what we do and who we are inside that counts.
    drewdcon September 08, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Commenti love this song. especially the line, "say your lines but do you feel them...".
    jackikayon August 02, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis song is truly about letting go of the person who is destroying you. So beautiful.
    LaurelGon June 06, 2010   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationThere are many different interpretations and meanings about Take a Bow 1. One of Madonna's best and saddest ballads. 2. Inspired by Shakespeare. 3. An emotional and heartbreaking Madonna performance. 4. A Brilliant Detroit Ciccone Blues. 5. Her biggest hit ever-Seven weeks at #1 on top! 6. One of the best #1 hits of the last 20 years. 7. Heartbreak lyrics about unrequited love and doomed romance. 8. Another brilliant Madonna ballad about her mother's sad death. 9. Evita Prelude #4-Madonna's Audition/Letter/Video for Evita. And Finally-10. Take a Bow was the song that revived and saved Madonna's career. The song named Take a Bow is a beautiful Ciccone/Peron/Simpson ballad that has one of the saddest hooks/refrains/choruses of any Madonna tune. She is All Still Wet with sad Ciccone tears running down her face. In Take a Bow, Madonna Weeps, Sobs and Cries-"Take a Bow/Night Is Over/One Lonely Star/How was I to know you'd break my heart?/I've always been in love with you/I guess you've always known it's true/You took my love for granted/Why oh why?/This show is over say goodbye!"-an angry reply and payback to her critics who said the erstwhile and former Material Girl/Sex Object-now Evita/mother/international citizen/brilliant torch diva-was indeed over. With Take a Bow, Madonna more or less set the record straight. She was now affecting all of us in a quieter way, did things in a simpler way without fanfare, distractions or controversy. From Take a Bow all the way up to MDNA-for Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone, it has been all about the music so that a little ray of light will forever shine through brightly. Because of Take a Bow, Madonna was never the same again. Lucky for us-her fans-neither are we. Both her fans and Rock Critics are her Lucky Stars. Go ahead Madge, Take a Bow! Madonna Forever-In the evidence of your ballad brilliance!
    rabbitbunnyon May 24, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTHis is my fav madonna song! i kno all the words by heart. its so ironic and sad
    silverpuppiezon April 13, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI love this Madonna song and I loved the video too. My line was
    "wish you well I cannot stay
    you deserve and award for the role that you played"
    There are so many guys like the one in this song and I agree with her.
    princesscharmson August 23, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyuupz! i totally agree wif ya silverpuppies~!
    this's songs' on my favourite lists and will stay there 4 a long time 2 cum!!! cheers~! c",)
    Pebbles*18on June 06, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is MY absolute favorite of Madonnas. Its very true, I relate to it a lot. It talks about being lonely and how you think your life is just a big play and how some people take it for granted. I'll always love this song.
    BooBunnieSexyon September 11, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentfavourite song by madonna. man this gets me every time
    pumpkingirlon April 14, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen I broke up with my girl friend. The one thing she pointed out all the time to me was "do you mean what you say when theirs no one around." I felt bad for all of this but it always seemed like a game to her. She had to win. "you deserve an award for the role that you played." It does it is meant to serious but to be sarcastic. Our stage and audience was our friends. And I can't help but think about the major roles some of them played in breaking us up. I've just been running my mouth. peace out sorry Katie
    runningboyon July 02, 2003   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain