"Remember The Tinman" as written by and Tracy L Chapman....
There are locks on the doors
And chains stretched across all the entries to the inside
There's a gate and a fence
And bars to protect from only God knows what lurks outside
Who stole your heart left you with a space
That no one and nothing can fill
Who stole your heart who took it away
Knowing that without it you can't live
Who took away the part so essential to the whole
Left you a hollow body
Skin and bone
What robber what thief who stole your heart and the key

Who stole your heart
The smile from your face
The innocence the light from your eyes
Who stole your heart or did you give it away
And if so then when and why
Who took away the part so essential to the whole
Left you a hollow body
Skin and bone
What robber what thief
Who stole your heart and the key

Now all sentiment is gone
Now you have no trust in no one

Who stole your heart
Did you know but forget the method and moment in time
Was it a trickster using mirrors and sleight of hand
A strong elixir or a potion that you drank
Who hurt your heart
Bruised it in a place
That no one and nothing can heal

You've gone to wizards, princes and magic men
You've gone to witches, the good the bad the indifferent
But still all sentiment is gone
But still you have no trust in no one

If you can tear down the walls
Throw your armor away remove all roadblocks barricades
If you can forget there are bandits and dragons to slay
And don't forget that you defend an empty space
And remember the tin man
Found he had what he thought he lacked
Remember the tin man
Go find your hear and take it back

Who stole your heart
Maybe no one can say
One day you will find it I pray


Lyrics submitted by Nelly

"Remember the Tin Man" as written by Tracy L Chapman

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Remember the Tin Man song meanings
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12 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThe way I interpret this song, it sounds like the after-effects of sexual assault and/or some other form of violence. Something happened that caused the person to lock the doors of their heart and put up walls around them. An obvious reference to the Tinman from "The Wizard of Oz," this song speaks of hoping that people who have gone though traunatic experience will find their "heart." Its still there, just hidden.
    chungjikon May 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, someone who has been traumatized by sexual assault could particulalry relate to this song. But I admire the way Tracy Chapman leaves it so open to anyone; anyone who has ever lost the 'essence' of themselves however it may have been; assault, personal trauma, emotional problems etc. "maybe no one can say". They've locked themselves up needlessly and need to regain trust in the world and themselves 'rebuild the neural pathways' I suppose. Very powerful song about a rare topic.
    boozmon April 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentabsolutely beautiful. And I agree with both of you boozm and chungjik. It is open to anyone, not neccessarily a victim of sexual assualt. A truamatic experience which stole your spirit, your "heart", left you untrusting, sad and dispirited. "hollow". But it also gives hope at the end, for you can find yourself again.

    I love this song. As with all Tracy chapman's music. Legendary.
    gypsy-roseon August 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, this song speaks of a very broken person. A woman comes to mind. It is ovbious that this woman has constructed a heavy amount of walls around her emotions. She has been through many things. Perhaps she has been through one bad relationship after another and is completely torn apart . Maybe she was once a person who was very loving and giving, but problems have made her turn away from the warm hearted, trusting person she once was. She has tried to figure out what happened and tried to know exactly where this took place, but is not able to. She actually still has feelings and emotions, but will not surface just yet. This song is so beautiful.. Kinda hits home. Tracy Chapman sings my life.
    scrpdvaon December 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentto me this song is simply about heartbreak and how you feel afterwards.you dont feel like starting over or letting some1else in.but i do like this song
    msc4meon December 27, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf you are a victim of sexual abuse like myself this song hits you like you hit smack dab into a brick wall.I am so greatful Tracy worte this song. I have never felt so connected to a song as I have this one. This is a amazing song, I have never been ever to express myself untill now. Thank you Tracy for writing this beautiful song.
    babydollstarron June 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song means so much to me

    To me, it is about being raped. I was raped when I was sixteen, he took my virginity. He took everything. Just like she says. The innocence, the light in my eyes, it is all gone, months later. It has been a hard road and i'm just trying to make it through. This song touched me deeply. And I hope that other women (or men) who have been through this pain can come together and begin to heal.
    thedarkisrisingon June 14, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI personally don't necessarily think this song was about sexual assault -- at least I don't think the song was written with that intention. I see it as a person who's been broken by something..perhaps a series of events that have completely taken them down and drowned their soul. They can no longer trust..love..let anyone in. I think this song is written as someone who's questioning that person -- someone who truly cares about them, and wishes they could reach them -- that they could just be let in for a moment so they can show them that not everything is bad. They want this person to find that they haven't really been destroyed..but damaged -- that if they tear down their walls, and search hard enough, they can find their heart again.

    This is a beautiful song..one that anyone who has raised their walls because of past events can relate to..whether it be a person who's been in terrible relationships..lost someone..been a victim of sexual assault, etc.
    roachofdiscordon February 09, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about abuse. could be physical or emotional. The heart that's being wounded and hurt so much that it shuts down completely and there is nothing anyone do or say is able to touch it and melt that hard shell. And the spirit within down deep at the core is broken and disconnected. Thank you Tracy for writing this as it must have reached many untouchable frozen hearts that are bleeding inside.
    freehearton December 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf you've had your heart broken. The songs meaning is cleverly obvious. The intimacy of the lyrics implies the writer may have experienced a tragically, painful destruction of such a thing. Women feel these things more deeply then we thickly stupid men. I went through such a thing,but ofter the fact. Years later she died. It took 2more years before my heart felt the loss. Oh the pain. Oy vay the anguish. Years later.......keep vigilant people sometimes it's not worth the scars
    Dougof12on November 24, 2015   Link

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