Of all the songs on Tunnel of Love, one of the most understated and emotional is "One Step Up." With the barest of arrangement, this is Springsteen at his most revealing and subtle. The song is filled with wonderful lyrics; lines such as "When I look at myself I don't see/The man I wanted to be" and "There's a girl across the bar/I get the message she's sending/Mmm, she ain't looking too married/Me? Honey, I'm pretending" are some of Springsteen's finest. The song is hugely personal. Springsteen himself was going through a traumatic break-up when writing songs for the album, and he is very poetic and eloquent, rather in the manner of Dylan's Blood on the Tracks. Springsteen himself has rarely performed the song in concert, and there have been no notable cover versions of the song.