“Bed of Roses” by Bon Jovi
This track gives us an insight into the inner workings of Jon Bon Jovi’s mind during the time he penned the song. Before we begin, it is worth noting that Jon wrote this song in a Los Angeles hotel room while recovering from a hangover! The person he is addressing in “Bed of Roses” is a lover who is not with him at the moment.
And from the song’s chorus, what he is hoping he can do for her is to lay her down in a “bed of roses” despite the fact that he currently sleeps “on a bed of nails”.
Laying her down on a rose laden bed is apparently a metaphor for how much he wants to take care of her and make her happy. And he wants to make her happy despite the fact that he currently finds himself lying on a “bed of nails” (which is a metaphor for the torturous condition he finds himself in). Simply put, he might be suffering right now. However, in the midst of his suffering, he still thinks of nothing but making his woman happy.
Jon begins this verse by letting his listeners aware that he is going through the very unpleasant experience of a hangover. He also drops a line “about movies they won’t make of me when I’m dead”, which was inspired by his watching the film “The Doors” which is centered on a real-life musician who died prematurely. This passage likely alludes to his negative mind state at that time. However, he concludes the verse by referring to his aforementioned love interest as “all that (he) needs”. Thus although not feeling particularly good about himself, he finds optimism in thinking about his woman.
In the second verse, we find that he is so much in love that he is willing to spend “a king’s ransom in dimes” just to pay for telephone calls to communicate with his boo. And overall, he is very much looking forward to being with her once again.
There isn’t much meat in the song’s third verse. That said, in this verse, the narrator (Jon) weaves a humorous tale of an apparently unattractive barkeeper who is “giving (him) the eye”.
In the fourth, he refers to the music industry as his “mistress” and once again reverts back to his depressed mind state by expressing that although he may be surrounded by people, that does not mean he is not “lonely”. But he concludes by once again bigging up his woman as the one he “would die to defend”.
In all, “Bed of Roses” centers on two central themes. One is Jon Bon Jovi’s overall depressing mindframe. The second is the deep love he has for his romantic partner. The latter is the sentiment that truly defines this song. And like mentioned at the beginning of this post, Jon penned this song in a hotel room while dealing with a severe hangover. The lyrics express exactly how he felt at that particular moment.
Facts about “Bed of Roses”
- This classic was written entirely by Jon Bon Jovi (frontman of Bon Jovi).
- Noted Canadian record producer Bob Rock produced this song.
- “Bed of Roses” came out as a single on the 26th of January 1993. It originally featured as the fifth track on the group’s 1992 album Keep the Faith. Aside Keep the Faith, you can also find this song on several albums of Bon Jovi. Some of these albums include Cross Road (of 1994), This Left Feels Right (of 2003), and Greatest Hits (of 2010).
- The video for this classic was directed by Wayne Isham. The live parts of this clip were shot at the Stabler Arena, in Pennsylvania.
Performance on the Charts
The track, after its release instantly became an international hit, placing at #1 in Spain. It also ranked among the popular 10 hit tracks on the national chart list of Canada, Switzerland, Austria, and the Netherlands.
The song peaked at #10 on the Billboard’s Hot 100. Furthermore, the track also made it to the 13th spot on the UK Singles chart.
“Bed of Roses” has been covered by various singers, of which include:
- Cassadee Pope (in 2014)
- Toše Proeski (on his album, S ljubavlju od Toseta of 2011)
- Hinder (on their maiden album, entitled, Extreme Behavior).
Did “Bed of Roses” win a Grammy?
Despite being one of Bon Jovi’s biggest hits, this song never earned the band a Grammy.