“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”.

Lyrics of "Bed of Roses"

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.

First Verse

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.

Second Verse

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.

Third Verse

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”. 

Fourth Verse

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.

14 Responses

  1. Lori conger says:

    This is my favorite song. I have listened to it over and over.

  2. Marti says:

    If I had a dime for every time I’ve listened to this song, I could live in luxury for the remainder of my life. My guy and I fell in love because of\to this song back in 1993 and it was then and still is on constant repeat in my car. Just heard it on Hair Nation for the first time EVER and I thank Dangerous Darren for it. Shocked me so to hear that guitar riff that I had to sit for a moment to just absorb it. Still sob like a baby every time JBJ performs it live. He’s taken a lot of sh** over the years about the lyrics, but a song powerful enough to still move people after all these years seems to be standing the test of time, lyrics be damned.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Was this song written for his wife?

    • Josh says:

      He wrote a song about confession

      • Pattie G. says:

        No it is not. The mistress is the music industry not about a woman. You don’t know much about
        Jon’s love for his wife he has been with since he was 18. And the respect he has for her.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s a song about him, his wife Dorothea and his life on the road. I think it’s like a confession of him sleeping with other girls while they’re on tour. It is a romantic song, but bittersweet because of the cheating and betrayal that underlines the message.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s not a confession of him cheating. Although you are right it’s a song about him, his wife, and life on the road.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I agree it feels like a confession of cheating. There is a vibe of major guilt and self-loathing and the need to be absolved and prove his righteousness.

    • Pattie G. says:

      sorry it is not a confession. the mistress is the music industry. the spotlight is the Media and them not leaving him alone. Taking private photos from far away.

  6. Anonymous says:

    why is my comment not on here ? I tried twice. it told me I had already commented
    On it . but it is not showing

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