Song of the Day #4,591: ‘Black Coffee in Bed’ – Squeeze

This selection from Dana’s list of favorite songs stood out to me. I’m very curious to hear what it is about Squeeze’s ‘Black Coffee in Bed’ that earned it a spot in the elite 25.

Not that I don’t like this song myself. On the contrary, I love it. I just don’t love it any more or less that a dozen other wonderful Squeeze songs. Why ‘Black Coffee in Bed’ and not ‘Another Nail in My Heart,’ ‘Pulling Mussels (From the Shell),’ ‘Tempted,’ ‘Is That Love,’ ‘Someone Else’s Heart’ or ‘Annie Get Your Gun,’ for example?

This song has a great soul sound and features backing vocals by Elvis Costello (once you know that, you can’t not hear him). Chris Difford wrote the lyrics and felt they called out for a country treatment, only to be pleasantly surprised when Glenn Tilbrook turned it into something more Motown than Nashville.

My personal favorite Squeeze song is ‘Walk a Straight Line,’ a deep cut from the 1991 album Play, which I picked up in a cut-out bin. I haven’t thought about that song in a long time, but revisiting it makes me wish I’d considered it for my own favorite songs list.

There’s a stain on my notebook where your coffee cup was
And there’s ash in the pages, now I’ve got myself lost
I was writing to tell you that my feelings tonight
Are a stain on my notebook that rings your goodbye

Oh, now she’s gone
And I’m back on the beat
A stain on my notebook
Says nothing to me

Oh, now she’s gone
And I’m out with a friend (out with a friend)
With lips full of passion
And coffee in bed

(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

With the way that you left me, I can hardly contain
(Hardly contain)
The hurt and the anger and the joy of the pain
(Joy of the pain)

Now knowing I’m single, there’ll be fire in my eyes
(Fire in my eyes)
And a stain on my notebook for a new love tonight
(New love tonight)

Oh, now she’s gone
And I’m back on the beat
A stain on my notebook
Says nothing to me

Oh, now she’s gone
And I’m out with a friend (out with a friend)
With lips full of passion
And coffee in bed

(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

Oh, now she’s gone
And I’m out with a friend (out with a friend)
With lips full of passion (ooh)
And coffee in bed

(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

Oh, from lips without passion to the lips with a kiss
There’s nothing of your love that I’ll ever miss
The stain on my notebook remains all that’s left
Of the memory of late nights and coffee in bed
Of the memory of late nights and coffee in bed

Now she’s gone
And I’m back on the beat
Oh, a stain on my notebook
Says nothing to me

Oh, now she’s gone (now she’s gone)
And I’m out with a friend (out with a friend)
With lips full of passion (ooh)
And coffee in bed

(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)
(Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh)

Now she’s gone (black coffee in bed)
And I’m back on the beat (black, black coffee in bed)
A stain on my notebook (black, black, black coffee in bed)
Says nothing to me (black coffee in bed)

Now she’s gone (black, black coffee in bed)
And I’m back on the beat (black, black, black coffee in bed)
A stain on my notebook (black coffee in bed)
Says nothing to me (black, black coffee in bed)

(Black, black, black) Oh, coffee in bed
(Black) coffee in bed
(Black, black coffee in bed)
(Black, black, black coffee in bed)

(Black coffee in bed)
(Black, black coffee in bed)
(Black, black, black coffee in bed)
(Black coffee in bed)
(Black, black coffee in bed)
(Black, black, black coffee in bed)

6 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,591: ‘Black Coffee in Bed’ – Squeeze

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    You ask a fair question. 😊

    This song was one of the last to make my list and came about after Amy questioned some of my picks as not really being “me,” at which point she started going through what remains of our CD collection, which now generally represents only special, more meaningful albums we have yet to surrender to the online platform exclusively.

    From her call-outs, I added songs like Steely Dan’s “My Old School” and Squeeze’s “Black Coffee.” In both cases, I probably could have gone with a few other favorite tracks – “Hey Nineteen” or “Reeling in the Years” from Steely Dan or “Tempted” or “Pulling Muscles” from Squeeze.

    “Black Coffee” got the nod over other Squeeze songs partly because it is one that Daniel likes to put in the rotation while serving as our resident car DJ, so my fondness was bolstered by his and, by extension, my family’s affection for the song, and partly because it is just a bit more “me” than other Squeeze songs.

    And getting to hear Costello’s backup vocals always tickles me as well.

    So there is your answer.😊

  2. Amy says:

    I will be curious what Dana says in terms of why he picked this particular song, but my guess is that it’s representative of all the amazing songs you mentioned. Initially he didn’t have a Squeeze song on his list, which I called out as being a conspicuous absence in the list of the person who introduced me to this band he loves.

  3. Amy says:

    On another note, I looked back yesterday to see if you had ever featured “These Are Days” or “Feels Like Home” only to find that I had commented on both of those songs about a decade ago that they were among my all-time favorites. At least I’m consistent. 😉

    • Amy says:

      Just read back on a few others and love how we were all oohing and aahing that you reached 800 songs when you featured “Into the Mystic” (which I proclaimed then might be among my top 5 songs 👍🏼😜 – Too. Much. Consistency,)

      (Also must note that “Begin Again” and “Green Grow the Rushes” may have been technically featured but didn’t get the true Clay analysis they deserve)

  4. Peg says:

    I am constantly amazed at all of you and your passion for the music you love. Also so much variety in your choices. I could never name only 25 favorite songs. Much easier to name 25 favorite artists 😊

    • Amy says:

      Of course you could!! Hell, I can think of 25 on your behalf ;P
      For starters… Frank Sinatra’s “Close to You,” Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are,” Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” – okay, I have to go to another (UGH) meeting, but you get the idea! 🙂

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