Bed And Breakfast Man



Well there’s a man I know
At least I used to years ago
I didn’t really mind
He used to come round all the time

Of course he had to be fed
I had to give him a bed
He used to kip on my sofa
They used to call him a loafer

I’ve heard he’s changed a lot since then
But some of his ways he just can’t mend

I was told the other day
That he’d offered to pay
He didn’t like his dad
He earned all he ever had
He didn’t have no shame
He was a master at his game
He never showed his hand
He was the bed and breakfast man

Oh oh he was, he was the bed and breakfast man


Mike Barson Music & Words


Clive Langer praises the song and describes it as “dead solid, a great song. Barson comes up with something in a melody that no one else does. And he writes a great mundane lyric.” It is clear that the song bears the unique style of Mike Barson, but there is a differing opinion about the song’s origins. Chris claims, “I wrote a lot of the lyrics, which Barson disputes. It’s a shame, really, because there is no song which I’ve written with Mike in the entire Madness catalog.”

It is widely speculated that Chris is the author of this song, primarily because he used to perform it live during the band’s early days. Chris even sang it during the John Peel session, and a photograph from one of Madness’s first reviews shows Chris singing at the Dublin Castle while Suggs played the guitar.

Foreman explains that he tuned the guitar so that Suggs could play the tune with one finger while he sang it, but when they got to the studio, Clive wanted Suggs to sing it, which was the right decision. Mike remembers writing “Bed and Breakfast Man” in his Morris 1000 van while working as a delivery driver. He wrote it quickly while doing his rounds in just an hour.


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Madness' One Step Beyond... (Terry Edwards) Book