In Squeeze’s “Black Coffee in Bed,” a song about moving on from a departed lover, coffee provides both a reminder of the old relationship and the promise of a new one.
The singer is reminded of his former lover by a coffee cup stain on his notebook, but despite the hurt and anger that he feels, he tells her he’s “back on the beat” with “fire in my eyes.” He claims that he’ll miss nothing of her love, that the coffee stain on the notebook is all that remains “Of the memory of late nights / And coffee in bed.” And more than that, he says there will be a “stain on my notebook / For a new love tonight.”
“Black Coffee in Bed” was recorded in 1981 and released in April 1982 as the first single from British Pop band Squeeze’s fifth album, Sweets from a Stranger. Glenn Tilbrook sang lead and wrote the music to accompany Chris Difford’s lyrics. Elvis Costello and Paul Young sang backup.
“Black Coffee in Bed” reached No. 51 on the UK Singles Chart. In the U.S. it rose to No. 26 on Billboard’s Top Tracks chart (now called Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks). The song was also included in the 1982 compilation album Singles — 45’s and Under, which is certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
For a different approach to “Black Coffee in Bed,” check out Ernie Halter’s laid-back acoustic version.
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