Songblog: Bed and Breakfast

On October 10, 2011, I was invited to take part in an outside broadcast of the Ralph McLean Radio show for Radio Ulster, down at the Bronte Centre in Rathfriland in County Down.

It was a bitterly cold night, but a lovely experience – Matt McGinn, Ruth Colley, Isobel Anderson, Gareth Dunlop… It was a great show, but I was glad to be heading home to the warmth, and on the way home, the first line just popped into my head as I was driving – ‘headlights on the road, and the moon up above. I drive between the lights to be with the one I love’.

I knew almost immediately that I was in straight-ahead love song territory, so I was determined not to be too clever. The only concession was when I started using the paired words – I love you hot & cold, I love you thick & thin… And without even thinking, the next pairing that came into my head was ‘bed & breakfast’, and then I couldn’t resist ‘going out & staying in’.

The chord pattern over the verses is a I-Vim-IV-V pattern that has been used a million times before. In my head I was thinking ‘Stay (Just a Little Bit Longer) and even Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Oh Diane’.

Hilden slide solo.jpg

It was the first track that we recorded for the album, and when I heard Linley Hamilton and Meilana Gillard’s horn parts, I knew I was going to have fun. It was good to put a big slide guitar solo on the record, too...

MUSICIANS: Anthony Toner – vocals and guitars; Clive Culbertson – bass; Peter McKinney – drums; John McCullough – piano and organ; Linley Hamilton – trumpet; Meilana Gillard – saxophone

Bed and Breakfast:

Headlights on the road, and the moon up above:

I drive between the lights, to be with the one I love.

And if I was a DJ, with my own late show,

I would dedicate to you every love song I know.


Cause I love you hot and cold,

I love you thick and thin.

I love you bed and breakfast,

going out and staying in.

There’s a checkpoint up ahead – and I tell them with a smile,

if they take away my wheels I’d walk home the sixty miles.


First thing in the morning, and last thing at night

I need to hear my baby’s voice to know it’s going to be all right.