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What do you think the meaning behind the Bedtime Stories album theme was? What was the secret? Can any secret be a good one?


byebyebaby
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First, it's a R&B album. That says a lot already. Was she trying to cater to a certain audience with this album on purpose?

It seems this album wasn't made for her core audience on purpose. 

Say freedom, brotherhood
Justice, just say "yes"
Say freedom, brotherhood
Justice, just say "yes"

Survival In this album feels like she's talking about white supremacy/dating a black men. 

Secret Her lover showed her a (secret) that she didn't realize until she met him, gave her different perspective on life that she will never forget. It showed her how different her life was  and her upbringing from him. 

I'd Rather Be Your Lover Her lover was Tupac (I'd Rather Be Your Lover w/ Tupac) (hints the reason Tupac version never released)

Don't Stop

Inside Of Me (understanding the reason behind her mom Dying of breast cancer and accepting it)

Human Nature "You didn't want to see life through my eyes I'm breaking all the rules I didn't make" what rule did she break?  was it dating Tupac?

Forbidden Love Love Tried To Welcome Me (Their relationship didn't work because of race issues, outside people not understanding their relationship) 

"Is it all worth fighting for?
It all comes down to
Who's black or white" by madonna

Sanctuary (the cycle never stops) "Is all of this pain so necessary You are my sanctuary"

Bedtime Story (letting logic go, what I know, it's to much to handle , im letting it go trying to let it go) what i know you can know as well if you just open your eyes. the whole world is sleep walking.

Take A Bow "Hide behind your smile, all the world loves a clown" (Elusions under more elusions)

 

She's never explaining again. Can you help me solve this puzzle?

This is just a discussion.

Edited by kevon
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  • byebyebaby changed the title to What do you think the meaning behind the Bedtime Stories album theme was? What was the secret? Can any secret be a good one?

Human nature is about the media reaction to the erotica/sex era, She's not sorry and the whispered (would it help better if I were a man) shows the negative reactions were sexist as men were allowed to express their sexual fantasies. 

I kinda thought secret was about MMF three ways.  A penis lies in your own hand?

 

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13 minutes ago, ScottyX said:

I thought she alluded to Secret being about being gay. I never listened to the album for anything profound.

In the video, it does have gay undertones. I think a transwomen and lesbians were in the video etc, not sure. there are always elusions in her lyrics and music. I think the song is more about a new found understanding of life.  seeing life for what it really is, the secret is not a good one.

but "Happiness lies in your own hand."

Edited by kevon
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I think Secret is about her relationship with Ingrid tbh. A sexual and spiritual rebirth. 

Human Nature is pretty transparent.

Love Tried To Welcome Me is supposedly about a prostitute.

I don't think Madonna has too much affection for this album and referred to it as a Frankenstein album of two sounds no? Saying she doesn't want that situation to happen again. 

I adore this album because its such a great relaxing mood piece listen unlike anything else in her discography. But it sure felt tepid at the time. Very subdued, a weird whispery voice, some dodgy self reference, some insipid melodies and lyrically a bit duff in places. 

I don't think it's much more than the sound of a woman cocooning herself in mellow sounds of the time, ready to be born again a few years later with Ray Of Light

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8 hours ago, steady75 said:

 

I don't think it's much more than the sound of a woman cocooning herself in mellow sounds of the time, ready to be born again a few years later with Ray Of Light

"Why do all the things I say
Sound like the stupid things I've said before?" 

Skin - Madonna

I feel like Bedtime Stories and Ray of Light are sister albums. Ray of Light has more dance tracks but the topics on both albums are very similar.  

Edited by kevon
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There are a stories... she talks bedtime stories like for kids and "bedtime" like erotica album  flashback too - like boys with girls in bed, like a photoshot for album cover or take a bow video - scenes in bed. Secret is God or Love, maybe change and it's sounds bodily too... like secretion. I was 14 in 1994 and I loved Secret and Take a Bow videos... it's like music for puppies and very romance... and Human Nature video is so pure and light and fun - true art. (and dreamy album too)

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23 hours ago, kevon said:

Can you help me solve this puzzle?

So, it's generally understood that Madonna wanted a softer image after the backlash she received from releasing Erotica and the SEX book. Physical image, sound image, and even subject matter in the songs are softer and more palatable. 

I see alot of Madonna reaction videos that see Madonna's work as "always having a meaning or a deeper meaning" and then something like "Don't Stop" comes around and they try and psychoanalyze it as something profound when it's basically just fluff. 

Survival:  It's exactly what the title says it's about. Life is about surviving. She's had ups and downs, but she persists. She also declares that her motto is "No risk, no glory". Which could be taken as an explanation of why she chose to do the SEX book. She took an artistic risk. 

Secret: I know everyone is constantly wondering what the secret is... but my personal opinion is that the secret is in the song right in front of our eyes. "Happiness lies in your own hands". She's saying it's something so simple, yet it took her much too long to understand this. She also feels so strongly about this that it's included in another song on this album. 

I'd Rather Be Your Lover: This comes off to me as just rehashed JML lyrics with a woman rapper thrown on top to give it subtle lesbian vibes. A discrete provocation. 

Don't Stop: It's the Jimmy Jimmy of Bedtime Stories. But the production is superb!

Inside of Me: Is obviously Madonna doing what she does in writing a love song to her mother, but letting it be ambiguous as it could be taken sexually. However in this soft, romantic production it's not as harsh as songs off the Erotica album. 

Human Nature: Response to her critics for the SEX book and Erotica era. 

Forbidden Love: Doesnt have a deeper meaning, unless you want to know if it's about someone specific. 

Love Tried to Welcome Me: Same 

Sanctuary: Same

Bedtime Story: These words were written by Bjork, because she wanted to hear Madonna sing these words. I think Bjork saw Madonna as calculated and strategic and Bjork wanted to kind of suggest that Madonna relax, let go, and let her intuition take over. 

Take a Bow: Very straight forward. It's about feeling you have been deceived by a lover. They pretended to love you but it was all an act. 

 

I don't think there is an over arching lyrical theme, and I don't think racism is anywhere on the album. 

 

Oh, also... I would say this album is more a sister with Erotica than Ray of Light IMHO. A flip side of the coin. Maybe a prelude to Ray of Light in that she's staring to impart wisdom. 

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I'm sorry, but I still see this album as her: "I'm sorry, I've been a bad girl. Now I'm good girl again. Forgive me."

It's not a bad album (for me one of her worst). It has three or four amazing songs and the first Madonna's track that I hate: "Human Nature" (I love the lyrics, I really hate the music). Thanks God for "Ray of Light" years later. It was boring to be a fan during the "Bedtime Stories" era. Of course, this is my opinion, not a fact...

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1 hour ago, Aiwa08 said:

I'm sorry, but I still see this album as her: "I'm sorry, I've been a bad girl. Now I'm good girl again. Forgive me."

It's not a bad album (for me one of her worst). It has three or four amazing songs and the first Madonna's track that I hate: "Human Nature" (I love the lyrics, I really hate the music). Thanks God for "Ray of Light" years later. It was boring to be a fan during the "Bedtime Stories" era. Of course, this is my opinion, not a fact...

She's not sorry in this album at all, it's human nature. This album wasn't made for her core audience on purpose. She wasn't trying to please her fans.

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12 hours ago, kevon said:

She's not sorry in this album at all, it's human nature. This album wasn't made for her core audience on purpose. She wasn't trying to please her fans.

That's the point. She was trying to please the people who hated her because she did Erotica/Sex. At first, she wanted to do another album with Shep Pettibone, but the backlash was too much for her. In Europe and Asia she was still the queen but in USA, Erotica and Sex almost destroyed her career. 

Nowadays, Erotica and Sex are seen like masterpieces from a woman who broke the rules. In the Erotica era, if you loved madonna, people insulted you ("You are a fan of a whore").

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7 hours ago, RUADJAI said:

 

 

Oh, also... I would say this album is more a sister with Erotica than Ray of Light IMHO. A flip side of the coin. Maybe a prelude to Ray of Light in that she's staring to impart wisdom. 

read tyler perry GIF by The Passion: Live

Erotica is an album that stands on it's own, it has no sister. Bedtime stories and ray of light are sisters because the topics on both albums are similar.

Similar topics

"Survival" vs "Drowned World/Substitute for Love"
"Secret" vs "Nothing Really Matters" "Frozen" "Shanti/Ashtangi"
"I'd Rather Be Your Lover" vs "Candy Perfume Girl"

"'Don't Stop"
"Inside of Me" vs "Mer Girl"
"Human Nature"

"Forbidden Love" vs "Skin"
"Love Tried to Welcome Me" vs "To Have and Not to Hold" 
"Sanctuary" vs "Has to Be" "Swim"

"Bedtime Story" vs "Ray of Light" "Sky Fits Heaven"
"Take a Bow"vs "The Power of Good-Bye"



"Little Star"


 

 

Edited by kevon
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I always thought in Frozen like a second part of "Open Your Heart" years later (in a dark/sad tone after the rupture). I'm not joking.

"Open Your Heart with the key...  /// You're frozen... when your heart's not open"

"I follow you around but you can't see /// You only see what your eyes want to see"

 

I love to find "second parts" in her songs. Something like "Take A Bow"-"You'll See"

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Just now, scallywally said:

As someone mentions above 'happiness lies in your own hands, it took me much long to understand'  is the secret.

Possibly for Ingrid Jenny or Tupac who were lovers around then which were kept semi private. Doesnt matter who you go with as long as youre happy, even if you keep it a secret. 

(My take on it, its probably way off). 

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1 hour ago, EgoRod said:

I always thought that Take a Bow was about Warren Beatty 

It refers to a 'lonely star' in a stage etc lots of actor innuendos and they just broke up.

Nice. I never thought about Warren. It makes total sense though. Unless it's also about Sean. But I think the video portraying her idolizing the "star" on the TV points to Warren as well. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think y'all are overanalyzing things. I think the album is pretty clear in its purpose. Madonna basically wanted a softer and cleaner image after the Erotica era scandal, so people would buy her music again. I mean, she was really being bashed at those times, so she basically had the idea of writing songs about love, incorporating R&B sounds in it (since it was the genre that was charting in the 90's) and that's it lol. Except for huma nature, she was not trying to make a statement like in Erotica, American life or Madame X.

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