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Music / Bedtime Stories

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Traveling, leaving logic and reason
Traveling, to the arms of unconsciousness

alternate cover 
You gave me back the paradise that I thought I lost for good
You helped me find the reason why
It took me by surprise that you understood
You knew all along what I never wanted to say
Until I learned to love myself
I was never ever loving anybody else

Happiness lies in your own hand
It took me much too long to understand how it could be
Until you shared your secret with me

Bedtime Stories is the sixth studio album recorded by American pop musician Madonna. It was released through Sire Records and Maverick Records on October 25, 1994.

While not as popular as Like a Prayer or Ray of Light, the album was well received by both critics and fans. Its popular tunes include "Secret", "Human Nature", "Bedtime Story", and "Take A Bow" (which was, at that point, her highest charting single yet).



  1. "Survival"
  2. "Secret"
  3. "I'd Rather Be Your Lover"
  4. "Don't Stop"
  5. "Inside of Me"
  6. "Human Nature"
  7. "Forbidden Love"
  8. "Love Tried to Welcome Me"
  9. "Sanctuary"
  10. "Bedtime Story"
  11. "Take a Bow"

Trope a Bow

  • As the Good Book Says...: Madonna quotes a line from the first chapter of Genesis in "Sanctuary".
  • Call-Back: To "Express Yourself" in "Human Nature".
    Express yourself, don't repress yourself.
  • Continuity Nod: The bull fighter that appears in her video for "Take A Bow" will appear again later in the video for "You'll See" from the Something To Remember compilation album.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Implied in "Secret" with the line "happiness lies in your own hand".
  • Double Standard: "Human Nature" outlines one about females not having the liberty to express themselves sexually. In the video, it's shown through Madonna and performers dressed up in leather and BDSM gear.
  • Advertisement:
  • Ethical Slut / Slut-Shaming: The subject of "Human Nature".
  • Face on the Cover: Madonna shown upside down. Some copies have the cover image right-side up.
  • Fading into the Next Song: "Sanctuary" —> "Bedtime Story"
  • Grief Song: "Inside Of Me", detailing Madonna's grief over the death of her mother.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Madonna and her performers in the "Human Nature" video.
  • Intercourse with You: About half of the album is straight-up porn music. Complete with heavy breathing.
  • Inverted Portrait: The album cover.
  • Lighter and Softer: Considered this compared to her previous album "Erotica".
  • New Sound Album: But, of course! In this case, the music is heavily influenced by hip hop and contemporary R&B, with a heavy dose of techno and trip hop in "Bedtime Story."
  • New Jack Swing: Like Erotica, it doesn't fully embrace the genre, but takes obvious cues from it and mixed it with techno. Unsurprising, since all of the album's producers (listed in the Record Producer entry below) crafted several new jack hits for TLC, Bobby Brown, Mary J. Blige & Michael Jackson, among several others.
  • One-Word Title: "Survival", "Secret", "Sanctuary"
  • Precision F-Strike: In "Human Nature": "I'm not your bitch, don't hang your shit on me." In the video, the "shit" part is bleeped out with the sound of a slam. The radio-friendly edit version just repeats Madonna singing "I'm not sorry, it's human nature" in the chorus.
  • Record Producer: Madonna, Nellee Hooper, Dallas Austin, Dave "Jam" Hall, and Babyface.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Bedtime Story" was written by Björk, who would use the lyrics: "and inside/ we're all still wet/ longing and yearning (...) and all that you've ever learned/ try to forget" for her own song "Sweet Intuition".
    • "Sanctuary" samples "Watermelon Man" from Herbie Hancock's album Head Hunters.
  • Special Guest: Babyface in "Take A Bow". "Bedtime Story" was written by Björk.
  • Surreal Music Video: "Bedtime Story".
  • Take That, Critics!: "Human Nature" is one against her critics, namely for her more suggestive material in her music and performances.
  • Title Track: Almost, with the next-to-the-last track being called "Bedtime Story".

And all that you’re ever learned, try to forget
I’ll never explain again