Broadway Hotel

Album: Year Of The Cat (1976)

Songfacts®:

  • Like most touring musicians, Al Stewart spent a lot of time in hotel rooms, so it was only natural that he would write at least one song about them. "Broadway Hotel" is about something more specific though; he told biographer Neville Judd, "It's a song about trying to understand people who live in hotel rooms, people who are rich and can afford houses but prefer to live in a hotel room." It also has what might be called a love and loneliness theme. The song runs to 3 minutes 58 seconds and was also released as the B-side of "Year Of The Cat," December 11, 1976 on RCA. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • On an interview disc to promote the Year Of The Cat album, Stewart explained: "It's a very strange song. It's about a woman who checks into a hotel in order to be alone. She's alone for a little while and she orders room service. The man who comes up and brings the trey begins a lengthy relationship with her. They lock themselves in the room for about a week and then they order room service."
  • The song is a waltz, done in 3/4 time to accommodate phrases like "roll away," "cajole away," "summer's day." Said Stewart: "To me, this is as much an exercise in language as much as it is love relationships."

Comments: 4

  • Jim from South JerseyI think it’s gay themed
  • Bill from San Francisco, CaAl almost always plays this in his live performances.
  • Tim from Cheyenne, WyMy guess is that woman would typically be about middle age and sort of attractive, but has seen better days professionally (whatever profession or heiress she might be) and wants absolutely no strings attached. On the slippery slope, so to speak. Remember, Times Square Broadway hotel(s) was/were in a pretty sleazy area in the 1970's and assuredly the hotel had not been so highscale then as has happened nowadays. Half world, as the french say. Not at all like now, Soho district, too.
  • Tim from Cheyenne, WyLook at the last stanza of the lyrics and it is clear that a kind of lost woman is giving in to a sort of a gigalo arrangement at a hotel by the room service. Since this is written by Al in the
    mid 1970's there are no other answers clear. Al, or some other narrative of unknown sex, is mentioning this to her in some fashion or another. (mildly scolding?) But, yes, being in hotel rooms as much as most famous singers do does put a personal observation edge to all.
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