Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs delivers a passionate vocal on this song, urging his girl to stick with him and ignore the advances of other men. The song was written by the legendary Motown team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland (Holland-Dozier-Holland), who wrote most of the hits for the Four Tops, including "Baby I Need Your Loving
" and "Reach Out I'll Be There
So was there really a "Bernadette"? Yes, and more than one. Dozier explained to Hits
magazine in 2003: "There were three Bernadettes, and they were all different girls. We sorta kept that to ourselves that we all had our own Bernadette. We always said, we'd never bring a girlfriend's name into the songs. We had this hidden thing when the name came up, so we didn't say anything. So at least two of us were thinking about the Bernadettes we knew."
In Dozier's case, "Bernadette" was inspired by his unrequited love for a girl when he was 12; a "beautiful Italian girl with eyes for somebody else."