Scenes from an Italian restaurant

Singer-songwriter Billy Joel (1949) schreef Scenes From an Italian Restaurant in 1977, een van zijn populairste liedjes dat werd uitgebracht op de lp The Stranger maar nooit als een single is verschenen. Het gaat over twee schoolvrienden die elkaar na jaren weer ontmoeten en het leven doornemen. Het nummer duurt lang: 7 minuten en 37 seconden. Eigenlijk bestaat het uit drie gedeelten: het begint als een ballade, het middenstuk is behoorlijk jazzy en het eindigt als een rock ‘n’ rollnummer. Welk restaurant bedoelde Joel eigenlijk? In een interview heeft hij ooit gezegd dat het ging om een eetgelegenheid tegenover Carnegie Hall dat Fontana di Trevi heette en dat hij geregeld bezocht toen hij een aantal optredens gaf in Manhattan.

A bottle of white, a bottle of red,
Perhaps a bottle of rosé instead.
We’ll get a table near the street
In our old familiar place
You and I – face to face hm, hm
A bottle of red, a bottle of white
It all depends upon your appetite
I’ll meet you any time you want
In our Italian Restaurant.
Things are okay with me these days
I got a good job, I got a good office
I got a new wife, got a new life
And the family is fine
Oh we lost touch long ago
You lost weight – I did not know
you could ever look so nice after so much time.
Do you remember those days hanging out at the village green?
Engineer boots, leather jackets and tight blue jeans
Oh you drop a dime in the box play a song about New Orleans
Cold beer, hot lights, my sweet romantic teenage nights ooh, ooh
Oh, oh, oh, oh…..
Brenda and Eddie were the popular steadies
And the king and the queen of the prom
Riding around with the car top down and the radio on
Nobody looked any finer
Or was more of a hit at the Parkway Diner
We never knew we could want more than that out of life
Surely Brenda and Eddie would always know how to survive.
Oh, oh, oh, oh…..
Brenda and Eddie were still going steady in the summer of ’75
When they decided the marriage would be at the end of July
Everyone said they were crazy
“Brenda you know that you’re much too lazy
and Eddie could never afford to live that kind of life.”
Oh, but there we were wavin’ Brenda and Eddie goodbye.
Oh, oh, oh
Well they got an apartment with deep pile carpets
And a couple of paintings from Sears
A big waterbed that they bought with the bread
They had saved for a couple of years
but they started to fight when the money got tight
And they just didn’t count on the tears.
Oh, oh yeah rock ‘n roll
Oh, oh, oh
Well, they lived for a while in a very nice style
But it’s always the same in the end
They got a divorce as a matter of course
And they parted the closest of friends
Then the king and the queen went back to the green
But you could never go back there again
Oh, oh
Brenda and Eddie had had it already by the summer of ’75
From the high to the low to the end of the show
For the rest of their lives
They couldn’t go back to the greasers
The best they could do was pick up their pieces
We always knew they would both find a way to get by
Oh and that’s all I heard about Brenda and Eddie
Can’t tell you more ’cause I’ve told you already
And here we are wavin’ Brenda and Eddie goodbye
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
A bottle of red, a bottle of white,
Whatever kind of mood you’re in tonight
I’ll meet you anytime you want
In our Italian Restaurant.

Met dank aan Frank van Wijck.



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