Chris Rea – Whatever Happened To Benny Santini?

This is my contribution to Song Lyric Sunday for Jim Adams’s blog. This week’s prompt…Lost/Found/Hide/Seek.

The title song from his 1978 album. The song reached #71 on Billboards Hot 100 chart on November 25, 1978.

From songfacts

As Chris Rea tells it, when he got a record deal, his label, Magnet, suggested he change his name. He mockingly proposed “Benjamin Santini,” a name that would appeal to Jewish and Italian listeners – a big slice of the American market. At least one executive at Magnet took it seriously, telling him it was a good idea.

Rea kept his real name but came up with a backstory for Benny Santini, a promising young pop star packaged for stardom. In this song, he tells that story, with Santini falling out of favor, leaving many to ask, “Whatever happened to Benny Santini?”

Whatever Happened To Benny Santini?

They say his chances could not have been better
All the promise of a July sun in the morning sky
Laughing at the peering faces
From the windows of a limousine
Caviar with the A & R and still only in his teens
So whatever happened?

I can see him now, his face lit up in neon
One hand up in the air as he turns towards the crowd
His songs of silver arrows they tried to roll into gold
With diamond tips from painted lips
Designed and ready to be sold

They say he could not fall of
They say he could not fail
The wealth and fame would fire his flame
Just as soon as his ship set sail
So whatever happened?

Whatever happened to Benny Santini?
Whatever happened to the guy on the wall?
Where did he go to if he could not fall of
They tell you they don’t know
They don’t know at all.

Writer/s: CHRISTOPHER ANTON REA

6 thoughts on “Chris Rea – Whatever Happened To Benny Santini?

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