Great Fakeout Songs: "Robert De Niro's Waiting"


This sounds like such a charming and upbeat song on first listen, which makes it perfect fodder for a Fakeout Song! Allow me to enlighten you with one simple fact: the narrator is being raped. This girl is being violently attacked and the only thing she can do to cope is to retreat in her mind to her "man of steel," Robert De Niro in The Godfather Part II.

I love the way the lyrics move in the song: she fixates on Robert De Niro but images of her reality flash through her mind, piercing through her imagined comfort, and each image becomes more specific, more focussed, until we know exactly what's happening. And once the narrator acknowledges it, she promptly dissociates back to Robert De Niro.

There's an interesting bit of trivia about the chorus: apparently the three girls fought tooth and nail against producer Steve Jolley's addition of "talking Italian," as it removes some of the menace of the song. I'm of two minds about this: on the one hand, I really like the specificity that "talking Italian" adds to the lyrics. This isn't just fantasy Robert De Niro, this is sexy Vito Corleone, who takes care of his own no matter what it takes. But I think leaving that space between "Robert De Niro's waiting..." really would make the song darker. It allows space for the listener to think about what's being said, space for the horrible circumstances to breathe out a little more.

Out of respect to you all, I have NOT posted the official music video here, as it ruins the entire song (Bananarama have successfully ruined their own legacy in recent years, but that's a whole other story). If you want to see it, you can find it that magical youtube site. But for now, here's the song, complete with a static image that might yet cause your eyes to bleed:

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