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Billy Joel Scenes from an Italian Restaurant Lyrics

Last updated: 04/16/2014 05:23:27 PM

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.

Thanks to gradymon for submitting Scenes from an Italian Restaurant Lyrics.

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The song | Reviewer: Enrique | 4/16/14

What I think is that I dont know if the story is true or not, I love the song becouse the music, it has jazz, band, rock and roll, rock, balad, starts slow and then goes up in a diferent rhythm, sax, piano, clarinet and I dont know what else, for me is one of the best song of BJ, this is why I never get tire of it, when ever i play it, I melt with the song, and walk it from the beginning to the end....simply spectacular

I know Brenda | Reviewer: Susan T | 12/6/12

I know Brenda and briefly dated Billy Joel. Brenda actually got back with Eddie hence why he's waving goodbye to them again. Alas, Eddies crack addiction meant that he had to do some time in the pen' and Brenda divorced him and took up with the waiter from the Italian restauarant. She currently lives in a trailer park in Wyoming. Eddie got clean discovered God and works in a vegetarian soup kitchen run by the Hare Krishnas.
They still keep in contact but are really embarrassed by the song and briefly considered suing their old friend Billy.

My opinion on the two mentions of "the summer of '75" | Reviewer: Maliciousboy | 11/26/11

I always felt the "going steady in the summer of '75" eventually followed by the "had it already by the summer of '75" didn't mean that their married life was over right at that point in time, but that they were already doomed to this new stage of life and responsibility that marriage was about to thrust upon them. "From the High to the low to the end of the show for the rest of their lives" is basically the wedding vow of " have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for as long as we both shall live." And once those vows were made they "couldn't go back to the greasers" And with the impending collapse of their married life an inevitability, "the best they could do was pick up their pieces".

highs and lows | Reviewer: Ray | 8/25/11

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

I had always assumed that this meant that they had lived the best years of their lives before they got married. The rest was downhill and no going back.

Interpretation | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/15/11

In this song, Joel is speaking in the first person for the first two and last parts, but changes in the middle segment (the Brenda and Eddie part). He is talking about himself as the fictitious Eddie and the person he is meeting at the restaraunt is Brenda. He mentions at the close of the third part "Here we are waving [them] goodbye". The rendezvous at the restaraunt is the first time meeting since the summer they divorced.

re: what about the dates | Reviewer: Cynthia | 6/23/11

Maybe it's being taken *too* literally? I've always thought that "had had it already" meant that the substance of the relationship had died. They still got married and everything, but the love and potential died in 1975.

Lyrical meaning | Reviewer: Thomas | 6/20/11

The way I interpret the song is that Brenda and Eddie being the "big fish in a little pond" the little pond being high school quickly found out that when they got out of high school they would soon find themselves in a "much larger pond" than they had previously been living in and they have trouble dealing with the fact that they are not in the spotlight as they were in high school which may have been the chief cause of they're separation.

re: what about the dates | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/19/11

"what about the dates/ | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/2/10

i dont understand why no one has an issue with them getting married in july and being done by the summer of the same year they got married."

I've wondered the same thing myself. Brenda & Eddie are "going
steady in the summer of '75" and plan a wedding for "the end of July"...presumably the same year. After they'd had time to get an apartment, furniture, etc, and had "a couple of years" to save some money, they break up, but it's still the summer of '75! What gives? Even if they'd been saving the money for some time before the wedding came up, at best it would be a one month marriage. Seems like a lot to have happen in one month. Either way, still an awesome song!

Not everything is to be taken literally | Reviewer: Prince Alby | 12/7/10

This song, like many others, has multiple possibilities for interpretation. Most of you have hit on the most popular theories of how your ideals in high school about the "good life" are delusional at best and almost never come true for the people you'd expect to live happily ever after.

I think the fictional Brenda and Eddie are just like Jack and Diane in the Melloncamp song, they're based on real people, but are mostly just symbolic of the so-called "cool kids." I don't think they're dead at the end of the song. These are just memories from someone who grew up with people like that and watched from the periphery as the ones who had it made in high school weren't able to conquer the rest of the world the way they did in high school. It's a lesson in reality.

High school is a warm up for the rest of your life. It teaches you how to find your place in that microcosm of society, but also not to believe that that is all you will ever become. For some, high school is the pinnacle of their lives and everything afterwards isn't nearly as great. They aren't viewed by the rest of the world the way they were as "the king and the queen of the prom."

And just as Brenda and Eddie found the world beyond HS to be less appreciative of them, others moved on and found their horizons not so limited.

I prefer Don McLean's quote about the meaning of his enigmatic song "American Pie." When asked what it means, he said, "It means I'll never have to work a day again for the rest of my life."

Music, like all forms of art, should be free to mean whatever to whomever. That's the beauty of it. It can mean different things to different people and everyone can connect to it for their own reasons. The best songs resonate with a wide audience for largely different reasons which is what makes them, like this song, a classic.

what about the dates/ | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/2/10

i dont understand why no one has an issue with them getting married in july and being done by the summer of the same year they got married.

the song seems to tell teh story how the most popular in high school arent teh most popular or successful in life because we learn that HS popularity is so shallow

Come on ppl | Reviewer: Jon | 12/30/09

guys i agree with billy fan. I've known billy joel for years too and have heard the same general explanation. remember its sceneS- as in more than one. Its not the story of one couple. Its the story of the theme of love once had or never got. Its not all the story of brenda and eddie.

Whoa | Reviewer: Tom K | 12/18/09

This song is clearly about Brenda and Eddie meeting up at their old, favorite Italian restaurant, years after the story took place on which the song is based.. They begin to reminisce about old times, and their failed marriage, but still feel a closeness to each other, being that they were "first loves"

My fave Billy Joel song ! | Reviewer: ML | 1/27/09

Heck, I LOVE this song so much- been SO privileged to have heard Billy perform 'Scenes from an Italian restaurant' live twice now- last time was 4th Dec 08 when he played here in Brisbane.

The lyrics to me are all about just how meaningless the worldly perspective on romance & relationships is, based on the totally superficial foundation of Brenda & Eddie's relationship as the most popular couple in highschool which in turn causes their marriage to just fall apart later. A corollary of this whole context is that, as Billy himself commented in his 1994 Live at Princeton interview, it doesn't matter whatever happens after highschool, cos the most popular people from back then end up dysfunctional as they go into the real world, and those of us who had it bad back then (as I did) can just move on with our lives in the best we can regardless of all that superficial popularity crap from school days...

Yeah, that's my take from a phenomenal 3-in-1 song !

Billy joel is my Hero! | Reviewer: Freya | 12/31/08

What! whoever said that it was Brenda and Eddie talking in the restaurant you are so wrong. its two friends catching up after a long time and they're talking about Brenda and Eddie. Da hence "Brenda you know that your much to lazy" and all the they did and she did y would thay be talking about if it was them...gosh

It's all releative | Reviewer: A fan | 12/18/08

Now I see why Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) is so tight lipped about the meaning of his lyrics. Maybe words written on a page have some sort of significance to the lyricist, but the real importance is to extract your own meaning. 'What does it mean to me?' I think that this is the question that we all need to ask ourselves. Maybe the beauty of poetry is not in the analyzing thereof, but in reading it for the first time. How does it make you feel? What did it make you think of? There is no incorrect interpretation.

Warm regards and happy holidays,
A fan