Song Lyric Sunday: Michael Jackson, “Ben”

Jim got today’s prompt from my good friend Di at Pensitivity101: “Pets, Names, Memories.” This was the first song that came to mind, because it’s about a pet rat named Ben…

Wikipedia tells us

“Ben” is a song written by Don Black and Walter Scharf for the 1972 film of the same name (a spin-off to the 1971 killer rat film Willard). It was performed by Lee Montgomery in the film and by Michael Jackson over the closing credits. Jackson’s single, recorded for the Motown label in 1972, spent one week at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, making it Jackson’s first number one single in the US as a solo artist. Billboard ranked it as the number 20 song for 1972. It also reached number 1 on the ARIA Charts, spending eight weeks at the top spot. The song also later reached a peak of number 7 on the UK Singles Chart. In 2004, the song appeared in The Ultimate Collection.

It won the Golden Globe for Best Song, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1973, but lost to “The Morning After” by Maureen McGovern from The Poseidon Adventure. Wikipedia also notes that Jackson had to lip-sync the song at the Academy Awards because Jackson’s voice had changed. (He was 14, what do you expect?) This was interesting: they originally wanted Donny Osmond, who’s a few months older than Jackson, to sing it, but he was on tour…

Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own
I’ll never be alone
And you my friend will see
You’ve got a friend in me
(You’ve got a friend in me)

Ben, you’re always running here and there
(Here and there)
You feel you’re not wanted anywhere
If you ever look behind
And don’t like what you find
There’s something you should know
You’ve got a place to go
(You’ve got a place to go)

I used to say “I” and “me”
Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we”
I used to say “I” and “me”
Now it’s “us”, now it’s “we”

Ben, most people would turn you away
I don’t listen to a word they say
They don’t see you as I do
I wish they would try to
I’m sure they’d think again
If they had a friend like Ben
(A friend)
Like Ben
(Like Ben)
Like Ben


And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for August 7, 2022.

18 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Michael Jackson, “Ben”

  1. I never saw the movie because it freaked me out. Weird to gave a sweet dong connected to a horror film. Funny Jackson’s voice changed only for jkm to try and get it back to sounding like a creepy child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He did have a good voice, and did some very good songs. I think we tend to remember the charges of molestation leveled against him (most of which I think was innuendo) and forget that he was an exxcellent singer who had endured a lot of abuse as a kid.

      Liked by 2 people

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