by Don Black and Walter Scharf
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
Ben, you’re always running 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
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
This is one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs. Actually, I recently realized that the first time I heard this song was when it was parodied on an old episode of The Simpsons where Homer befriends a mental patient who claims to be Michael Jackson. Though, in the episode he sang “Homer” instead of “Ben.”
There was also a cool cover of it that Crispin Glover recorded for the remake of Willard. I tried to learn it a long time ago and I really didn’t have the understanding of the fretboard necessary to do it justice. After Michael Jackson died, I decided to try again and I was able to come up with a simple arrangement.
Here is my humble attempt during the July Open Mic Showcase. It was my second-to-last song. You can hear me (a bit out of breath) say “Okay, one more” at the end of the recording. I ended up rushing it a little bit, which I tend to do, especially near the end of a show or when I’m nervous. It’s something I’m working on.
The song is about a boy with a pet rat and it’s sad because both the boy and the pet rat (or rats in general) are not accepted by those around them. It’s this sentiment that gives me a soft spot for rats–most people regard them as gross or dirty and don’t bother to see how smart and social and affectionate they are. I also wish more people would try to see rats this way. ;-)
As I said, this particular performance is a bit rough. But I wanted to post it today for Kimchi, a very sweet pet rat that I had to put to have sleep yesterday.
An old and wise Kimchi is featured as the cover art for the mp3 if you download it.