Bananarama’s “Robert De Niro’s Waiting” Lyrics Meaning

There are two ways to interpret this song. On the surface, it is based on a girl who has an infatuation with movie star Robert De Niro. This is partially due to the fact that she cannot relate to any of the “boys” who lives in her vicinity. In fact we later find out that she is actually suffering from paranoia when out in public. This alludes to the true foundation of this track, which is that this young lady is a victim of date rape. But such cannot be ascertained strictly from the lyrics except by the most-astute listeners. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Bananarama's Robert De Niro’s Waiting at

However, Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey has herself confirmed that the subject of this song is actually a female. According to her, this female fantasizes about the titular actor as a form of escapism due to the fact that she was actually raped. Or put differently, she is now turned off to the prospect of an actual romantic relationship. In fact upon its original composition, “Robert De Niro’s Waiting” was much more-explicit in getting these points across. However, its language was toned down in the name of giving the song a more-popular appeal.


So again, this track can be looked at in two ways. One is based on highlighting the disposition of a more or less average fangirl of De Niro – an idea which to some extent is reinforced by the song’s playful music video. But the other, more-adult understanding is that she finds solace in fantasizing about De Niro due to the fact that she is a victim of date rape.

Lyrics of "Robert De Niro's Waiting"

Facts about “Robert De Niro’s Waiting”

“Robert De Niro’s Waiting…” was featured on Bananarama’s eponymous 1984 album. It was released by London Records as a single on 20 February of that track. The track was subsequently re-recorded and issued again as part of their 2001 album Exotica. It also appeared on Bananarama’s 2000 London Records’ compilation album G-A-Y.

Bananarama originally wanted to name the track after Al Pacino. However, they ended up choosing De Niro instead for aesthetic reasons.

The ‘oohs’ present throughout the track were in recognition of classic girl groups which influenced Bananarama.

“Robert De Niro’s Waiting…” was written by Bananarama (Sara Dalin, Siobhan Fahey and of course Keren Woodward). The track’s producers, Jolley & Swain also contributed to the writing process. They are therefore also credited as writers on the track.

Billboard place this track amongst its list of the “100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time”. It ranked it at number 74 in that list.

Chart Performance

This song peaked at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart and 95 on the Billboard Hot 100. 

Did “Robert De Niro’s Waiting” win a Grammy?

The song was very popular. But despite this, it never received any Grammy.

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