Why Randy Newman Will Always Be Relevant
I think the first time I listened to Randy Newman I was in my early teens. After listening to a track or two, my Dad sat me down and had what I like to call the “satire talk.” “The things that this man says in his songs, he doesn’t necessarily mean,” my Dad explained. “Most of the time, he means the opposite.”
To me, this conversation was simply pointing out the obvious. Who would actually believe that we should simply bomb all other nations in the world, as Newman suggests in “Political Science?” However, a simple survey of youtube comments will present you with the depressing fact that a surprisingly large number of people don’t seem to understand satire. Of course, not all of Newman’s songs are satire; in fact, some of the best songs that he’s written, such as “Marie” and “Feels Like Home,” are anything but satire. But Newman’s satirical songs seem to have taken on a life of their own, especially in recent years. It seems that as long as there are people who don’t understand satire, Newman continue writing songs that will confuse and offend them.
The most recent offering from Newman certainly lives up to the high standard he has set for himself. I could describe it here, but I’d rather let the song speak for itself. I’m also curious what people think of it. Do you find it offensive (and why)? Does it live up to his older material?