The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Entertainment

September 18, 2012

Randy Newman writes new satirical, political song

 

NEW YORK (AP) — Randy Newman is weighing in on the presidential election, and he's playing the race card through a song he wrote called "I'm Dreaming."

The piano tune features the refrain: "I'm dreaming of a white president." It is full of satirical, sarcastic — and signature — Newman anecdotes about someone who votes for the president because he is white.

Newman, who is white, is openly supporting President Barack Obama. He says he wants the public to find comedic relief in the song, but to also know he's serious about his thoughts that racism is well and alive in the world — and in the current presidential race. He called racism "the great issue of this country."

"I felt that that sentiment exists in the country," Newman said in an interview Monday. "I don't know how many people you can get to admit it. I think maybe zero."

The song will be released as a free download Tuesday and Newman is encouraging listeners to donate to the United Negro College Fund.

Newman, 68, has won multiple Academy Awards, Grammys and Emmys for composing music for movies such as "Cars," ''Monsters, Inc.," the "Toy Story" franchise and the TV series "Monk." He often writes songs from the perspective of a character not like himself. "Short People," the 1977 No. 2 Billboard hit, attacked short people. And "Sail Away" is a come on from a slave trader to a potential slave.

"I'm Dreaming" features lyrics like: "He won't be the brightest, perhaps, but he'll be the whitest, and I'll vote for that." He said as he wrote the song the lyrics "didn't come that easy."

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