Song of the Day #1,710: ‘Dayton, Ohio – 1903′ – Randy Newman

sail_awayRandy Newman’s Sail Away is one of my very favorite albums — it is alternately bittersweet and cynical, beautiful and brutal. I don’t know if it gets the attention and respect it deserves.

I see it was ranked #321 on Rolling Stones’ list of the 500 greatest albums — on the one hand, considering how many albums have been recorded over the past 50+ years, making the list at all is an honor; but on the other hand, are you really telling me there are 320 albums better than this one? Bullshit.

I named Sail Away my 5th favorite album of the 1970′s, and that too feels a little low (three albums ahead of it have personal connections to my childhood and adolescence, which gave them a boost). I’d easily call this a Top 20 album, all-time.

‘Dayton, Ohio – 1903′ is a perfect little song that somehow simultaneously feels like a sweet celebration and the saddest thing I’ve ever heard.

Sing a song of long ago
When things were green and movin’ slow
And people’d stop to say hello
Or they’d say “hi” to you
“Would you like to come over for tea
With the missus and me?”
It’s a real nice way
To spend the day
In Dayton, Ohio
On a lazy Sunday afternoon in 1903

Sing a song of long ago
When things could grow
And days flowed quietly
The air was clean and you could see
And folks were nice to you
“Would you like to come over for tea
With the missus and me?”
It’s a real nice way
To spend the day
In Dayton, Ohio
On a lazy Sunday afternoon in 1903

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,710: ‘Dayton, Ohio – 1903′ – Randy Newman

  1. Dana says:

    Ah, nothing soothes the soul on a Sunday morning more than waking up to the great randy Newman, particularly after 3 long weeks of arcade fire.😄

    As for the rankings, the fact that the likes of an arcade fire album might find its way onto a top 500 list (or the oh so important U2 albums of the world), muscling out the pure pleasure and genius of a Newman album like sail away, highlights my beef with these lists. Then again, your featuring of that arcade fire critical darling suggests it might find its way on your top 500 list (and admittedly 500 is a lot of albums!).

    Can you tell I’m not quite over the numbness of three weeks of the suburbs?😄

  2. Andrea Katz says:

    Lovely lyrics…for some reason the video/music was blocked but I love the whimsical reminiscent quality of the words.

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