Song of the Day #2,818: ‘Old Kentucky Home’ – Randy Newman

12_songsFamous music critic Robert Christgau called Randy Newman’s 12 Songs “a perfect album,” and I can’t disagree. That’s why it was an easy pick as my best album of 1970.

I consider this record and Newman’s follow-up, 1972’s Sail Away, his very best albums and that makes them two of my very favorite albums of all-time. This one is as simple a distillation of Newman’s songwriting as you can imagine. Nothing fancy, just a brilliant lyricist and musician spinning tales both acidic and sweet.

So that’s a run-down of my favorite 1970 albums. Next week I’ll feature songs from the 1970 albums I haven’t yet had the pleasure of hearing.

Turpentine and dandelion wine
I’ve turned the corner and I’m doin’ fine
Shootin’ at the birds on the telephone line
Pickin’ em off with my gun of mine

I got a fire in my belly
And a fire in my head
Goin’ higher and higher
Until I’m dead

Sister sue, she’s short and stout
She didn’t grow up she grew out
Mama says she’s plain but she’s just bein’ kind
Papa thinks she’s pretty but he’s almost blind
Don’t let her out much ‘cept at night
But I don’t care ’cause I’m all right

Oh, the sun shines bright on
My old Kentucky home
And the young folks roll on the floor
Oh, the sun shines bright on
My old Kentucky home
Keep them hard times away from my door

Brother gene, he’s big and mean
And he don’t have much to say
He had a little woman who he whupped each day
But now she’s gone away
He got drunk last night
Kicked mama down the stairs
But I’m all right so I don’t care

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,818: ‘Old Kentucky Home’ – Randy Newman

  1. Dana says:

    Quite the high praise for this album! I’m a big fan of Newman, but I’m not sure he would have beaten out Van Morrison or Simon & Garfunkle (particularly if today’s country selection were in the forefront of the mix)

  2. Peg says:

    I would have chosen Simon & Garfunkle myself (sorry Frank) but I certainly enjoyed the theme week.

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