Song of the Day #3,251: ‘Louisiana 1927’ – Randy Newman vs. Adele

Women have faced an uphill battle in this first round of Montauk Madness, going up against the likes of Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, David Byrne, Elvis Costello and Ben Folds Five. Here’s another example, as the talented and mega-successful Adele faces off against one of our greatest songwriters, Randy Newman.

I feel bad for Adele, who I like both as an artist and a personality, but this is an easy call for me. Newman is a unique and special talent who deserves to go far in this contest.

What has happened down here is the wind have changed
Clouds roll in from the north and it start to rain
It rained real hard and it rained for a real long time
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

The river rose all day–The river rose all night
Some people got lost in the flood
Some people got away alright
The river has busted through clear down to Plaquemine
Six feet of water in the streets of Evangeline

Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away

President Coolidge come down in a railroad train
With a little fat man with a notepad in his hand
President say, “Little Fat Man, ain’t it a shame
What the river has done to this poor cracker’s land”

Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away
They’re tryin’ to wash us away

7 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,251: ‘Louisiana 1927’ – Randy Newman vs. Adele

  1. Rob says:

    This one is a “no-brainer” for me. Randy Newman is an American Treasure to these Canadian ears. I’ve enjoyed his musical genius since the 70’s and continue to do so to this day. I hope he goes far in this MM.

  2. Peg says:

    Easy for me too Randy Newman

  3. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I’ll take Randy’s Newman’s insightful, potent, and occasionally tear inducing (I’m looking at you “Feels like Home” over Adele’s melodramatic poop anyday. People constantly rag on Taylor Swift for writing so many break up songs but Adele seems to be more exempt from those accusations even though she’s an even bigger culprit. If we were giving the award for best vocals then maybe I’d give it to Adele but when it comes to artistry, Newman takes this one in a landslide.

  4. Amy says:

    Not sure why the cool guy feels a need to dump on the very talented Adele, but his conclusion is the correct one. Randy Newman’s work for Pixar alone wins him this round.

  5. Rob says:

    I would suggest that Adele would have some growing up to do in order to write something as personal and gut wrenching as “Every Time It Rains”, “I Want You To Hurt Like I Do” or “Miss You”. Those songs come from a man who has learned of loss the hard way … by making and owning his mistakes. Those songs gut me every time they come across my iPod.

  6. Dana says:

    Easy pick here. Newman!

  7. Ryozo says:

    Randy Newman came all the way to Tokyo to play his pieces for us in 1983.
    “Louisiana 1927” was one of them. A real gem.
    In that song Randy Newman repeats “They’re tryin’ to wash us away” but I’m still wondering who this “they” are and who this “us” are.
    I have no idea but probably “they” refers to the floods or the politicians, either one of them or probably both of them, which would connote poor politics and poor management.
    Politicians pretend not to see consequence of human neglect so that they could get away with their poor politics and poor management, but the point is you cannot ignore politics and management. This would apply to other disasters such as the ones caused by hurricane Katrina (2005) and the Great East Japan Earthquake (2011) and many others.
    Tim Sheridan wrote an introduction to this song in the book entitled “1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die.” It says “In the autumn of 1926, rain fell relentlessly on the middle south of the United States for months. To avoid the destruction of New Orleans, levees upstream of the city were dynamited, while others ruptured. The city was spared, but the resulting flood the following year killed hundreds and left more than 700,000 homeless across Louisiana and Mississippi.”
    This makes sense, but I’m still wondering whose lives the government and the politicians tried to save, whom they abandoned, and consequently to whom this “us” in the song refers.
    Probably lack of knowledge on racial, ethnic and social diversity there in the South makes it harder for me to see the whole picture. I have been to New Orleans as a traveller but the places sung in the song are not familiar to me.
    Sorry for no comments on Adele.

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