Song of the Day #1,047: ‘Memo to My Son’ – Randy Newman

In 1972, Randy Newman released Sail Away, his most enduring masterpiece. He’s done some amazing work in the 40 years since, but I can’t say he’s ever topped it.

The title track sets the stage beautifully. Against a majestic piano tune and soaring strings, Newman sings America’s praises from the perspective of a slave trader. “Ain’t no lions or tigers ain’t no mamba snake, just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake.
Everybody is as happy as a man can be. Climb aboard little wog, sail away with me.”

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Song of the Day #12: ‘God’s Song (That’s Why I Love Mankind)’ – Randy Newman

Randy Newman’s latest release, Harps & Angels, hits shelves today… his first proper album since 1999’s Bad Love. He’s done a lot of soundtrack work in the meantime, of course, including some wonderful stuff for Pixar.

It’s funny, I’ve seen a lot of negative reaction to Randy Newman on internet message boards by people who think of him as some hack who churns out Disney tunes for easy cash. Clearly these people have no idea what they’re talking about.

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