Singer-songwriter Randy Newman has weighed in on the presidential election by taking on one of America’s most contentious issues: race.
“I’m Dreaming,” which weaves together Newman’s trademark fuzzy growl with a lilting jazz piano, looks at the 2012 election from the viewpoint of a voter casting his ballot solely based on skin color. The video for I’m Dreaming has already attracted over 400,000 views on YouTube since it was posted on Tuesday.
“No other Western industrialized nation would’ve elected a black president,” Newman says on his website:
“I think there are a lot of people who find it jarring to have a black man in the White House and they want him out. They just can’t believe that there’s not a more qualified white man.”
Though he’s best known today as the one-man house band for Pixar — he’s penned songs or scores for six of the studio’s animated features, including the Oscar-nominated “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” from Toy Story — Newman’s political satire roots go deep. His 1972 release, “Political Science”, was written from the perspective of an ardent nationalist complaining that the rest of the world is ungrateful for America’s actions abroad. “They all hate us anyhow,” the narrator opines, “ so let’s drop the big one now.” In the fourth verse, he offers to spare Australia in order to protect the kangaroo population and build an American amusement park.
But Newman told Slate.com he’s a bit worried that “I’m Dreaming,” which is also satire, might accidentally be taken seriously:
“In Toy Story, there’s my voice saying, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and then here’s my voice singing that I want ‘A real live white man / Who knows the score.’ I’d like it to be clearer which side I’m on. Of course, it comes a little late.”
Newman is offering the song for free on his website, but has urged people to donate to the United Negro College Fund.