Randy Newman is perhaps best known as the guy who wrote those Toy Story songs or for how he was parodied on Family Guy, but aside from his narrative based movie songs he’s also had a history of some pretty biting satire. His most famous example of this is probably “Short People,” which harshly rings out with lines like “short people got no reason to live.”
His latest track bites to a different beat, addressing what he feels is the United States’ jarring reaction to having elected a black President. He says there’s a sense among some white voters that there’s not “a more qualified white man” for the job, though he says “you won’t get anyone, and I do mean anyone, to admit it.”
“No other Western industrialized nation would’ve elected a black president. I’m proud of this country for having elected Obama in 2008,” said Newman in a statement. “But from the beginning of his term, I noticed a particular heat to conversations that wouldn’t ordinarily generate that kind of passion: The budget, appointments, health care.”
He insists that the song is sung in character, but it still paints a pretty exaggerated picture. He says its sung by a guy “who might exist somewhere” and peppers the track with latent racism that’s likely still present in some capacities throughout the country (both the United States and Canada).
The track is best experienced in the above video, since like most of his songs it’s quite visual lyrically. As for the lyrics you can read along to them over at NoneSuch. The song is a free download, but Newman is encouraging listeners to donate to the United Negro College Fund.