Randy Newman: "I'm dreaming of a white president"

The "Short People" and "Rednecks" maestro has a new song

Published September 18, 2012 5:06PM (EDT)

The multi-award-winning composer and singer-songwriter Randy Newman has released a satirical ditty: "I'm Dreaming."  The title alludes to the line, "I'm dreaming of a white president" (sung with references to "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas"), which digs at the racial undertones in the 2012 election. He talked to Slate about the impetus for the song:

Slate: With Ry Cooder’s angry new record, Bob Dylan’s blunt comments about race in his recent Rolling Stone interview, some of Springsteen’s no-holds-barred songs, and now “I’m Dreaming,” it seems that you and a few of your colleagues are getting pretty fed up. Is this a trend?

Newman: I’m not sure about a trend, but for me it’s a reaction to the Republican Party, which seems to have drifted farther to the right than a major party has drifted in my lifetime in any direction. It seems to have become almost a radical party. The hate and … I don’t think it’ll last. That kind of thing doesn’t seem to last.

 "I'm Dreaming" is available for free but Newman asks that listeners donate to the United Negro College Fund, explaining, "I’ve done Disney and Pixar stuff.  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."

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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2012 Elections Barack Obama Mitt Romney Music Satire White People