Song Of The Day 10/24/2016: Randy Newman – “Putin”

Well, this was a nice surprise to stumble onto the other day. Randy Newman hasn't released much of anything not Disney-related since 2008, when he put out an album called Harps and Angels. That album came after he'd produced his one 21st century song that could be considered one of his greatest hits: "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country." That song was published in the editorial section of the New York Times, operating on the primary thesis that America's standing as an empire was coming to a close. It was written during the last Bush Administration before Obama was elected, so all the failed leadership he was talking about was directed at Dubya. (Who I've actually come to like a bit more since he left office in a beer-swilling-at-the-regular-bar-on-Sunday-afternoon way.)

After that and some Disney movies I can't be bothered to look up now, nothing. Until earlier this month when his new track "Putin" came out. Supposedly there'll be an album in 2017 too. Standing alongside other political satires by Newman, "Putin" is a little less biting and maybe too specific for its own good. But it's Randy, so he pulls off some great lines: "Putin puttin’ his hat on/Hat size number nine/You sayin’ Putin’s gettin’ big headed?/ Putin’s head’s just fine!" Or this, which works handsomely as a standalone non-sequitor: "These chicken farmers and file clerks gonna be the death of me."

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