Randy Newman Writes Song About Vladimir Putin
While so many rockers are caught up in the current U.S. presidential election, Randy Newman, the king of musical political satire, has turned his eyes towards another country's leader. Today, he released "Putin," about Russian president Vladimir Putin, which you can listen to above.
Set to Russian-sounding music instead of the ragtime with which he is closely associated, he sings in the voice of someone who sees Putin as a larger-than-life figure. "He can drive his giant tractor / Across the Trans-Siberian plain / He can power a nuclear reactor / With the left side of his brain / And when he takes his shirt off / He drives the ladies crazy."
Speaking to the Washington Post, where the track premiered, Newman said that the wordplay in the opening line, "Putin puttin' his pants on," was inspired by a song from the '40s called "Stalin Wasn't Stallin'" by the Golden Gate Girls. As for that famous picture of Putin going shirtless, Newman naturally saw the humor. "A person with that much extraordinary amount of power," he added, "doing things like that is disturbing but also kind of amusing."
Newman is in the process of mixing his next album, his first since 2008's Harps and Angels, with a release date set for early 2017. However, he wanted to put this out now, while political discussion is high, especially given the alleged connections between Putin and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whom Newman called "a liar," "not very bright" and a "big blowhard."
"I think that people will lose interest after this surfeit of political talk and attention after the election," he said. "And I’m just anxious to get something out. I hate having to wait. I’ve got the thing done. I just want to see what happens. I’m curious to see how the thing is received."
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