Randy Newman Tackles Politics And Race On “I’m Dreaming”

Written by September 18th, 2012 at 9:44 am

“I’m dreaming of a white President/Just like the ones we’ve always had” sings sardonic master songwriter Randy Newman in “I’m Dreaming,” a searing look at racial tension and national politics, released today as a free download.

The controversy-bating new track is available at Nonesuch.com, but Newman encourages listeners to donate to the United Negro College Fund at uncf.org.

In a statement, Newman explains his reason for writing “I’m Dreaming.”

“No other Western industrialized nation would’ve elected a black president. I’m proud of this country for having elected Obama in 2008. 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 continues, “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. You won’t get anyone, and I do mean anyone, to admit it.

“I often write songs in character. You can’t always trust or believe the narrators in my songs. So why listen? Good question.

“Anyway the guy in this song may exist somewhere. Let’s hope not. Vote in November.”

Read the full lyrics to “I’m Dreaming” below.

“I’m Dreaming”

George Washington was a white man
Adams and Jefferson too
Abe Lincoln was a white man, probably
And William McKinley the whitest of them all
Was shot down by an immigrant in Buffalo
And a star fell out of heaven

I’m dreaming of a white President
Just like the ones we’ve always had
A real live white man
Who knows the score
How to handle money or start a war

Wouldn’t even have to tell me what we were fighting for
He’d be the right man
If he were a

I’m dreaming of a white President
Someone whom we can understand
Someone who knows where we’re coming from
And that the law of the jungle is not the law of this land

In deepest darkest Africa nineteen three
A little boy says, “Daddy, I just discovered relativity.
A big eclipse is coming
And I’ll prove it. Wait and see!”

“You better eclipse yourself outta here, son
And find yourself a tree
There’s a lion in the front yard
And he knows he won’t catch me.”

How many little Albert Einsteins
Cut down in their prime?
How many little Ronald Reagans
Gobbled up before their time?

I don’t believe in evolution
But it does occur to me,
What if little William Howard Taft had to face a lion
Or God forbid, climb a tree?
Where would this country be?

I’m dreaming of a white President
Buh buh buh buh
‘Cause things have never been this bad
So he won’t run the hundred in ten seconds flat
So he won’t have a pretty jump shot
Or be an Olympic acrobat
So he won’t know much about global warming
Is that really where you’re at?
He won’t be the brightest, perhaps
But he’ll be the whitest
And I’ll vote for that

Whiter than this?
Yes
Whiter than this?
Yes
Whiter than this?
Yes
Whiter than this?
Oh yeah

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