Newman played a politically charged song following Steve Jobs' keynote speech at Macworld today and SF Weekly was there.
Randy Newman on the jumbo screen during the Macworld keynote presentation.
Story and photo by Tyler Callister
Steve Jobs' keynote presentation at the annual Macworld computer conference took a political turn today when he invited Randy Newman to play a couple songs. Newman, known best for...
composing the soundtrack to Toy Story and other Disney/Pixar films, took the stage with a piano and told the audience, "I was in Europe about a year ago and I noticed they don't like us very much... I wanted to do something to sum up America in two minutes and twenty-seven seconds. I'd like to say a few words in defense of our country... the people aren't bad!"
Newman performed the song -- called "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country" -- in his signature mix of melody, spoken word and piano. "Now the leaders we have, while they're the worst we've had," he said in the song. "Are hardly the worst this poor world has seen." Newman's song went on to name notorious dictators like Stalin and Hitler. He continued his critique of the administration by saying, "A President once said, 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' Now it seems like we’re supposed to be afraid. It’s patriotic in fact and color coded."
No portion of Jobs' keynote speech was political in nature, and it's unclear whether Jobs knew that Newman's performance was going to be political. But Newman has been performing the song since 2006, and the lyrics were published as an op-ed in The New York Times in 2007. He followed the song with a version of one of his apolitical songs, "You Got A Friend In Me."
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