EppsNet Archive: Randy Newman

Wandering Boy

16 Aug 2017 /

I hope he’s warm and I hope he’s dry
And that a strangers eye is a friendly eye
And I hope he has someone close by his side
And I hope that he’ll come home

Where is my wandering boy tonight?
Where is my wandering boy?
If you see him, tell him everything is alright
Push him towards the light
Where is my wandering boy?

Randy Newman, “Wandering Boy”

Today I Learned . . .

25 Aug 2016 /

. . . if you show college students a video of Randy Newman, Tom Petty, Jackson Browne and John Fogerty, they won’t recognize any of them.


Language Poetry and Aleatory Poetry

16 Nov 2012 /

The last couple of weeks in ModPo, we’ve been reading “Language Poetry” and aleatory poetry, including the work of Ron Silliman, Lyn Hejinian, Bob Perelman, Charles Bernstein, Jackson Mac Low, Jena Osman and Joan Retallack.

I have to admit it all seemed lazy to me. The reader has to do all the work. (See below for a differing opinion.) I didn’t like any of the poems enough to share one, so here instead are the lyrics to Randy Newman‘s “Marie”:

Randy Newman at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritag...

Randy Newman at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You looked like a princess the night we met
With your hair piled up high
I will never forget
I’m drunk right now baby
But I’ve got to be
Or I never could tell you
What you meant to me

I loved you the first time I saw you
And I always will love you Marie
I loved you the first time I saw you
And I always will love you Marie

You’re the song that the trees sing when the wind blows
You’re a flower, you’re a river, you’re a rainbow

Sometimes I’m crazy
But I guess you know
And I’m weak and I’m lazy
And I’ve hurt you so
And I don’t listen to a word you say
When you’re in trouble I just turn away
But I love you

I loved you the first time I saw you
And I always will love you Marie
I loved you the first time I saw you
And I always will love you Marie

If that isn’t poetry, I don’t know what is.

Here’s what ModPo professor Al Filreis says about aleatory poetry:

So this kind of writing, I want to emphasize, has rigor and it has intention at the level of design. It’s not easy, it’s not facile and it’s not to be confused with improvisation and indeterminacy and even random or arbitrary are the wrong words to describe it. Many, as I’ve said, resist it. Many find no beauty in it. . . . Why should I waste my time, it doesn’t mean anything. Well, I have so many things to say in response to that and gosh, I’m not even sure where to start, but I’ll give it a try.

Well, here’s one thing: when I think about how much of my time I spend, my own time, how much time I spend and waste really, watching and listening to things that make a whole lot of conventional sense but ultimately don’t mean anything. Where normally meant statements are empty and useless and unbeautiful, I figure that I owe it to those who seek a significant alternative, the time of day. Maybe they’re telling me to relax. Maybe they’re telling me let down my guard. I’m always, I seem to be always on guard for meaning in meaninglessness. Maybe I should let down that guard and maybe I should hear the music in the apparent dissonance and discordance of my world. And maybe the discovery of sense in language that was not intended at the level of the sentence or of the phrase makes that sense all the more powerful. And maybe when words formed through quasi non-intentional chance operations produce something “accidentally” lovely (I’ve got air quotes around the word accidentally), when that loveliness is accidental, I’ll be all the more astonished at the beauty that’s just out there, that’s ambient in our language and just waiting to be rearranged.


Randy Newman: “I’m Dreaming”

23 Sep 2012 /

Randy Newman has a new song and video out — “I’m Dreaming” — about a voter who casts his ballot solely based on skin color.

I listened to it . . . it’s great, like every other Newman song I can think of, but didn’t this train leave the station in 2008? We already have a black president. (Yes, his mother was white, but “mixed-race” doesn’t get you 12 percent of the electorate.)

Will some people not vote for Obama because he’s black? Yes.

Will some people only vote for Obama because he’s black? Yes.

As Geraldine Ferraro said in 2008, “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is.”

Naturally, she was denounced as a racist by the Obama campaign.

Let’s move on already . . .


I Love LA

3 Sep 2011 /

When She Loved Me

10 Jul 2010 /

From Toy Story 2:


Christmas in Capetown

10 Dec 2009 /

If you’re not seeing the video, you can watch it on YouTube.


I Love LA!

17 Jun 2009 /