NEW YORK — Randy Newman is weighing in on the U.S. presidential election with a new song, 'I’m Dreaming,' and the Obama supporter is pointing out racism with its refrain: “I’m dreaming of a white president.”
The piano tune is full of satirical, sarcastic — and signature — Newman anecdotes about someone who votes for the president because he is white.
Newman, who is white, is openly supporting President Barack Obama. He says he wants the public to find comedic relief in the song but to know he’s serious in thinking that racism continues. He called racism “the great issue of this country.”
“I felt that that sentiment exists in the country,” Newman said in an interview. “I don’t know how many people you can get
to admit it. I think maybe zero.”
The song was released as a free download Tuesday, and Newman is encouraging listeners to donate to the United Negro College Fund.
I’m Dreaming features lyrics such as “He won’t be the brightest, perhaps, but he’ll be the whitest, and I’ll vote for that.”
Newman, 68, has won multiple Academy Awards, Grammys and Emmys. His Short People was a 1977 No. 2 Billboard hit.
“It’s delicate enough that I’m not going to offend people every which way, but I wanted to get it right as best I could,” said Newman of this new song.
He believes Obama will be re-elected in November and feels that Republican contender Mitt Romney isn’t a “serious candidate for president.”
Newman said he’s proud of how America has progressed but added that “there’s a long way to go.”
“No European country would have elected a black man,” he said. “I can’t believe it happened. I think it’s fantastic, like a step on the moon.”
The Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee said some friends told him to save the track — which he wrote a couple weeks ago — for an upcoming album, but he said releasing it now is perfect timing.
“I think it’s for the moment,” he said. “It’s not going to live forever.”