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One Hit Wonders - RANDY NEWMAN (1978)
One Hit Wonders - RANDY NEWMAN (1978) Photo


"Short People" by Randy Newman - 

This song is widely misinterpreted, which generated a great deal of exposure for the song and controversy for Newman. On the surface, the song is making fun of little people, but "short" is meant in a figurative sense, intending to poke fun at people who are short-tempered and small-minded, which is quite the opposite of the literal meaning. A lot of people didn't get the joke and thought of Newman as a bigot. Many radio stations refused to play it.
At first, Newman sings about Short People as having "nasty little feet," "stubby little fingers" and "dirty little minds," but he makes his statement clear near the end of the song when he sings, "Short People are just the same as you and I. All men are brothers until the day they die."
The Guardian newspaper July 28, 2008 asked Newman if realized from the start that this song's irony would be a tough sell. He replied: "I didn't. I thought, all you gotta do is listen. It's not like it's James Joyce. [Then] I realized the medium wasn't great for that. People don't listen to music like that, where they're actually listening. They're doing all kinds of things. It's just an irritation."
Newman has recorded other songs that examine and mock bigotry, notable "Rednecks" and "Half A Man." In 2003, when The Sunday Times asked about people missing the point of his songs, Newman replied: "To write indirect songs with characters that aren't yourself as the narrator is not the best way to achieve commercial success. I mean, irony, who's got the time? But it's what I do, and it's what I can't help but do. I couldn't write like Elton John if I tried."

Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1978

1 Andy Gibb Shadow Dancing
2 Bee Gees Night Fever
3 Debby Boone You Light Up My Life
4 Bee Gees Stayin' Alive
5 Exile Kiss You All Over
6 Bee Gees How Deep Is Your Love
7 Player Baby Come Back
8 Andy Gibb (Love Is) Thicker Than Water
9 A Taste Of Honey Boogie Oogie Oogie
10 Commodores Three Times A Lady

41 Randy Newman Short People

| Closed on 11/02/13 at 05:00PM
FanIQ Pts? No | Locker Room, Music | Multiple Choice Opinion Poll
9 Fans 
22%a. 10 (Great song)
22%b. 7-9 (Liked that song)
47721858833%c. 5-6 (Ok song)
0%d. Who? What? Huh?
44%e. Zambianoliangioticaloigisticologphobist!!

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