Political Science

Political Science (Randy Newman)

  • 30 Mar 12:54
  • 2 lists

"Political Science" is a song written and performed by singer-songwriter Randy Newman on his 1972 album, Sail Away. In going along with the theme of the rest of the album, the song is a satire of a particular part of American culture and history, namely its foreign policies at the time. It is sung from the point of view of an unnamed narrator who thinks very highly of the United States and its culture. He admits the US is not perfect, but wonders why even “our old friends put us down”, especially since “we give them money”. The narrator goes on to say that the US should “drop the big one” on the rest of the world, which he rationalizes with humorously simplistic reasons (“Asia's crowded and Europe's too old/Africa is far too hot/And Canada's too cold”.) Finally, the narrator describes the utopia that would occur once the US had bombed everyone (except Australia), saying, “oh how peaceful it would be/we'd set everybody free”, thus demonstrating through absurdity the horror that genocentricity can result in.

In recent years, artists including Don Henley, Pedro the Lion, Glen Phillips and Wilco have performed live covers of this song. In October 2006, Newman performed the song for The...

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