America’s own troubadour Randy Newman stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Wednesday night to perform his new quarantine tune, “Stay Away.”
“People are saying it’s the greatest song ever written or that they’ve heard,” he says by way of introduction. “A lot of people are saying it. I’m not — it’s they who are saying it.”
Newman originally dropped the tune at the beginning of April, a simple song featuring his signature piano and croon. “Venus in sweatpants/That’s who you are,” he sings. “And when this mess is over/I’ll buy you a car. … Stay away from me/baby, keep your distance, please/stay away from me/words of love in times like these.”
Perhaps best known for his sweetest hits — like “You’re Got a Friend in Me” from 1995’s Toy Story and 2019’s “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 — Newman is no stranger to social commentary. In 1972 he dropped a tongue-in-cheek nuclear war anthem, “Political Science,” and the revamped 2017 version of “It’s a Jungle Out There” deals with Big Brother-esque surveillance. And that’s only a small sampling.
“Everybody stay safe,” he says after his late-night performance. “It sounds simple and it is. Stay away, wash your hands, don’t touch your face. Don’t touch mine, either.”
We second that. Protect Randy Newman at all costs.
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