Thursday, November 1, 2012

I Want Everyone To Like Me, Just Like Randy Newman Says

Randy Newman: He knows the score, folks.

Randy Newman gets a lot criticism. He's an easy target sometimes, I admit. Mention his name on any just about any pop-culture-savvy Internet forum and see what happens. People ridicule his often hacky, repetitive, strictly-for-the-money work on children's animated films. Comedians do snide impersonations of the deep Southern drawl in which he sings (or, more often, talk-sings). And critics mercilessly lampoon the often extremely plain, literal lyrics of his songs. We've all seen the spoofs on MAD-TV and Family Guy, right? ("Left foot/Right foot/Left foot/Right foot.") I wonder what ol' Rand thinks of all this. After all, he's one of his own more accurate and unforgiving critics, with a deeply cynical sense of humor about himself and his career.

All these people have their points to make, but I'm still a (mostly) unabashed Randy Newman fan. Hell, as long as I'm coming clean about everything else in my life, I might as well own up to that, too. When the guy nails it as a songwriter, he really nails it. As a perfect example, take the song "I Want Everyone to Like Me" from his 1999 album Bad Love. The lyrics so precisely capture my state of mind that I feel obligated to print them in their entirety here:
I want everyone to like me.
I want everyone to like me real bad.
I want everyone to approve of me.
Because when they disapprove of me, it makes me feel so sad.

I wanna earn the respect of my peers.
If it takes a hundred years.
I'd like to find out where they are by the way.
I would run to embrace them.

I'm only kiddin'.
I'm really very modest once you get to know me.

A house and a little land.
Little someone to lend a hand.
Little money set aside.
God, then I would be satisfied.

Want someone to tell me, one time: Honey you don't look well.
Why doncha lie down for a couple years. 

I'll look after things.
A grown up woman would be nice.
I'd like to flip over once or twice.
Find out what makes her tick.

Some friends to call my own, God knows.
A family and a home.
A couple kiddies at my side.
Keep me fat, and satisfied.

I want everyone to like me.
That's one thing I know for sure.
I want everyone to like me.

'Cause I'm a little insecure.

That's me, folks. That's how I think. That song lists a lot of what I want. That part about someone who'll look after things for a year or two? Boy, did I want that last week!

Frustratingly, there are are no good YouTube clips for this song that I could find, just a couple of blurry live videos. But here's a charming cover version. This fellow, dwditty, customizes the lyrics a little, but you get the general idea of the song anyway.

Health news 'n' notes: Still in that calm, even place from the medication. Work was tough today, but I got through it. I think I've decided that this place is not where I want to spend the rest of my career, though. It'll do for now. The appetite is not all the way back. I can (and do) eat. As much as normal, really. But there's no pleasure in it. And in the interest of being very honest about my condition, let me say that my libido is basically dormant. That's something I'll discuss with my MD when I meet with him next week. (Yes, I see a therapist and an MD now.)

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