Randy Newman, the singer, songwriter and composer, performed this song at Carnegie Hall in 2006. It will be released soon online. This is an abridged version.
A Few Words in Defense of Our Country
By Randy Newman
Iíd like to say a few words
In defense of our country
Whose people arenít bad nor are they mean
Now the leaders we have
While theyíre the worst that weíve had
Are hardly the worst this poor world has seen
Letís turn historyís pages, shall we?
Take the Caesars for example
Why within the first few of them
They had split Gaul into three parts
Fed the Christians to the lions
And burned down the City
And one of íem
Appointed his own horse Consul of the Empire
Thatís like vice president or something
Thatís not a very good example, is it?
But wait, hereís one, the Spanish Inquisition
They put people in a terrible position
I donít even like to think about it
Well, sometimes I like to think about it
Just a few words in defense of our country
Whose time at the top
Could be coming to an end
Now we donít want their love
And respect at this point is pretty much out of the question
But in times like these
We sure could use a friend
Men who need no introduction
King Leopold of Belgium. Thatís right.
Everyone thinks heís so great
Well he owned The Congo
He tore it up too
He took the diamonds, he took the gold
He took the silver
Know what he left them with?
A president once said,
ďThe only thing we have to fear is fear itselfĒ
Now it seems like weíre supposed to be afraid
Itís patriotic in fact and color coded
And what are we supposed to be afraid of?
Why, of being afraid
Thatís what terror means, doesnít it?
Thatís what it used to mean
The end of an empire is messy at best
And this empire is ending
Like all the rest
Like the Spanish Armada adrift on the sea
Weíre adrift in the land of the brave
And the home of the free
Goodbye. Goodbye. Goodbye.
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company