Newman vs Marx
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By etrigan - Last updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - Save & Share - 3 Comments

I heard a little tune on my “NPR station”: today that struck me as odd. Randy Newman attacking the dichotomy of being rich and a socialist. Had it been played in Houston, it might have caused jank to write his local NPR station a letter — then again, they no longer play music on his local NPR.

h5. The World Isn’t Fair

bq. When Karl Marx was a boy
he took a hard look around
He saw people were starving all over the place
while others were painting the town
The public spirited boy
became a public spirited man
So he worked very hard and he read everything
until he came up with a plan

bq. There’ll be no exploitation
of the worker or his kin
No discrimination ’cause of the color of your
No more private property
It would not be allowed
No one could rise too high
No one could sink too low
or go under completely like some we all know

bq. If Marx were living today
he’d be rolling around in his grave
And if I had him here in my mansion on the hill
I’d tell him a story t’would give his old heart
a chill

bq. It’s something that happened to me
I’d say, Karl I recently stumbled
into a new family
with two little children in school
where all little children should be
I went to the orientation
All the young mommies were there
Karl, you never have seen such a glorious sight
as these beautiful women arrayed for the night
just like countesses, empresses, movie stars and
And they’d come there with men much like me
Froggish men, unpleasant to see
Were you to kiss one, Karl
Nary a prince would there be

bq. Oh Karl the world isn’t fair
It isn’t and never will be
They tried out your plan
It brought misery instead
If you’d seen how they worked it
you’d be glad you were dead
just like I’m glad I’m living in the land of the
where the rich just get richer
and the poor you don’t ever have to see
It would depress us, Karl
Because we care
that the world still isn’t fair

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3 Responses to “Newman vs Marx”

Comment from jank
Time August 20, 2003 at 11:17 am

KUFH (NPR) hasn’t changed- still cranks out the same classical crap as always. It was KPFT, the Pacifica station, which used to be a mainly Texas Music station, that’s dropped the only decent music that Houston had. Puttin’ money in ClearChannel’s pockets.

One of the things that’s always puzzled me is why (with a few exceptions) leftists make better artists. But, I’m not above paying for quality whatever the source. Randy Newman’s one I dig. And at least, from the last verse of ‘The World Isn’t Fair’, he gets it:

They tried out your plan
It brought misery instead
If you’d seen how they worked it
you’d be glad you were dead

I’m not a cold hearted capitalist as a knee-jerk reaction; I’ve actually done a lot of research and thinking before embracing the marketplace and the individual as the solution to most of the world’s inequities.

Comment from KellyMc
Time August 20, 2003 at 12:12 pm

Leftists don’t make better artists, artists make better leftists.

The poor and oppressed tend not to be conservatives and oppression and adversity are better inspiration for art than wealth and comfort.

Comment from etrigan
Time August 20, 2003 at 1:18 pm

…and it’s easier to realize a capitalist-dream-come-true through your art than it is through working in the business world. When was the last time you saw a CEO who grew up in the ghetto? other than Suge Knight?

Which, also, leads to the fact that crime (even masquerading as business) can be more attractive than art if you have no artistic skills.

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