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"Randall Stuart Newman" (born 28 November, 1943) is an American songwriter, arranger, singer and pianist who is notable for his mordant pop songs and for his many film scores. He is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles.
Newman is noted as a lyricist of considerable sophistication. He frequently writes songs from unusual perspectives, often utilizing an unreliable narrator. For example, "Sail Away" is a slave trader's come-on, "Birmingham" is written from the perspective of a man – "a roller in a steel mill" – who loves his ordinary life in Birmingham, Alabama, while "Political Science" complains of worldwide hatred of America and proposes a final solution in a brutally ironic way. His many place-name songs, which are often archetypal examples of ambivalent Americana, include "I Love L.A.", "Baltimore", "Louisiana 1927", and "Dayton, Ohio – 1903". His first major hit was the song entitled, "Short People", wherein he was thought to have complained about midgets, but is actually complaining metaphorically about racists and bigots. "Short People" was also Newman's highest-rated hit...