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Randy Newman Performs ‘Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)’

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Randy Newman seemingly has a song for every occasion — even the current state of Donald Trump’s presidency. Monday night, he visited (virtually) The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform that now-timely track, 1974’s “Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man).”

“This is a song I wrote back in the Pleistocene Era. But it’s become relevant again,” Newman said before launching into the eerily appropriate song: “Maybe you’re cheatin’/Maybe you’re lyin’/Maybe you have lost your mind/Maybe you only think about yourself.”

“Mr. President” is a track on Newman’s 1974 album, Good Old Boys, which touches on still more ever-relevant topics — racism and slavery among them. Opening track “Rednecks” is as acerbic as it is shocking. In this context, “Mr. President” is about Richard Nixon, but its lyrics could easily apply to Trump and the U.S.’ current state under COVID-19: “I know it may sound funny/But people ev’ry where are runnin’ out of money/We just can’t make it by ourself.”

Newman previously appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to perform his pandemic-inspired song “Stay Away.” The musician released the quirky track at the beginning of April: “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.”

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