Newman is up for another best song Oscar tonight, and it's my unprofessional, uninformed opinion is that he has a good shot. One would think a song from Dream Girls would win, but that movie's votes could be diluted among its three separate best song nominations. Melissa Etheridge was nominated as well for her song in An Inconvenient Truth, but I would think Newman's song has the edge.
Newman's nomination is for "Our Town", sung by James Taylor in Cars. It's a fairly traditional lament for the way things used to be in small town America that fits the movie well. Here's a taste of the lyrics:
Long ago, but not so very long agoThe full lyrics are available here.
The world was different, oh yes it was
You settled down and you built a town and made it live
And you watched it grow
It was your town
Time goes by, and time brings changes, and you change, too
Nothing comes that you can't handle, so on you go
You never see it coming, when the world caves in on you
On your town
There's nothing you can do
Main street isn't main street anymore
Lights don't shine as brightly as they shone before
To tell the truth, lights don't shine at all
In our town
Newman is known for writing songs in character. His lyrics are sometimes pointed (particularly when he's not writing for children's films), but they don't always reflect his own views, political or otherwise. That said, most think Newman's recent song, "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country," represents his views about the United States today. It was published as an op-ed in the New York Times in January, and is highlighted on RandyNewman.com.
Just a few words in defense of our country
Whose time at the top
Could be coming to an end
Now we don't 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.