Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Short People

They got little hands and little eyes
And they walk around telling great big lies

— Randy Newman

"Cancel culture" isn't new.

It's been around since Dicso.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Randy Newman was cancelled for "Short People," a novelty tune that rose to Number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and became a gold record.

"Short People" so enraged the thought police, it was banned from the radio in major cities like New York, Philadelphia and Boston. 

A Maryland legislator introduced a bill prohibiting the song's airplay statewide.

"'Short People' has run into a wave of protest almost unique in the history of popular music," The Washington Post wrote at the time. 

The composer even received death threats. 

"Newman will be lucky if he reaches April Fool's Day without rope burns around his neck," The Post wrote.

The song, of course, was a tongue-in-cheek condemnation of bigotry; but morons took Newman's satire literally.

"His real mistake was to give this particular poem a catchy melody and a bright, upbeat arrangement that won it a lot of exposure on radio stations that specialize in brainlessness and appeal to brainless people," The Post wrote. 

"There, amid the endless jangle of disco tunes, the song stood out like a giraffe at a convention of frogs."

"They got grubby little fingers and dirty little minds," Newman's final stanza concluded. 

"They're gonna get you every time."

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