Randy Newman salutes 'Korean Parents'
Wednesday, 23 July 2008

La Times

Randy Newman's getting his apologies out of the way early. His new album, "Harps & Angels," isn't out until Aug. 5, but he knows he's going to take some hits for the song "Korean Parents," a portrait of race relations as played out in public education.

Some Jewish kids still trying
Some white kids trying too
But millions of real American kids don't have a clue
Right here on the lot
We got the answer
A product guaranteed to satisfy …
 
Korean parents for sale
You say you need a little discipline
Someone to whip you into shape
They'll be strict but they'll be fair
 
Look at the numbers
That's all I ask
Who's at the head of every class?
You really think they're smarter than you are
They just work their asses off
Their parents make them do it …
 
Newman's gotten heat in the past for his use of the N-word ("Rednecks") and has engendered protests from the height-disadvantaged ("Short People"), but has rarely flinched for what he has sung.
 
This time, it may be different.
 
"I don't know if I'm going to be in a position to defend this one, so I'll apologize now," the 64-year-old Oscar-winning film composer said over lunch in Santa Monica this week to talk about his first studio album in nearly a decade.
 
"There's nothing actually offensive in it," he said, "except maybe the music, which is stereotypically Asian. But I know some people will be upset."
 
– Randy Lewis

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