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At number 25 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters is American singer-songwriter Randy Newman. I must admit, I barely know any Randy Newman songs. I am aware of him, and know that he writes satirical songs, but I doubt I could name one. I have had a look at the list of singles released by him on his Wikipedia discography, and I don’t recognise any of them. I do recognise a couple of the songs written by him but performed by others, so have decided to include one of those here.

I notice in his list of released singles that only one has charted in the Disunited Kingdom, so maybe he is a much bigger artist in the US than he is in the DUK, but when I lived there I certainly was no more aware of him than I was before or since. Oh dear, I wonder what I have been missing?



At number 25 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Randy Newman.

At number 25 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest songwriters of all time is Randy Newman.



The song of his that I have decided to include here, because it is (a) a fantastic song and (b) the one written by him which immediately jumped out at me is “Mama Told Me (Not To Come)”, which was a hit for Tom Jones and The Stereophonics (both from Wales). This was released in 2000 and got to number 4 in the DUK singles charts, but I must admit that I had no idea that Randy Newman had written it! I can see that it was also performed back in 1970 by a band called Three Dog Night.


Want some whiskey in your water?
Sugar in your tea?
What’s all these crazy questions
They are asking me?
This is the craziest party
That could ever be
Don’t turn on the lights
‘Cause I don’t wanna see

Mama told me not to come
Mama told me not to come
She said, “That ain’t the way to have fun, son”

Open up the window
Let some air into this room
I think I’m almost choking
From the smell of stale perfume
And the cigarette you’re smoking
‘Bout to scare me half to death
Open up the window
Let me catch my breath!

Mama told me not to come
Mama told me not to come
She said “That ain’t the way to have fun, son
That ain’t the way to have fun, son, son, son”

The radio is blasting
Someone’s knocking at the door
I’m looking at my girlfriend
She just passed out on the floor
I’ve seen so many things
I ain’t never seen before
Don’t know what it is
But I don’t wanna see no more

Mama told me not to come
Mama told me not to come (Mama told me she said)
She said “That ain’t the way to have fun, no” (no, no)
“That ain’t the way to have fun, son”

And Mama told me, mama told me
Mana told me, mama told me
Mama told me not to come (Mama told me not to come)
“That ain’t the way to have fun, son”
“That ain’t the way to have fun” (that’s what she said, she said)
“That ain’t the way to have fun, no”
“That ain’t the way to have fun” (Mama told me)

And Mama told me, mama told me
Mama told me, mama told me
She told me not to come (Mama told me not to come)
“That ain’t the way to have fun” (that ain’t the way to have fun)
“That ain’t the way to have fun, son”
“That ain’t the way to have fun” (oh no, no)…

[Spoken:] Maybe I should’ve listened


Here is the video of Tome Jones and The Stereophonics performing this great song. Enjoy!





Which is your favourite Randy Newman song? Does he deserve to be at number 25 in this list?

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