Dayton, Ohio - 1903 (1:51)

Cover of The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2

From The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2 and 2 other releases

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  • Tron1276

    I can never decide which I like better -Nilsson's or Newman's... Both are incredible, but this is pretty stunning either way.

    20 Dec 2012 Reply
  • PinballWizard55

    @DobbyKnits, thanks for that. Made me smile a little as it seems more in keeping with Newman's style and was struggling to find a way to relate it to that.

    13 Oct 2011 Reply
  • DobbyKnits

    This song is a gem and quintessentially Newman-esque. It's actually a tongue-in-cheek, nod-and-wink reflection on how things would change radically at that point in time. The Wright brothers lived in Dayton, Ohio in 1903 and made their first powered flight on December 17 of that year. Things would never move quite so slowly ever again.

    11 Jul 2011 Reply
  • jakobdorof

    great song. Guided By Voices' sequel to the song is actually worthy of it, too.

    29 May 2010 Reply
  • ctd55

    The album's curio. In the midst of weighty disquisitions on history, religion, politics, stardom, sex, etc., it's a charming, sentimental song about just passing some time in Dayton, Ohio in 1903 ("Would you like to come over for tea / with the missus and me?"). It's a a celebration of quieter, simpler, friendlier times. Sure, there's a touch of self-consciousness ("Let's sing a song of long ago...") and social criticism (through the comparison with the contemporary world) here, but these don't seem to be Randy's primary interests. He's painting a picture of a time and a place, a time and place "when things were green and movin' slow." And the music suggests the feel of such things: it's beautiful and relaxed. Randy's singing even seems less nervous--his voice is quiet and gentle, genially inviting us to share in his sentimental conception of the past and its simpler pleasures.

    29 Mar 2010 Reply

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