Randy Newman – Tickle Me

The ominous rolling, rumbling piano at the start of this song sets the listener up for something of substance. But what we get instead is a bored narrator asking his wife/girlfriend to tickle him – just to fill the time.

Something of a throwaway in the Newman canon (it was for years only available in this unplugged version from his wonderful 1971 Live LP), it’s as good an example of everything that makes him so great: the wit and economy of the words, the effortless melody, the superb piano playing, the elevation of the mundane (and the capture of what it is to be human) and the sardonic tenderness of his voice. In all, it’s a funny and very sweet portrait of the joys of being in a relationship.

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About Paul Saxton

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