Brothers

Album: Dark Matter (2017)
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Songfacts®:

  • This song is an imagined conversation in the White House between President John F. Kennedy and his younger brother Bobby in 1961 in which they debate Castro's Cuba. JFK decides to go ahead with the Bay of Pigs Invasion in order to rescue the brilliant Havana diva Celia Cruz. Asked by Pitchfork what gave him the idea to write about the Kennedys in that time period, Randy Newman replied:

    "What interested me about the song is that they're brothers, irrespective of who they are. I like the dynamic of an older brother poking fun at the enthusiasms of the younger brother. I didn't know I was interested in the period itself, but when I think of it now, the Cuban Missile Crisis was a time when you were looking up every time a plane went by - for a few days there, it was scary like it hasn't been since. So there is something there. And I liked how the trivial the reasons were to support the Bay of Pigs, and that the guy wants to save Celia Cruz. Because the US has done some invading of small countries for not much more than that."
  • Celia Cruz was one of the most popular Latin artists of the 20th century, gaining twenty-three gold albums during her career. When Fidel Castro assumed control of Cuba in 1959, Cruz was prohibited from returning to her homeland and she became a US citizens of the United States. She subsequently became a symbol of artistic freedom for Cuban American exiles.

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