I'm Dreaming

Album: Single Release Only (2012)
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Songfacts®:

  • This satirical song finds Newman stepping into the shoes of a less-than-reliable narrator, who is, "dreaming of a white President." The veteran singer-songwriter explained to Slate that the track's protagonist, "has no case at all, just some vague pseudo-scientific theories that no doubt sound good to him but are nonsense.

    "[F]or me it's a reaction to the Republican Party," he added, "which seems to have drifted farther to the right than a major party has drifted in my lifetime in any direction. It seems to have become almost a radical party. The hate and... I don't think it'll last. That kind of thing doesn't seem to last."
  • The song was inspired in part by the anger directed by many at Barack Obama during his presidency. "Still, it's clear that there are lots of people out there who are uncomfortable [with a black president]," Newman told Slate. "The Civil War was a long time ago, but there are aspects of it that remain unsettled, I think. Early on in Obama's term, there was heat generated by issues that you wouldn't think would cause such passion. Even the term 'Obamacare,' the way it's spit out, like he was some kind of witch doctor. Maybe I'm overly sensitive to the issue, but I don't think so. There's an edge to things that normally wouldn't have an edge. I thought it was a little extra."
  • The tune was made available as a free download, with Newman encouraging listeners to donate to the United Negro College Fund.
  • The song's chorus recalls Irving Berlin's standard, "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas." However, Newman told Slate that he didn't necessarily have the composer or the song's original performer, Bing Crosby, in mind when he wrote it, but was possibly thinking of "the America they represent."

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