Loudon Wainwright sings 'Newt Gingrich Is Running For Pres'
Singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III has tossed off numerous topical ditties over his 40-year career on subjects including war, O.J. Simpson, Christmas, Olympic figure-skating anti-heroine Tonya Harding and millennial panic, among others, so it’s no surprise he’s come up with one pegged to the 2012 presidential campaign.
He’s posted the song and accompanying video for “Newt Gingrich is Running For Pres” on YouTube, a cheerfully barbed number set to the tune of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.”
A writer who often has used sharp-edged satire in his music, Wainwright sings:
He’s no longer naughty
Newt’s gonna make nice
Newt didn’t lobby
Just got paid for advice
Newt Gingrich is running for Pres
In previous interviews Wainwright has said he enjoys the challenge of crafting songs linked to a moment, a practice more common early in the 20th century than in recent times. He sees them as analagous to news dispatches sent from the front — something that may be lodged in his DNA as the son of longtime Life magazine columnist Loudon Wainwright II.
Several of his earlier topical and political tunes are collected on two albums, “Social Studies” from 1999 and last year’s “10 Songs for the New Depression.” Many are also sprinkled across the '40 Odd Years' box set released earlier this year.
Photo of Loudon Wainwright III during a 2010 performance at Largo in Los Angeles. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times.