They started to party and they partied some more
Cause New Orleans had won the war

There are probably songs that should come to mind more quickly for me when I think of New Orleans — something steeped in the jazz, zydeco, or blues that serve as the city’s musical pulse. But, in truth, Randy Newman’s “New Orleans Wins the War” is the track that echoes up from my memory when I head out for another visit to the Crescent City. It’s probably because this was the first song about New Orleans that I truly embedded into my head — Newman’s Land of Dreams was right there in Heavy Rotation when I started at the college radio station — and the descriptions of one of the master songwriters of his age managed to place me in the southern city before I ever set foot in it.

And then there’s the fact that the song is also about the jarring experience of leaving the magical, messy place. As I write this, I only have about twenty-fours left in my latest visit to New Orleans. I’d better get out and make the most of it.

Listen or download –> Randy Newman, “New Orleans Wins the War”

(Disclaimer: I don’t know for sure if Land of Dreams is still out of print as a physical object that could be purchased from your favorite local, independently-owned record store. If you can buy it there, you should. It’s masterful. Let the sharing of this track to be an enticement to do so. Though I mean no fiscal harm to Mr. Newman in sharing this, I will gladly and promptly remove the file from my little corner of the digital world if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)

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