“You say Van Heusen is a shirt worth choosin / But you’re still undecided bout me.”
~Paul Williams, Nilsson Sings Newman
“We’ll have a kid / Or maybe we’ll rent one / He’s got to be straight / We don’t want no bent one.”
~Randy Newman, Love Story
OK, you ready for this? Here is a sampling of one of my favorite musically interwoven meta-ditties. Here is a recording by Paul Williams, where he impersonates Harry Nilsson impersonating Randy Newman. Essentially, it’s a braid of a cover song: Williams sings Nilsson sings Newman. As I’m sure many of you are aware, Nilsson did a full album of Randy Newman cover songs called Nilsson sings Newman, which is a top-10 record for me. Paul Williams is the guy responsible for all the songs from the Muppet Movies, including “Rainbow Collection” and “Movin right along,” and he also did Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas Special, AND one of the weirdest gangster films of all time — Bugsy Malone (where all the gangsters are played by children). One of the songs from Bugsy Malone recently had a revival on television because it was used in a soda commercial that premiered during super bowl half-time.