Political Science (song)

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"Political Science"
Song by Randy Newman from the album Sail Away
Released 1972
Genre Rock
Length 2:03
Label Reprise Records
Writer(s) Randy Newman
Producer(s) Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman
Sail Away track listing
"Old Man"
"Political Science"
"Burn On"

"Political Science" is a song written and performed by singer-songwriter Randy Newman on his 1972 album, Sail Away. In going along with the theme of the rest of the album, the song is a satire of a particular part of American culture and history, namely its foreign policies at the time. The unnamed narrator describes the state of the world, and suggests, "Let’s drop the big one and see what happens."

Newman performed the song on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1972.[1] "Political Science" is prominently performed by Newman on the final credits of the 1999 film Blast from the Past. Newman also rerecorded the song for his 2003 release The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 1.[2] In October 2006, Newman performed the song on The Colbert Report after being interviewed by Stephen Colbert.[3]

In recent years, artists including Don Henley, Pedro the Lion, Glen Phillips and Wilco have performed live covers of this song.[4] The song is also performed in an episode of Ally McBeal by Jennifer Holliday.


  1. ^ The Old Grey Whistle Test (DVD). Warner Home Video. 2003. 
  2. ^ The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 1
  3. ^ Newman performing on Colbert Nation
  4. ^ Don Henley Solo Tour 2004/2005

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