By Judy Kurtz
“I just finished it,” the piano-playing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” singer and songwriter told ITK on Tuesday at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation’s “We Write the Songs” event at the Library of Congress.
Newman, 70, says he started writing the Putin song about four or five months ago. The Oscar and Grammy winner even gave ITK a little lyrical preview, singing, “When he takes his shirt off, it drives the ladies crazy. When he takes his shirt off, it makes me want to be a lady.”
Newman says other potential lyrics may be too cliché from being in the news so much.
“Everyone makes a big deal of the shirt thing,” Newman lamented, “So I had more of that in there, but I took it out. But that one I’ll keep.”
While libraries are known as spaces reserved for staying silent, the Library of Congress was anything but quiet Tuesday, as songwriters joined lawmakers for the sixth annual event. An ASCAP Collection at the Library of Congress includes video and audio materials, photos, scores, documents, and artifacts, all gifted by the Foundation.
Besides Newman, Carly Simon, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, Jimmy Webb, Josh Kear, Alan Bergman, Narada Michael Walden, and Jon Batiste all performed at the event.
Among the lawmakers spotted (several took to the stage to introduce performers who hailed from their home states): Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sen. Mary Landreiu (D-La.), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).