Randy Newman — Baltimore
Album: Little Criminals
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1186









Released: 1977
Length: 3:56
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Beat-up little seagull
On a marble stair
Tryin' to find the ocean
Lookin' everywhere

Hard times in the city
In a hard town by the sea
Ain't nowhere to run to
There ain't nothin' here for free

Hooker on the corner
Waitin' for a train
Drunk lyin' on the sidewalk
Sleepin' in the rain

And they hide their faces
And they hide their eyes
'Cause the city's dyin'
And they don't know why

Oh, Baltimore
Man, it's hard just to live
Oh, Baltimore
Man, it's hard just to live, just to live

Get my sister Sandy
And my little brother Ray
Buy a big old wagon
Gonna haul us all away

Livin' in the country
Where the mountain's high
Never comin' back here
'Til the day I die

Oh, Baltimore
Man, it's hard just to live
Oh, Baltimore
Man, it's hard just to live, just to live
Comments (241)add comment
 badfunk wrote:
RANDY NEWMAN??? WTF!

Is there anyone more annoying in music than Randy Newman?
 
yes
RANDY NEWMAN??? WTF!

Is there anyone more annoying in music than Randy Newman?
I never understood the worship of Randy Newman. Recently I've begun to see him as a good, maybe occasionally great songwriter; but the fact that he was in the R&R HOF while the Moody Blues were not, just made me physically ill. Thank goodness that will be remedied finally, but I still think he's way overrated as a performer.
 thewiseking wrote:
Never could stand this guy and what's up with that contrived pseudo soulful voice he sings in? Did they teach little Randy minstrelsy when he was growing up in Beverly Hills?

 
I accept as your truth that you never could stand him. As if it matters. The only time I saw him perform I guess he was heavily into cocaine.  Sniffed a lot. Maybe that would be a reason to dislike him, for some. However, reality is more nuanced. He is a really good song writer. This song says more about an old American city that has suffered from the sort of hollowing out of industry, post-slavery sociological problems (Maryland was indeed a slave state), urban flight, racial discord, poor educational and other opportunities, etc. (and that's a lot of etcs.) than any single song I know. As a society we pretty much pay a modest amount of attention to the degradation of the urban centers, express some periodic concern, then move on to something/anything else. But the problem persists and festers. That is what this song is about, from my perspective. 
Never could stand this guy and what's up with that contrived pseudo soulful voice he sings in? Did they teach little Randy minstrelsy when he was growing up in Beverly Hills?
Love this song until the chorus when it homogenizes into mid 70s soft rockitude.
Love this song with Glenn Frey doing the (way too short) solo at the end.
I love the way you guys over the pond express your love or otherwise for your places in song titles.  We don't really get involved with that here, for some reason.  "Oh, Mangotsfield" just wouldn't have the same ring to it.
 mardisoninnc wrote:
I don't know what it is about him, but I just can't stand old Randy.

 
Same here.
There's something about his fake voice and overly "clever" lyrics which always perturbed me. 
His father however was Hollywood Royalty and a great talent. Scored Wuthering Heights, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Chaplin's City Lights and on and on and on
 melzabutch wrote:


 
Meanwhile,outside of Pleasant Valley


 Sodak1 wrote:
Did Nils Lofgren also do this song?

  On his 5th album "Nils".


Very smooth 7 -> 8
 phlattop wrote:
would have loved to have seen this used on "The Wire"

  

I'm just about to finish season 4.  Imagine my delight when this song came up on Radio Paradise as a timely volunteer.  I love Randy and I love him more when he writes, "And they hide their faces, And they hide their eyes, 'Cause the city's dyin', And they don't know why..."  I think Randy knows 'why'.

Reminds of when I was a teenager and the talk show said, "Intelligence isn't something you're born with and if you don't have now you can get it" and "Follow the money".  I was in the short line for the draft and the second round gasoline rationing/price hikes landed on us.  I didn't read much in those days and I didn't have many informed friends or relatives, but I knew three things for sure;  "we are being fucked"; "I am going to find out how" and "by whom".  It didn't take long, surety takes a while longer, but it grows like a virus when I commit to knowing and seeing.  

Get my sister Sandy, And my little brother Ray, Buy a big old wagon, Gonna haul us all away, Livin' in the country, Where the mountain's high, Never comin' back here, 'Til the day I die.


I don't know what it is about him, but I just can't stand old Randy.
Did Nils Lofgren also do this song?

 kingart wrote:
James Taylor's oh, Mexico in that oh, Baltimore. 

 

Noticed that, too.  Very similar.
Always liked his voice - amazing just how many hits and theme songs he's been responsible for!
Love this song. That's Glenn Frey on guitar.