Sing along to Randy Newman’s new quarantine song, ‘Stay Away’

Randy Newman
“Stay away from me / Baby, keep your distance please / Words of love / In times like these”: Randy Newman just uploaded a new quarantine song, “Stay Away.”
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times )

The other day singer-songwriter-composer Randy Newman hopped on the phone with The Times to talk about life in isolation. Asked what was on the schedule for his day, he mentioned something about doing a public service announcement about social distancing for NPR, and that he was going to record it when he got off the line.

Did he manage to find a word to rhyme with “pandemic”?

“That’s a tough one,” he said with a chuckle.

And so, instead of a standard PSA (in fact, for NPR affiliate KPCC-FM in Pasadena), Newman took to the piano to write an entire song about social distancing. With typical wit, he narrates from the perspective of someone locked in a home with a “Venus in sweatpants” spouse, one he is very lucky to have. A lyrical nod to one of Newman’s early hits, “Sail Away,” the new song is about the opposite reflex: never leaving your house.

“Stay Away” also happens to feature a sing-along chorus every bit as convincing as “I Love L.A”:


Wash your hands
Don’t touch your face

Newman uploaded the new song to his YouTube channel, but he didn’t include the lyrics. Below is the video, followed by our transcription of the lyrics. Memorize them for your next bedroom concert.

“Stay Away”
by Randy Newman

Venus in sweatpants
That’s who you are
And when this mess is over
I’ll buy you a car

We’ll drive that car
So fast and so far
All your stupid friends
Will be left behind

Stay away from me
Baby, keep your distance please
Words of love
In times like these

I’m gonna be with you
24 hours a day
A lot of people couldn’t stand that
But you can
You’ll be with me
24 hours a day
What a lucky man I am
Stay away from me

Wash your hands
But don’t touch your face
Wash your hands
Don’t touch your face

30 years together and we’re still having fun
Once we were two, now we are one
Let’s go out and get a burger
When you’re done you’re gone

Memories of the past
Be kind to one another
Tell her you love her everyday
If you’re angry about something
Let it go

The kids are frightened
Tell them not to be afraid
But don’t let them touch your face
Don’t let them touch your face