Rosie Sails Away

Did anyone else catch this? I was watching the documentary ‘Rosie’s Family Cruise’ on HBO. A nice movie about Rosie O’Donnell and her partner’s idea to have a gay-friendly cruise ship vacation for gay/lesbian parents and their children. An entertaining and totally inoffensive (unless you’re some fundamentalist bluenose) defense of diversity, familial love and tolerance.

Then, right at the end of the movie they start playing a cover version of Randy Newman’s song “Sail Away” over a montage of families getting ready to depart the ship. I understand why they wanted to poach the lyrics about taking care of family and the refrain sail away, but did anyone read the rest of the lyrics or stop to figure out their meaning?

Randy Newman may now be known mostly as a composer of film scores to family fare like Finding Nemo, but early in his career he went out of his way to yank peoples chains. He wrote songs like “Rednecks”, “Political Science (Let’s Drop The Big One)” and “Sail Away”–perhaps the most non-PC song of all time.

The song is essentially a sales pitch made by a slavetrader to an unsuspecting African, extolling the virtues of the New World and asking him to get on board and “we will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay.”


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