"Stay away from me. Words of love in times like these," Randy Newman sings in his newest coronavirus-inspired track

By Darlene Aderoju
April 08, 2020 06:25 PM
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Randy Newman
Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

Randy Newman is reminding listeners to stay safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Grammy-winner behind classic Toy Story songs including “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” and “Andy’s Birthday” instrumental debuted his newest tune “Stay Away” on Wednesday. It first made waves on radio show AirTalk with Larry Mantle.

The songwriter, 76, was asked by the KPCC station to speak about the virus in a PSA and remind folks to stay feet apart and wash their hands frequently, but in his own creative twist, the musician “wrote a song instead,” he explained on AirTalk.

“I’ve been asked by KPCC to say some words about social distancing because of my scientific background because apparently there’s some disease that’s going around,” Newman begins. “Stay six feet away from people, wash your hands religiously and often, and don’t touch your face.”

“Venus in sweatpants, that’s who you are. And when this mess is over, I’ll buy you a car,” he begins in his distinctive singing voice. Crooning more on coronavirus safety measures, Newman goes, “Stay away from me. Baby, keep your distance, please. Stay away from me. Words of love in times like these.”

Randy Newman Toy Story 4
Randy Newman
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

Adding yet another artistic touch, Newman incorporates some love bits about his wife of 30 years, film producer Gretchen Preece, 50, to the tune before singing, “Wash your hands, don’t touch your face.”

“I’m gon’ be with you 24 hours a day, a lot of people couldn’t stand that but you can,” he sings of his leading lady. “You’ll be with me 24 hours a day, what a lucky man I am.”

Newman concludes his AirTalk piece by saying, “Thank you very much. I wish everyone well and I wish myself well, to some extent, and stay safe. It’s hard for Americans that don’t like being told what to do at all. But, in this case you know, let’s do it. We’ll be all right. Okay, all my love to everybody, bye.”

The full three-minute segment is available online.

Newman isn’t the only artist to give fans sprinkles of health wisdom regarding the virus through music. Last month, Nick Lachey remixed 98 Degrees‘ 1999 track “The Hardest Thing” with lyrics that urge fans to self-isolate amid the outbreak.

Actors and TV personalities alike including Adam Sandler and Jimmy Fallon are also doing their best to entertain and inform fans about the health crisis.

TOY STORY, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, 1995, (c)Buena Vista Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection
Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear and Andy
| Credit: Everett

During an at-home edition of The Tonight Show Monday, the two debuted their duet “Don’t Touch Grandma,” which details ways to keep grandmothers and senior citizens safe throughout the pandemic.

Country star Thomas Rhett along with Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Keith Urban and Chris Tomlin joined forces on Thomas Rhett’s new song “Be a Light” which he released on his 30th birthday last week. Proceeds from the track will benefit the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund to aid musicians impacted by the coronavirus.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.