Song Lyric Sunday – Short People

This week Jim Adams has prompted us with choosing a song pertaining to Long | Short | Small | Tall for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday. I chose “Short People”.

This is a subject I know a lot about. Short and small. I’m 5′ 1″, probably less now since we shrink as we get older. When I enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1984, I weighed 88 pounds (40 kg). I got fed for 3 days by the recruiters to fatten me up so I could enlist. The minimum weight for my height was 99 pounds (45 kg). At my physical, I weighed the exact minimum, but soon lost it all back down before leaving for bootcamp. I was the epitome of small and short. So I give you the song that I grew up to (or not) that I knew was about me. Unfortunately, the prejudice in this song has been a life I have endured. Being female and short has been a challenge and one that I have faced head on. This song didn’t degrade me, it made me strong!

The beginning of the song is quite dark in its delivery that “short people got no reason to live”, however if you continue to listen as it goes on, it also states “short people are the same as you and me”. These were words to live by my whole life as I struggled to prove myself to others and that I could keep up with the big girls and boys. The song came at a time that I was most vulnerable, pre-teen. I had just turned 12 in September of 1977 when the song came out in November. One thing is for sure….my voice is not little.

My middle child is about 5′ tall and that child came out with a big set of lungs. Loudest thing I’ve ever heard! She still has a loud and proud voice. Short people can overcome anything if they set their minds to it! So while overs can make fun of our stature, do not underestimate our power!

Song Facts:

  • Written and performed by Randy Newman.
  • Released in November, 1977.
  • First song on side A of Newman’s album, Little Criminals.
  • The song is written from the biased, prejudice narrator and did not reflect Newman’s personal point of view.
  • Topped out at #1 on the U.S. Cash Box Top 100 and the Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM) chart. It reached #2 on the Canadian Top Singles (RPM) & U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
  • Glenn Frey (founding member of the Eagles) sang backup vocals.

Short People

Short people got no reason
Short people got no reason
Short people got no reason
To live
They got little hands
And little eyes
And they walk around
Tellin' great big lies
They got little noses
And tiny little teeth
They wear platform shoes
On their nasty little feet
Well, I don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
'Round here
Short people are just the same
As you and I
(A fool such as I)
All men are brothers
Until the day they die
(It's a wonderful world)
Short people got nobody
Short people got nobody
Short people got nobody
To love
They got little baby legs
And they stand so low
You got to pick 'em up
Just to say hello
They got little cars
That got beep, beep, beep
They got little voices
Goin' peep, peep, peep
They got grubby little fingers
And dirty little minds
They're gonna get you every time
Well, I don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
Don't want no short people
'Round here
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Randy Newman
Short People lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing

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