After being asked to provide a Los Angeles-based radio station, KPCC, with a unique PSA about social distancing earlier this week, Newman upped the ante and instead wrote the playful original.
The 76-year-old songwriter, best known for the smash-hit songs Short People (1977) and You’ve Got a Friend in Me from Disney/Pixar‘s Toy Story (1995), then shared the two-minute ditty to various different social media platforms on Wednesday.
Referring to the proper hand-washing techniques encouraged during the novel coronavirus-era, Newman sings: “Stay away from me / Wash your hands / Don’t touch your face / How do you like that?” throughout the number.
The musician’s effort follows the likes of originals written or performed by entertainers like Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon and classic rock legend Neil Diamond — who took a fresh approach on his 1969 country-rock anthem, Sweet Carorline.
While encouraging people to keep their distance in an effort to fight the novel coronavirus, Stay Away also doubles as quite a charming love song.
In the second verse, Newman sings: “Baby, keep your distance, please / Stay away from me / 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 / What a lucky man I am.”
Earlier this year, Newman went up against a number of musicians in both the ‘Best Original Song’ and ‘Best Original Music Score’ award categories at the 92nd Academy Awards.
Though he did not win either of the Oscars, the songwriting legend took to the stage to perform his 2019 hit, I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away, from Toy Story 4.
Newman’s 11th and latest studio album, Dark Matter, was released in 2017. It was his first release to contain original compositions in nine years.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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