Nonesuch Releases Randy Newman’s “Stay Away” To Benefit Ellis Marsalis Center

Randy Newman’s new song, “Stay Away,” written as a PSA about COVID-19 safety for his local Southern California public radio station KPCC, is available to purchase digitally today, April 17, 2020, via the Nonesuch Store and iTunes; it is also streaming at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, and other services. A video of Newman performing “Stay Away” at home may be seen below. Proceeds from the song will benefit the Ellis Marsalis Center in New Orleans, a city to which Newman has a deep, lifelong personal connection.

In his video performance Newman introduces the song by saying, “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. Stay six feet away from people, wash your hands religiously and often, and don’t touch your face.” He concludes, “I wish everyone well, and I wish myself well to some extent. Stay safe. It’s hard for Americans, we don’t like being told what to do at all. But in this case, let’s do it and we’ll be all right. All my love to everybody.”

Located in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, within the Musicians’ Village, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music broadens opportunities for underserved children, youth, and musicians. The Center deeply values its connection to the surrounding community and endeavors to be an ongoing source of information and cultural inspiration to residents of the Ninth Ward in particular, and to New Orleans as a whole. It is named in honor of the New Orleans native and legendary jazz pianist, educator, and patriarch of the Marsalis clan, who recently passed away from COVID-19-related complications.

“New Orleans is really suffering and since African Americans are taking the brunt of the punishment, I thought something to help the Ninth Ward would be a good idea,” Newman said. “The Ellis Marsalis Center has a great reputation among musicians and people I know who live in the city.

“If the song makes a great deal of money, all bets are off.”

“Stay Away” Lyrics


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

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

You’ll be with me 24 hours a day

What a lucky man I am

Stay away from me

Wash your hands

Don’t touch your face

How do you like that

Wash your hands

Don’t touch your face

I saw you

Thirty 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 done

Memories of the past

Be kind to one another

Tell her you love her every day

If you’re angry about something, let it go

If 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

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