Old-school 20th-century pop balladeer Barbra Streisand has been on the public mind a lot lately, as Bradley Cooper’s new version of A Star Is Born is currently dominating a whole lot of online conversation. (The 1976 version of A Star Is Born, with Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, was the third movie to tell that story, but it’s still the one that most of us think of.) And Streisand is using that cultural moment to tell some truth to power.
This fall, Streisand will release a new album called Walls, which will feature her versions of poignant classics like “Imagine,” “What A Wonderful World,” and “What The World Needs Now.” But its first single is “Walls,” a new original ballad that is pointedly and explicitly aimed at Donald Trump. Over grand and swirly strings, Streisand sings, “How do you sleep when the world keeps turning? / All that we built has come undone / How do you sleep when the world is burning? / Everyone answers to someone.”
Talking to the Associated Press, Streisand says that she originally intended to write a subtle Trump rebuke but that it came out stern and fiery because she can’t believe what a piece of shit he is:
I just can’t stand what’s going on. His assault on our democracy, our institutions, our founders — I think we’re in a fight… We’re in a war for the soul of America…
I wanted to talk about the things that were making me feel so sad, heartbroken. I’m a kind of fierce American. I don’t know who we are anymore as a country. Are we embracing people who flee oppression? Or are we separating children from parents, putting them in cages? I don’t know if people care about the planet, the survival of the planet. Do they care about clean air? Clean water? Clean food? If they do, how could they vote for somebody like Trump, who believes it’s a hoax?
Here’s the song:
Walls is out 11/2. You can imagine someone like Trump, who talks about Elton John every chance he gets, being a bit perturbed at having a Barbra Streisand dis song about him.