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"I Love L.A." by Randy Newman
I Love L.A., Randy Newman

“I Love L.A.,” composed and sung by Randy Newman, for his 1983 album “Trouble in Paradise,” actually subtly mocks L.A.’s stereotypical hedonism, contrasting with its darker troubles, such as homelessness (“Look at that bum over there, man. He's down on his knees.”). Initially, the song received little notice beyond the west coast. However, in the following year, Newman and his song were featured in a Nike commercial that played throughout the 1984 summer Olympics in Los Angeles. It became both a local and international hit and delighted Angelenos enough to be unofficially adopted as a sort of city anthem. Newman and his song continue to be brought out for important sporting events in Los Angeles.

The song’s continuing popularity among Angelenos, despite its subtle mocking of L.A., reflects, in our opinion, not shallowness or ignorance, but, rather, L.A.’s willingness to not take itself so seriously and enjoy the good things in Southern California.