There is a great video for New Frontier made by Cucumber Studios, Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, who later made Super Mario Brothers and DOA....
Yes we're gonna have a wingding
A summer smoker underground
It's just a dugout that my dad built
In case the reds decide to push the button down
We've got provisions and lots of beer
The key word is survival on the new frontier

Introduce me to that big blonde
She's got a touch of Tuesday Weld
She's wearing Ambush and a French twist
She's got us wild and she can tell
She loves to limbo, that much is clear
She's got the right dynamic for the new frontier

Well I can't wait till I move to the city
Till I finally make up my mind
To learn design and study overseas

Do you have a steady boyfriend
'Cause honey I've been watching you
I hear you're mad about Brubeck
I like your eyes I like him too
He's an artist, a pioneer
We've got to have some music on the new frontier

Well I can't wait till I move to the city
Till I finally make up my mind
To learn design and study overseas

Let's pretend that it's the real thing
And stay together all night long
And when I really get to know you
We'll open up the doors and climb into the dawn
Confess your passion, your secret fear
Prepare to meet the challenge of the new frontier



Lyrics submitted by Arbiter

New Frontier song meanings
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6 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentLike most of the songs included on "The Nightfly", I think the key to this song is included in the liner notes: They represent the fantasies of a young man more or less matching Fagen's description growing up in the 'remote suburbs' during the late fifties , early sixites.
    That said, the song follows the fantasies of a boy playing in a dugout bomb shelter his father has built. He dreams of being there with 60's model Tuesday Weld listening to the jazz of Brubeck.

    There's a youthful notion that the singer and Tuesday will repopulate the planet and face the "New Frontier".
    Arbiteron April 04, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningThe songs on the whole album take place in very late fifties / very early sixties, that's the key.

    there was this idea in the late fifties/ early sixties that if you built a fallout shelter in the back yard, put in food in there was a nuclear war with the Commies, you could go down and pop back out in a few months and be fine. You'd "survive" a nuclear attack.

    They apparently didn't know that the half life of uranium 236 was some 50 years, that's the date when half the radiation would be gone... and everyone and everything would be destroyed...

    But people still bought fallout shelters. And there was such naïve optimism and trust in science! ( a running theme)

    Tuesday Weld was one of the most beautiful actresses of all time. She was on the TV show "the Many Loves of Dobie Gillis". She is on the front and back he cover of the famous 1990 Matthew Sweet album "Girlfriend" . Check her out. Just really spectacularly pretty .

    Ambush was a famous cloying perfume of the time.

    a French Twist? You see Joanie in Mad Men with her hair up in a French Twist a lot.

    Women looked, women dressed like goddesses then. Dresses, spike heels, stockings, garter belts, makeup, puffed up hair like French twists, Ambush, etc. see Mad Men. see Fagen's video of this (if you can find it) of this girl dressed like this climbing down into the fallout shelter ladder.

    Limbo was a popular group dance for parties.

    Dave Brubeck was the first (white) Jazz musician with broad appeal among college kids and especially whites. His band was integrated. Before that, many jazz combos were black and many whites looked down their noses at jazz... Brubeck also appealed to people who liked classical music. The song by his sax man "Take Five" is still a revolutionary jazz classic. it is played in the unusual in 5/4 meter. He was a jazz "pioneer".

    the guy in the song wants to take the girl into the fallout shelter and seduce her, of course.

    "The New Frontier" was a Kennedy Admin slogan.

    Donald Fagen is always sardonic...
    rash67on April 29, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe video does justice to the lyrics, with a wicked twist: The boy gets his dream girl to enter the bomb shelter with him under the pretense that a nuclear war is afoot. They take advantage of the situation to make whoopie. In the morning when the boy awakes, the girl is gone, and he fears that ironically, a nuclear war really did break out when he leaves the shelter to see someone in a fallout suit. But as the figure doffs the helmet, he sees it's his girl, having a laugh at his expense.

    The song and video both are packed with period-piece touches. "New Frontier" is a JFK phrase, and bomb shelters are also the stuff of the early 1960s. This is almost the era of another song on this album, IGY. The video has a cartoon-within-the-video that captures the style of commercial design (and animation) from that time.
    rikdadon October 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a great tune... my favorite off the album... learned to play it cause I love it so much. The song, due to the video is self explanitory, but rikdad this is way 1950's. Kennedy is not even a Congressmen when this song is suppose to take place. The New Frontier references the time after the nuclear bomb all but destroys the world or into future space travel, both of which were fears and ideas in Ike's time.
    underbanyantreeson March 01, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My OpinionThe only thing that could improve this song at all is "more cowbell"!!!
    MateoDon October 29, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere was a sitcom series in late 60's to early 70's, (which was better than the movie, which many are that are offshoots of movies), called "the Odd Couple", the fictional location was New York but most of the studio filming was shot out in H wood. Felix(Tony Randall)was a photographer, a lover of opera, and the genteel past times, and an obsessive neat and cleaning freak. His room mate Oscar(Jack Klugman) a sports writer, was sloppy, gambled too much, smoked cigars. Both were recently divorced.

    I never watched it as a kid back then, but since approx. 20 yrs ago, i always watch reruns and is one of my favorite sitcoms.

    I can't remember whether it was Oscar or Felix, but one in passing mentioned his favorite fantasy of being locked up in a private bomb shelter with Tuesday Weld. It is probably coincidence but one never knows since Donald Fagen is from NYC, and is maybe still a new yorker at heart even though the recording industry moved to LA probably even before their debut album and so did probably Fagen and Becker. it would be interesting to find out if F and/or B got the verse idea below from the show. Of course its not stealing. I mean in hey 19, the character with the mid life crisis refers to Aretha Franklin while he's got the 19 yr old in his car who no doubt doesn't know who the great soul singer is. so he just wants her "to take me along while you slide on down" :)


    "Yes we're gonna have a wingding
    A summer smoker underground
    It's just a dugout that my dad built
    In case the reds decide to push the button down
    We've got provisions and lots of beer
    The key word is survival on the new frontier

    Introduce me to that big blonde
    She's got a touch of Tuesday Weld
    She's wearing Ambush and a French twist
    She's got us wild and she can tell
    She loves to limbo, that much is clear
    She's got the right dynamic for the new frontier...."
    emotionalinvalidon June 25, 2015   Link

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