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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  • +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

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