Iconic singer-songwriter James Taylor served as the musical guest on Tuesday night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The appearance came on the same day Taylor’s 2020 standards album, American Standard, was announced as a nominee for “Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album” at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2021.

For his appearance on Kimmel, James Taylor opted for “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught”, the Rodgers and Hammerstein number from the 1949 musical, South Pacific. A timely selection for this strangest of years, “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” examines the process by which people are taught to be intolerant.

Though the song itself plays like a lovely ballad, rendered beautifully by Taylor (vocals/acoustic guitar) and some tasteful string accompaniment, the lyrics serve as a stinging, tongue-in-cheek reminder that hate and prejudice get passed down through generations (You’ve got to be taught / Before it’s too late / Before you are six / Or seven, or eight / To hate all the people / Your relatives hate/ You’ve got to be carefully taught).

Watch James Taylor perform Rodgers and Hammerstein South Pacific tune “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” on Jimmy Kimmel Live! below:

James Tayler – “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” (South Pacific) – Jimmy Kimmel Live!

[Video: Jimmy Kimmel Live]

James Taylor, one of the highest-selling recording artists of all time, notched his 20th overall studio release with the Grammy-nominated American Standard. The album, released back in February, debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, making Taylor the first act to earn a top 10 album in each of the last six decades. You can listen to the full collection of covers from the American songbook below:

James Taylor – American Standard – Full Album


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For more information on James Taylor’s American Standard LP, head here.