Monday’s Music Moves Me: Sun Songs


If it rains anymore, we’re going to mold. Seriously, it’s been raining most of the week and into today, and a brief peek at the sun about a week ago is all we’ve had to break up the constant overcast sky. Now, I don’t mind overcast weather, and after several extended periods of drought in the years we’ve lived here, I see rain as a gift from God. Even so, I miss the big yellow glowing ball of gas in the sky, and as I mentioned the other day, I’m feeling a little down, probably a vitamin D3 deficiency. While I slip off to take a supplement, enjoy these songs about the sun.

  1. Here Comes The Sun – George Harrison: Have to start the list with this one, performed live at the Concert for Bangladesh. I think the other guitar player is Pete Ham from Badfinger. George said he wrote this song while playing with the D chord one day. You guitar players know what I’m talking about, but it’s not necessary to enjoy the song.
  2. You Are The Sunshine of my Life – Stevie Wonder: Released in 1973, it was the second single from his 1972 album Talking Book, and it was a #1 hit on the Hot 100 (the third of his career), the R&B chart, and his first #1 on the Easy Listening chart. Stevie won the 1974 Grammy for Best Male Vocal Performance for this song, which was nominated as Record of the Year and Song of the year. Rolling Stone ranks it at #281 on their “500 Greatest Songs Of All Time” list.
  3. Sunshine Superman – Donovan: This was Donovan’s one and only song to reach #1 on the Hot 100 (1966). The Allmusic Guide to Rock says it’s “the quintessential bright summer sing-along.”
  4. Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot: The title track from his 1974 album, it was Lightfoot’s only song to reach #1 on the Hot 100. Lot of that going around…
  5. Sunny – Bobby Hebb: A crossover hit for Hebb that reached #2 on the Pop chart and #3 on the R&B chart in 1966. Hebb wrote this one in the two days after November 22, 1963, the day his brother Harold was stabbed to death and John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
  6. House of the Rising Sun – The Animals: A traditional folk classic that’s been recorded by everyone from Joan Baez to Frijid Pink, the Animals’ version was the most successful and was the first “folk-rock” song. It was a #1 hit in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia in 1964.
  7. Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks: Written by lead Kink Ray Davies, this was a #1 hit in the UK and Ireland in July 1966, and rose as high as #14 on the Hot 100. Like The Beatles’ “Taxman,” it’s a protest song about the steeply progressive tax scheme under Harold Wilson.
  8. Sunshine of your Love – Cream: Another one of those songs that fledgling guitar players picked up back in the ’60’s. It was on Cream’s second album, Disraeli Gears, released in late 1967. As a single, it reached #5 on the Hot 100 in 1968.
  9. Waiting For The Sun – The Doors: The title track for their 1968 album, but it didn’t apear on the album; it was added to 1970’s Morrison Hotel. It was never released as a single.
  10. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves: From their eponymous 1983 album, this was re-recorded and released in 1985. It reached #9 in the US, #8 in the UK, and #4 in Australia. Originally written as a ballad, lead singer Katrina Leskanich decided instead to turn it into a rocker. I think she had something there…

16 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Sun Songs

  1. Love George Harrison my friend and although the others are new to me you have totally ROCKED the house as far as I’m concerned. Thanks for playing along with us once again. Have a rockin’ week!


  2. That’s a pretty cool mashup – of course, I loved George Harrison in the mix. I’m a bit of a Beatles nut. And who can’t love Katrina and the Waves? Even non-dancers get up and move for that one!


    1. I think I’m one of the original Beatle nuts, and certainly a George Harrison nut. They always say you need to watch the quiet ones. Katrina had the right idea with that song; can you imagine it as a ballad?


    1. Have you been getting much rain? We’ve been swamped here. The sun is finally out today, and other than a passing shower on Thursday, Accuweather is calling for no more rain for the rest of the week, thank heaven.


    1. Burdon has an excellent voice, for certain, and the Animals’ version of the song is the best one I’ve heard, although I also like Frijid Pink’s psychedelic version from the late 1960’s…

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  3. There are probably a lot of songs in this category. The first one that came into my mind was “Into the Sun” from the great debut album of Grand Funk Railroad.

    And again there’s Bruce Cockburn. He did a great guitar instrumental called “Sunwheel Dance” which was also the name of the album it was on. There was also the lovely instrumental he did called “Salt, Sun, and Time” which was also the name of an album.

    Here are links to the Cockburn songs that you being a guitarist might appreciate:

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


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