What is with song references to "Sunday Morning"?
April 5, 2005 3:47 PM   Subscribe

I've become aware of many songs that reference "sunday morning". My question is, what is "Sunday Morning" supposed to imply? Is there some feel of Sunday morning that I'm unaware of? Also, feel free to cite examples of songs to show that I'm not crazy and that it is a common occurrence.

A couple examples off the top of my head are "Lithium" by Nirvana and that Maroon 5 song. I think Sublime has one too. I know that I've heard it in many songs and always wondered what it's supposed to mean.
posted by supplement710 to Writing & Language (35 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sunday morning and I'm falling
I've got a feeling I don't want to know
Early dawning, Sunday morning
It's all the streets you crossed, not so long ago
posted by skwm at 3:51 PM on April 5, 2005

Like a lazy feeling? Derived from the Christian Sunday as the sabbath, thus no work, no hurry, like "Sunday drivers." I can cite a Sunday Morning poem, but not a song, off the top of my head. I feel like I'm misreading this question.
posted by scazza at 3:58 PM on April 5, 2005

It's the morning after.
posted by lbergstr at 4:01 PM on April 5, 2005

Like Faith No More's "Easy Like Sunday Morning"?

My personal interpretation has always been the more relaxed "morning after" a saturday night date or party hookup.
posted by SpecialK at 4:01 PM on April 5, 2005

I think skwm has given you the ultimate source; the root of all Sunday Morning references (and of so many other things) is the Velvet Underground.

It has to do with being hung over, possibly waking up in an unfamiliar bed, with the paranoia of withdrawal slowly creeping up ("Watch out, the world's behind you").
posted by mr_roboto at 4:02 PM on April 5, 2005

Kris Kristofferson says it all...

Well, I woke up Sunday morning
With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt.
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled in my closet through my clothes
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
Then I washed my face and combed my hair
And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

I'd smoked my mind the night before
With cigarettes and songs I'd been picking.
But I lit my first and watched a small kid
Playing with a can that he was kicking.
Then I walked across the street
And caught the Sunday smell of someone frying chicken.
And Lord, it took me back to something that I'd lost
Somewhere, somehow along the way.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I'm wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
'Cause there's something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothing short a' dying
That's half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalk
And Sunday morning coming down.

In the park I saw a daddy
With a laughing little girl that he was swinging.
And I stopped beside a Sunday school
And listened to the songs they were singing.
Then I headed down the street,
And somewhere far away a lonely bell was ringing,
And it echoed through the canyon
Like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.

On a Sunday morning sidewalk,
I'm wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
'Cause there's something in a Sunday
That makes a body feel alone.
And there's nothing short a' dying
That's half as lonesome as the sound
Of the sleeping city sidewalk
And Sunday morning coming down.

posted by naomi at 4:03 PM on April 5, 2005

No Doubt have a song called Sunday Morning.
posted by fire&wings at 4:13 PM on April 5, 2005


For me the phrase "Sunday morning" has always implied a peaceful, easy feeling: serenity, grace, quiet. It's a time for reflection. A time for solitude.

I've no doubt this stems from my religious upbringing, and the holiness associated with Sunday as sabbath and a day of rest. The feeling and association has followed me through college (during which I used Sunday mornings for peaceful prolonged periods of study), and into middle-agedness (during which I use Sunday mornings for a cup of tea on the porch while watching the birds, or a pipe in the workshop while listening to Johnny Cash sing the Kris Kristofferson song cited above).

I think the Sunday morning feeling is older than all the songs that are being cited here. My father used to talk about it, too. I think it's an old thing, and probably ultimately tied to religion. (And, thus, I think scazza's on the right track.)
posted by jdroth at 4:19 PM on April 5, 2005

I've always wanted to write a song called "Sunday Morning Throw Up Song" but alas, I lack the talent.

I always thought "Easy Like Sunday Morning" was a Lionel Ritchie song. I need to check out the Faith No More song.
posted by SlappyPeterson at 4:25 PM on April 5, 2005

On the "unfamiliar bed" angle, I offer The Chemical Brothers.

C'mon jdroth, we're talking about ROCK AND ROLL here.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:26 PM on April 5, 2005

Sunday morning I'm waking up
Can't even focus on a coffee cup
Don't even know who's bed I'm in
Where do I start
Where do I begin
--via the beautiful voice of Beth Orton on The Chemical Brothers "Where Do I Begin".

I've always seen it as the result of two consecutive nights of debauchery that you are recovering from.

On preview: mr_roboto beat me.
posted by karmaville at 4:27 PM on April 5, 2005

faithless have a double album (in fact, just listened to a track from it) - one disc is saturday night, the other sunday morning (remixes). a morning after thing, i think.

(and "where do i begin" deserves to be mentioned twice, wait, no, three times...)
posted by andrew cooke at 4:38 PM on April 5, 2005

whoops. it's actually called "saturday 8pm/sunday 3am"
posted by andrew cooke at 4:42 PM on April 5, 2005

i'm with jdroth, but not in a religious sense. It's the quietest time of the week, and you don't have to do anything if you don't want to, and can lay in bed or around the house with or without someone, and just be, hungover or not.

this lists a whole bunch of them (scroll to sunday)
posted by amberglow at 4:45 PM on April 5, 2005

cf. No Doubt's "Sunday Morning"

Oh, try doing a song search on Allmusic.com for "Sunday Morning." Compare to other 'morning of the week' songs. That'll clear any doubts.

Finally, "Easy" is a Commodores song later covered by Faith No More.
posted by kimota at 4:46 PM on April 5, 2005

Sunday morning is good but Sunday afternoon is where it's at.

"Lazy Sunday afternoon, I got no mind to worry,
Close my eyes and drift away.

Aroo de do de do aroo de do de di day"
-Small Faces
posted by tellurian at 4:55 PM on April 5, 2005

It's the quietest time of the week, and you don't have to do anything if you don't want to

If I weren't < --this--> close to graduating, this would make me cry. Don't y'all remember being students, when Sunday was the worst day of the week?

Good old Sunday morning, bells are ringing everywhere.
Goin' to Carolina, it won’t be long and I’ll be there.
- Allman Bros., "Blue Sky"
posted by rustcellar at 5:00 PM on April 5, 2005

I'm with the lazy feeling posters, though the VU song is probably my favorite reference to the day.

Also, not a morning, but:

I want a Sunday kind of love.
I love to last past Saturday night.

is a sort of similar thing. It's from Sunday Kind of Love, of course. To me, the best version of the song is by Etta James.
posted by dobbs at 5:01 PM on April 5, 2005

Just as a side point: I recently decided to create two iPod playlists called "Days" and "Nights", based strictly on song titles. I ended up with at least 30 strong entries for "days", including each day of week. I was surprised to find a dearth of songs under "nights".
posted by yclipse at 5:36 PM on April 5, 2005

Perhaps it has something to do with this?

Also, perhaps the idea is Friday night and Saturday you can party, but Sunday morning you have to wake up and fix the mistakes you made over the weekend before the work week starts again.
posted by schroedinger at 5:46 PM on April 5, 2005

Sneaker Pimps - Wasted Early Sunday Morning
posted by dazed_one at 5:55 PM on April 5, 2005

OT: Holy shit... of the links on google I checked out, more than 2/3 reference Faith No More, without a mention of Lionel Ritchie (good thing? bad thing? I dunno) and reference Faith No More Song. Okay, I'm officially old... and the guys in FNM are older than I am. Btw, the jury is still out on Ministry's "lay lady lay", and Marilyn Manson's "sweet dreams ( are made of this)" and Soul Asylum's "sexual healing".
posted by psmealey at 6:18 PM on April 5, 2005

Sunday morning, I'm guessing, refers to it as a day of rest. Like the line in that song, "I'm easy like a Sunday morning."

Oh, I didn't read the replies above. This post might look odd therefore.
posted by sjvilla79 at 6:26 PM on April 5, 2005

Like Faith No More's "Easy Like Sunday Morning"?

I think you mean the Commodores
posted by angry modem at 7:00 PM on April 5, 2005

I think it probably depends on the context. Traditionally Sunday is the Christian sabbath day, the day of rest and quiet contemplation. Sunday morning is when you put on your "good clothes" and head off to church.

This has carried over in a secular sense, too: banks are closed, stores are closed or close early, and since most people have to return to work the next day it's not generally as active a day as Saturday. So in this sense, "Sunday morning" implies rest, laziness, and recovery.

Another context to consider is the end of the weekend. Monday means back to work and/or school for most people, so on Sunday we can find ourselves filled with dread (of the coming week) or regret (that the weekend was so short).

And, of course, in modern popular culture the "morning after" effect that several people have already mentioned comes in to play, too: "What have I done? Why does my head hurt so bad? Why is that light so bright? Where are my pants? Whose yard is this?"
posted by Aster at 7:00 PM on April 5, 2005

I have to laugh at this question. Needing to ask it is a generational marker - a sign of youth. I will step in as the old person and try to explain what 'Sunday Morning' used to mean, and doesn't any more.

In addition to what's been mentioned above (Sunday morning's quiet, religious, and follows Saturday night's wildness) Sundays used to have a distinctly different and unique feel from every other day of the week. It's only since maybe the late 80s that Sunday became like a weaker, more generic Saturday.

In the 60s-70s-80s, when most of the great 'Sunday Morning' tunes were written, Sundays were an oddly peaceful day. Most businesses were closed -- and I mean really closed. You couldn't go shopping on Sunday. Couldn't go to the mall. Couldn't get your oil changed or do your errands. Didn't go to the movies. Didn't go out to bars and restaurants --they were totally dead on Sundays. I don't mean things opened late or had different hours -- they were just cuh-losed. There was nothing on TV - I mean nothing - because of course there were only 3 networks and PBS, and they were showing only three things on Sunday: Golf, religious services, and Davey and Goliath. It was a boring, quiet day with few distractions.

I can remember the Sunday morning feeling. Yes, your head hurt from last night, or maybe you were remembering some particularly fine moments you enjoyed the previous night. Either way, you were reliving recent memories in kind of a wistful way and wondering where things were going next. You might pass the time by reading or maybe taking a walk. You could go downtown, but it always had kind of a ghost-town feel on Sunday because most everything was closed and few people were out. You heard church bells, and if you weren't going to services yourself, you still couldn't really ignore the fact that other people were - you'd see them proper and dressed up, and that might make you think about your own spiritual status.

Of course, Monday meant going back to work and the drudgery of another week. So, while you might feel a little bit at loose ends on Sunday, you still wanted to prolong the feeling of idleness and relaxation. It was a chance to catch up with yourself. A chance to think.

It;s one of the saddest things about modern life that we don't have a day like this any more. A day when most everything just stops. A day when we have the luxury -- the pleasure -- of being bored. A day when for once we're not expected to be productive, get things done, exchange money for services, or any damn thing else. It's a real loss. And part of what we have lost is expressed in those mellow, wistful, lazy, goofy, dreamy songs.
posted by Miko at 7:03 PM on April 5, 2005 [2 favorites]

[Just to clarify -- I am not describing life in some bucolic locality either. I'm from the metro NY area - and Sunday felt that way even there until the capitalist lords decided they should be able to sell stuff on that other day, too].
posted by Miko at 7:05 PM on April 5, 2005

*applause for Miko*
posted by gleuschk at 7:59 PM on April 5, 2005

There was nothing on TV - I mean nothing - because of course there were only 3 networks and PBS, and they were showing only three things on Sunday: Golf, religious services, and Davey and Goliath.

In the '80's? There was definitely pro football on Sundays.
posted by furiousthought at 8:01 PM on April 5, 2005

Country music has a lot of songs about Sunday too (more towards a religious bent, of course). Morgan Craig's "That's What I Love About Sunday" is getting a lot of play in my neck of the woods.

Raymond's in his Sunday best,
He's usually up to his chest in oil an' grease.
There's the Martin's walkin' in,
With that mean little freckle-faced kid,
Who broke a window last week.
Sweet Miss Betty likes to sing off key in the pew behind me.

posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:17 PM on April 5, 2005

Too many sad days
Too many Tuesday mornings
I thought of you today
I wished it was yesterday morning
I thought of you today
I dreamt you were dressed in mourning

But I knew that you
WIth your heart beating
And your eyes shining
Would be dreaming of me
Lying with you
On a Tuesday morning

the pogues
posted by Dean Keaton at 10:38 PM on April 5, 2005

Everyday Is Like Sunday by Morrissey
posted by stateofmind_77 at 11:30 PM on April 5, 2005

Hey Miko! In Germany, most everything is still closed on Sundays. One more way in which life in Germany felt more like my home town in my childhood, than my home town feels today. Mind, I complained enough about this, as this meant the stores were too crowded to be able to shop on Saturday. But the atmosphere was still beautiful.
posted by Goofyy at 1:37 AM on April 6, 2005

I forgot about football -- of course, that was only during football season. I admit that it never did much for me.

Goofyy, that sounds awesome.
posted by Miko at 6:09 AM on April 6, 2005

beautifully said, Miko. (i'm old enough to remember too. but movie theaters were always open for us..Sunday matinees and all-day things--like showing all the Planet of the Apes movies in a row for one price) : >
posted by amberglow at 8:04 AM on April 6, 2005

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