After what seemed like an eternity of winter, spring has finally sprung, with a full complement of thunderstorms, rain, wind and the sunshine we all so richly deserve.
I yearn for the Beach Boys, but it’s a bit too soon to talk about surfing. On the other hand, if I want to roll my windows down and sing “Surfin’ Safari” at the top of my lungs, who’s going to stop me?
Anyone who isn’t tone-deaf, actually.
But if the Beach Boys aren’t appropriate yet, other songs might fit our ever-shifting, complicated Minnesota springtime better.
The National Weather Service predicts sunny, breezy, mostly clear weather for the next two days, with the next chance of thunderstorms slated for Sunday night and Monday.
“Oh the dark days are done, and the bright days are here,” declared Bobby Hebb in the 1966 tune “Sunny.”
Of course, we all know that’s not exactly right, because the dark days aren’t completely done. This is Minnesota. If you don’t like the weather, as the saying goes, wait five minutes. It’ll change.
We’ll have clouds and storms again soon enough. Then again, for some people, maybe that’s a good thing.
“Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry.”
Apparently John Denver didn’t have a pair of sunglasses when he wrote “Sunshine on My Shoulders” in 1973. I’ve heard this song was actually written in Minnesota in early spring on a gray day with absolutely no sunshine at all, so it’s more of a wishful thinking kind of sunshine than anything.
If you enjoy the classics, “You Are My Sunshine” might be a pretty good tune this weekend, if you’re looking for metaphorical sunshine, but make sure to sing only the first verse and the chorus. After that the apparently-cheery little tune gets wistful and sad.
Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies,” written way back in 1926, may be better for going for a walk on the lake: “Never saw the sun shining so bright, never saw things going so right. Noticing the days hurrying by, when you’re in love, my how they fly. Blue days all of them gone; nothing but blue skies from now on.”
It sounds like Berlin didn’t have his sunglasses on either, but at least he didn’t cry about it.
The most apt sunshine song of all this weekend, though, might be “Here Comes the Sun,” from the Beatles’ Abbey Road: “Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter. Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here. Here comes the sun… and I say it’s all right.”
Maybe George Harrison was secretly Minnesotan.
What other sunshine songs did I leave out?
- The Sesame Street Theme: "Sunny day, sweepin’ the clouds away. On my way to where the air is sweet…"
- Here Comes the Sun King, by the Beatles: "Here comes the Sun King. Everybody’s laughing. Everybody’s happy."
As far as other weather songs? Stay tuned.