Sunday Songs – week two

Dear people,

Another five songs for Sunday. Enjoy!

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1 – Nothing Precious At All by Stereophonics

I love this song. It’s absolutely nonsense in the bigger scheme of things, but there’s something so melancholic and profound about it. I imagine writers/artists would identify with it. It’s about an idle mind (most probably Kelly Jones’s) passing time by subconsciously observing people, somewhere in the US I think, when a young lady catches his eye. Whether she takes his fancy or not, I’m unsure, but he builds a narrative about her, let’s his imagination run wild, about her loves and interests and experiences and what she gets up to in the evening. I like the idea of capturing a dull moment but molding it into a little work of art. It certainly makes me think of my own procrastinating habits. The end result: a nice piece of music.

Why does remind me of Sundays? It’s the one day of the week I feel I can afford myself to have an idle mind too, and not feel guilty about not doing something productive to earn some money or beneficial for my career. There’s also the looping piano and Kelly Jones’s signiture croaky voice I like. I can’t remember the first time I heard the song. This certainly won’t be the last. It isn’t the Stereophonics most recognised song, but it’s one of their most stimulating, in it’s own unimportant way. It’s on the album You Gotta Go There to Come Back.

I interviewed Kelly Jones and Stuart Cable (the original drummer who sadly died in 2010) around 2001 while I was doing work experience for a Birmingham newspaper. Their recent album hadn’t been well received by critics which made me nervous about how I’d be received. It turned out they were on good form. Cable was especially animated and we chatted more about Wilfred Owen’s poetry than how they felt about their critics. It could have been a PR way of distracting me and preventing me from asking any difficult questions. It probably hacked off the editor (excuse the pun) but I didn’t care. Jones wished me all the best and had a beer brought to me. I felt like a superstar and was very touched, especially as I’d suffered from a serious bout of depression earlier that year. It brought a happy end to a bad year. I think of that moment while listening to this song.

imageNothing Precious At All Stereophonics

2 – Eye Know by De La Soul

Sundays are brilliant when I put this tune on. I’m not a huge fan of hip-hop, but De La Soul fuse it with soul in a way which makes me fall back in love with the world. It has peacefully charged clever lyrics, a pulsing bass, a strumming of the guitar, before the lady bellows out a soulful “I Know I Love You Better” for the chorus, and not to forget the happy sax that bounces up and down, followed by a simple light whistling. That’s a recipe to put a smile on my face.

De La Soul came on the scene in the late 80s/early 90s with their album 3 Feet High & Rising, on which this song is featured. The New York trio had a refreshing and alternative brand of hip hop, kind of psychedelic, but very different from other hip-hop artists of the time who sang of troubles in the hood and violence, but almost boastfully I get the impression. Don’t get me wrong; these topics entered their lyrics, as did racial issues, but without swearing, sexist remarks and explicit videos.

The song was used for the Goal of the Month competition on BBC’s Match of the Day (a famous UK football highlights programme for those not in the know), which I would catch every Sunday morning while lying in bed, hungover or not. Another reason why this is a brilliant Sunday song.

They still work it seems; song-writing and doing the summer festival circuit. They also have a clothing range. Not my cuppa personally speaking, but check it out here.

imageEye KnowDe La Soul

3 – Guess God Thinks I’m Abel by Oasis

“What? Another Oasis song? Does this boy listen to nothing else?” Is this what you’re thinking? Well deal with it. They’re brilliant.

This is by no means their best song, but it does include the biblical character Abel (good for Sunday spirituality) and a nice acoustic strumming that puts me on my personal cloud 9. Liam Gallagher wrote the song. I guess it’s about that feeling at the beginning of a relationship where it’s the two of you against the world. Lyrically, it’s sweet, kind of innocent. Lots of figurative language. Maybe not the most dazzling. It doesn’t have to be. It’s personal. Liam showing his more romantic side, maybe.

It’s on the Don’t Believe the Truth album and it came out in 2005, which I remember distinctly because I was setting off for a summer working on campsites in Spain and France. By myself, I would go biking to Calella and other beaches on the Costa Brava on my days off (usually Sundays), taking in the gentle breezes and stretching vast horizons of the Med., with this tune whistling through my ears from my little white MP3. I would stop for a beer and the song would still be echoing in my head in the frying sun. I would be myself but never feel lonely. As I said, the song put me on cloud 9.

Fond memories.

imageGuess God Thinks I’m AbelOasis

4 – Fade In Out by The American Dollar

I found this purely by mistake. I was looking for an Oasis song going by the same name on Spotify to show my wife when this popped up. A pleasant mistake, I must admit. I’ve since listened to quite a few of their songs and from what I can make out, the New York based are instrumentalists, producing energetic and emotive ambiances. They’ve been active for about a decade and produced five studio albums. They use mainly pianos/keyboards, drums and electric guitars, kind of on the rockier side of ambiance, going from fast to slow rhythms at a rapid rate, and remind me of Brian Eno, Sigur Ros, Doves and Arcade Fire.

I don’t know why this song makes me think of Sundays. Maybe because it’s a day I like to sit and write, and this helps me create a variety of scenes, from contemplative to thrilling moments. Also useful for studying and running to, as well.

download-17.jpg.jpegFade In OutThe American Dollar

5 – Every Day Is Like Sunday by Morrissey

You cannot have a compilation of songs about Sunday without having at least one about Sunday or having Sunday in the title, no matter how much of a daft cliche it may be. There are at least half a dozen songs that I can roll off my tongue at this moment which include the word Sunday among the lyrics, and there are no doubt hundreds more, which goes to show just how inspiring this day is in its many different ways for many great artists. I was thinking of including U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, but due to the topic, the song doesn’t really evoke peace (for those who don’t know, it’s not a rebel song, but it is about the Bogside Massacre which happened on 30 January 1972 in Derry, Northern Ireland, when British soldiers shot 26 unarmed civilians during a protest march against internment. Fourteen people died, thirteen outright. The aftermath saw a long drawn out inquiry into how the British Military/Government hid/manipulated evidence to excuse themselves of fault, and therefore, punishment. I don’t know how the case ended or if any British soldiers were accused). It does remind me of a certain Alan Partridge sketch though. I was also tinkering on Sunday Morning Calls by Oasis. Maybe next week, who knows.

This song is less about Sunday and more about charmingly blowing up a bland seaside town and boring aspects of English life. The title suggests it. It has been suggested the song was inspired by Nevil Shute’s novel On the Beach, about a group of people waiting for nuclear devastation in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve not read it as of yet. No comment.

The title also suggests that Morrissey has a dim view of Sundays, but he’s known for his witty/sardonic lyrics and remarks about pretty much everything, as well as his flowery attire and mammoth quiff and flamboyant singing style, that’s made him a hero in the eyes of many, especially my own. He is undoubtedly a word-smith, writing as a kind of passive aggressive, disgruntled bystander, alienated by the mainstream, hilariously passionate but hopeless in romance, and commenting on topical things in society with a somewhat unorthodox point of view. This of course speaks to millions and has made him not just influential in British music, but to thousands of artists around the world.

I heard the song for the first time in my teens when I thought everything was dull. In later years, while studying in Preston, I thought the song might be about Blackpool in the Northwest of England. I would go there every now and then and observe a culture that I found impossible to identify with, but I still went for reasons I couldn’t quite grasp beyond beer and fresh air. In the song itself, I love the percussion as well as the damning lyrics, so paradoxical to the tune’s light melody, which you can read below:

Trudging slowly over wet sand
Back to the bench where your clothes were stolen
This is the coastal town
That they forgot to close down
Armageddon – come Armageddon!
Come, Armageddon! Come!

Everyday is like Sunday
Everyday is silent and grey

Hide on the promenade
Etch a postcard :
“How I Dearly Wish I Was Not Here”
In the seaside town
That they forgot to bomb
Come, come, come – nuclear bomb

Everyday is like Sunday
Everyday is silent and grey

Trudging back over pebbles and sand
And a strange dust lands on your hands
(And on your face…)
(On your face…)
(On your face…)
(On your face…)

Everyday is like Sunday
“Win yourself a cheap tray”
Share some greased tea with me
Everyday is silent and grey

You can find the song on the Viva Hate album, released in 1988, which was Morrissey’s solo debut album. It’s more of a CD to admire than chill out to. I wonder if it speaks to you.

imageEvery Day Is Like SundayMorrissey

That’s all for this week folks.

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About Nicholas Rogers

I am an English journalist/copywriter living in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and I have been here since 2011. I originally came to work with Casa Alianza, which supports street kids and vulnerable youths. I then stayed on, after meeting Pamela Cruz Lozano, who calls me her adopted Catracho. I work freelance journalism and I have my own translation business. Why did I come here? For the challenge, to open my mind and get out of my comfort zone. I love literature and I've written a book with street kids. I write novels, short stories and poetry, all of which you will find on this blog, as well as a lot of information about Honduras. View all posts by Nicholas Rogers

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