Remember Smash Mouth? Remember when they were considered cool, before they became a Nickelodeon house band? Back in the day they made music that sounded like dumbed down jazz music, or like Beck if he was in a fraternity. One of their earlier hits, before the painfully ubiquitous "All Star," was "Walkin' on the Sun" which took a fuzzy jazz organ and threw in a few fedoras and soul patches, as well as some scratchy vocals, and dominated the nineties.
The sun is very much a factor in this song, namely in how much vampires despise the thing. "Sun goes down and the double life begins" can be taken one of many ways, but the most satisfying is the vampiric interpretation. "It's a one-way ticket to the city of sin" could, again, just as easily be about a busride to Vegas, but being bit by a host vampire and converted to an immortal flesh-feeder is just more likely. Then there's the part about waiting in the darkness for an invisible embrace. That's so Dracula and Mina Harker. The song sounds like a stormy, yet hyper-catchy punk song as interpreted by blood-thirsty bat-people.
This song appears to be an incredibly trippy complaint letter to the sun itself: "Lazy old sun, what have you done to summertime, hiding behind those misty old thunderclouds...kiss me with one ray of light from your lazy old sun." From the sound of things Ray Davies made out just fine entertaining himself in spite of bummer-inducing weather, and perhaps, if the warped atmospherics are any indicator, drugs helped turn those clouds into romantically grand notions. Davies ultimately forgives the sun as it does, after all, make rainbows and frost melt into dew. And he humbles himself, singing "When I was young, my world was three feet, seven inch tall, when you were young, there was no world at all." We are truly microscopic in the grand scheme of things.
Back when the Libertines were still a functional band, before Pete Doherty had developed a love affair with crack, they made neo-garage rock that sounded like the Clash given an 00's update. This song sounds like a journaling of initial success. Doherty sings, "Don't look back into the sun, now you know that your time has come, and they said it would never come for you." The lesson seems to be something along the lines of not looking a gift horse in the mouth, and enjoying what comes, whether deserved or not, in spite of the person you are. Musically speaking, the Libertines deserved their flight beneath the sun; that Doherty flew too high and melted his wings is irrelevant.
Jim Morrison has sung plenty about the desert, and it makes sense that he'd take his attention to the force that makes it so utterly hot and arid on those peyote plains. The song kicks off with a sun-baked keyboard riff that fizzles like a coyote carcass in the sand. "Can you feel it now than that spring has come, it's time to live in the scattered sun..." It could be about nice weather rolling around, it could be about drugs setting in, or it could just be a bunch of doggerel. Either way it all sounds good going in.
This song is actually more about seedy solicitations than the sun, as the setting sun creates marks an entrance at twilight for prostitutes and their prey who roam the streets in search of cheap pleasure. Note the reference to the Police song which is the quintessential hooker ballad. This song just the same makes sexual misconduct sound utterly catchy. Frontman Alex Turner sings, "And they said it changes when the sun goes down around here..." It sure does, agrees anyone living in a slummy part of town.
This song mentions the sun in the most cynical of terms: "Who loves the sun, who cares that it is shining, who cares what it does since you broke my heart..." What we have is a down-on-his-luck Lou Reed taking out his angst on the world, not appreciating what it has to offer while he remains fixed on lost love. It surely is a relatable feeling, doesn't everything become a little less lustrous when the prism of unabashed happiness is suddenly removed.
In this George Harrison number from the Beatles' Abbey Road, the sun reminds the singer of a loved one whenever it comes around, "and it's alright." Comparing lovers and heavenly bodies has been a timeless tradition dating well back to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The only thing the bard lacked, however, was the ability to pluck a guitar in as merry a way as Harrison could. But in the sonnet department, there's no comparison.
A feel-good song for a feel-good celestial body, this song surely plays in the head of every optimist who draws inspiration from a "bright, sun-shiny day." With a beat this up, this song is best played on a rainy day to simulate all the happiness that can possibly be derived from "nothing but blue skies." According to Nash, "Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind," and so can you!
This song is actually directly about the sun, and particularly how great it is with a bright blue sky behind it. The song was inspired by a nice sunny day frontman Jeff Lynne was greeted by after a soggy gray few weeks of songwriter's block. It was penned along with the rest of the album Out of the Blue quite easily with the help of some attitude-shifting clemency. And if any song sounds just like the sun feels, this is it.