Lyrical Love: Sunday Morning 

I’m cheating with this month’s selection. ‘Sunday Morning’ was written in 1966 by Lou Reed and John Cale, and performed by NYC pre-punk band, Velvet Underground. Andy Warhol suggested that Reed write a song about paranoia to complete the album Velvet Underground & Nico, and yes, Reed included a paranoid thought in the lyrics. However, when I listen to this song–the opening track of the album–with the first chimes of the bright celesta and the profound calm with which Reed sings, paranoia is the last emotion evoked.

What I hear–and see–instead, is a slight haze, but one of golden sunlight and a hopeful outcome. If Saturday night and the rest of the week brought me to the streets and into darkened corners of down-tempo parties chasing my highs and vices, then Sunday morning is my chance at redemption. Sure there is vulnerability in the form of “the wasted years so close behind,” but as long as we face forward, dawn-ward, there is no longer real danger to our souls.

This orientation toward the sun reminds me of another song by the band, ‘Ride Into the Sun’ which is the song my husband and I chose for our first-dance song at our wedding. I can’t use it in this Lyrical Love series, as it is all instrumental, but I hear in that song what I hear in ‘Sunday Morning.’ Ultimately, they’re about forgiving ourselves, no matter the mess we’d made of our lives in the past (in our case) or just “last Saturday night,” and accepting the happiness that lies in front of us.

I invite you all to listen to this short song and see if you sense hope as well, particularly at the very end with the repetition of “Sunday Morning.” If you have a chance, listen to the whole album or a few songs, such as, ‘Venus in Furs’, ‘Run Run Run’ and ‘Heroin’ for a sense of the wildness/peace contrast.

Sunday Morning (lyrics):

Sunday morning
Brings the dawn in
It’s just a restless feeling
By my side

Early dawning
Sunday morning
It’s just the wasted years
So close behind

Watch out the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you
Who will call
It’s nothing at all

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’ve crossed
Not so long ago

Watch out the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you
Who will call
It’s nothing at all

Watch out the world’s behind you
There’s always someone around you
Who will call
It’s nothing at all

Sunday morning
Sunday morning
Sunday morning
Sunday morning

.

2017, Amaya Engleking

*This is the eighth post of the series, Lyrical Love, in which I feature a song on the first Friday of the month. (This month with an exception to fit the song’s title and theme.) These songs are not exceptional solely in lyricism or in instrumentation, but these two components are perfectly matched to create exquisite compositions. I’d love to hear further suggestions on songs that meet this criteria. Thank you for reading/listening.

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8 comments

  1. Angelo Devlin · 15 Days Ago

    Great Post

    I agree the combination makes the lyrics / music whole. Could think of hundreds. First to mind is Disturbed’s version of “Sound of silence”

    A couple others. Roger Waters “Amused to death”

    Rush “2112”

    Both, given the right timing and circumstance can bring this one to tears.

    • Gospel Isosceles · 15 Days Ago

      You are a badass for your 2112 suggestion, Rush’s best song/album. I don’t know that Water’s song, but I’m a fan of everything he did with Pink Floyd, so I’ll go find it. Have you ever seen Pink Floyd’s ‘Live at Pompeii’? If not, go look for the song ‘Careful with that axe, Eugene.’

      Thanks, Angelo, it’s always good to hear your perspective.

  2. freedom writer · 15 Days Ago

    Hi. Thank you for sharing the song, I didn’t know it! I really like it!

    I also wanted to tell you I nominated you for the Unique Blogger Award 🙂 You can read the guidelines here: https://riotsbyfreedomwriter.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/unique-blogger-award/. I hope you’ll be able to participate!

    • Gospel Isosceles · 15 Days Ago

      Thanks Gregoria, I enjoy your art and your poems and am honored that you would think of me. I notice you also have a fine taste in bloggers, as I’m a devoted follower of many of your other nominees!

  3. rothpoetry · 14 Days Ago

    Took me right back to the sixties!

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