Just like summer songs convey a happy, freeing vibe that’s uplifting and party-oriented, whenever sunshine becomes the inspirational muse, the musical landscape brightens up grandly.
Such is the case with this selection of 25 songs that will help you transform an everyday natural phenomenon into a great push forward to enjoy the good things in life.
If these songs already are part of the soundtrack of your life, chances are you’re living a happy existence on planet Earth.
If they aren’t, maybe it’s about time to let them into your ears and allow them to shine on you too.
1. I Can See Clearly Now – Johnny Nash
“I Can See Clearly Now” was the lead single from Johnny Nash’s 1972 album I Can See Clearly Now.
- Despite what many critics have said this song is about suicide, it is about hope and resiliency. Yes, the author speaks to individuals who dared to overcome adversity in their lives.
- This hit by Johnny Nash is considered the first reggae song to ever hit the highest spot on the Hot 100 chart.
- Rumors about this song being written about the singer’s recovery from a cataract surgery have been going strong for years but there’s no official confirmation.
2. You Are The Sunshine of My Life – Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder released “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” as a single in 1973 to promote his record Talking Book (1972).
- The woman Stevie Wonder wrote this song for was Syreeta Wright, the lady he married in 1970.
- This song is one of Stevie’s timeless hits since it touches on a very human feeling and is considered to be a very accurate expression of undying love.
- The Grammy Awards gave Stevie Wonder the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance prize in 1973 for this song.
3. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
“Walking on Sunshine” was the lead hit of Katrina and the Waves‘ debut album bearing the same name, released in 1983.
- The certainty that the man she loves loves her back is the cause and fountain of unlimited happiness that can be heard in the song.
- The colorful melody and upbeat vibe of the song can be reflected in Katrina’s outfit in the song’s video as the band hangs out around London. The video got a lot of airplay on MTV and while Katrina shone bright, her bandmates were kept a little behind.
- Philip J. Fry, Futurama’s main character claims “Walking on Sunshine” is his favorite song of all time.
4. Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
“Here Comes the Sun” was included in The Beatles Abbey Road record released in 1969.
- This song was written by George Harrison using one of Eric Clapton’s acoustic guitars while at his home. He wrote it in early 1969 and is not only one of his best-known compositions but also a well-known Beatles song.
- Although the song’s lyrics talk about the relief of the arrival of spring and the end of the coldest weather, it also refers to the temporary break he took from the band’s business affairs.
- When the band recorded the song panned everything to the left. The music moves to the right only when Harrison’s vocals begin.
5. Sun Is Shining – Bob Marley
“Sun Is Shining” was recorded by Bob Marley and his band, The Wailers to appear in the album Soul Revolution Part II, released in 1971.
- Although this song made its first appearance on this record in 1971, it was written and recorded by Bob in the late ‘60s. The song was entirely re-recorded for the 1971 album.
- After the singer and composer passed away, “Sun is Shining” rose to massive popularity. During Bob’s lifetime, it was an unknown tune the band would rarely include in the set list of their live performances.
- So far, only two live performances of this song by Bob Marley & The Wailers were documented.
6. Pocketful of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield
“Pocketful of Sunshine” was Natasha Bedingfield’s second single from her homonymous album from 2008.
- The music video represents, metaphorically, leaving the stress of everyday life behind. For this, the singer climbs to the roof of a building and is joined by dancers.
- Emma Stone plays Olive in the movie Easy A. The character receives a greeting card featuring this song and claims it’s the worst tune ever. Eventually, she becomes addicted to it.
- The aim of this metaphoric song is to use sunshine as an empowerment to rise and live the bright and happy things in life.
7. Lovely Day – Bill Withers
“Lovely Day” belongs to Bill Withers’ 1977 album, Menagerie.
- Sunshine is used in the song’s lyrics as a euphemism to portray a positive, happy person.
- Skip Scarborough, the songwriter who made the music for this tune was also part of Withers’ inspiration to write the lyrics because of his personality.
- Bill Withers was an outstanding singer with a powerful voice. By the end of the song, the singer holds a note for 18 seconds being one of the longest notes ever recorded with vocals on a pop song in the USA.
8. Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
“Sunny Afternoon” was part of the Kinks’ Face to Face album, released in 1966.
- The song’s lyrics tell the story of a rich man that belongs to the elite but goes back home to his mansion to find the tax man has emptied it completely. With no furniture or objects, all he has to himself is a sunny afternoon to enjoy the sunshine.
- The difficult times Ray Davies, the Kinks frontman, was going through can be seen in these troublesome lyrics.
- Ray Davies was afraid some listeners might be sympathetic to the decadent, sad conservative line “I turned him into a scoundrel who fought with his girlfriend after a night of drunkenness and cruelty.” But the massive audience the Kinks enjoyed at the time didn’t react negatively to the line.
9. Cover Me In Sunshine – P!nk, Willow Sage Hart
“Cover Me in Sunshine” is a song Pink and Willow Sage Hart, her daughter wrote together.
- The song, released during the COVID pandemic and its lockdown on February 12th, 2021 tries to bring hope to listeners about a brighter, better future waiting after the lockdown is over.
- Pink told specialized media that since she always found comfort in music and the world had been through some terrifying moments, she expected others to feel the same comfort in her music with this song.
- The music video accompanying the song was entirely made by the singer and her daughter and released at the same time as the song.
10. Island In The Sun – Weezer
11. Sunshine on My Shoulders – John Denver
12. I’ll Follow The Sun – The Beatles
13. You Are My Sunshine – Jimmie Davis
14. Soak Up The Sun – Sheryl Crow
15. Solar Power – Lorde
16. Sunrise – Norah Jones
17. Towards The Sun – Alexi Murdoch
18. The Sun – Parov Stelar
19. Another Day of Sun – La La Land OST
20. Staring at the Sun – TV on the Radio
21. Chasing The Sun – The Wanted
22. Every Time The Sun Comes Up – Sharon Van Etten
23. Brighter Than the Sun – Colbie Caillat
24. She’s Only Happy In The Sun – Ben Harper
25. Texas Sun – Khruangbin & Leon Bridges
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