20 Happy Songs About Sunshine

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In addition to being the number one go-to topic of conversation during every socially awkward situation, talking about the weather has become an oft-sung theme in pop music, as well. With Daylight Savings Time now springing us ahead and granting an extra bit of sunlight each day, we compiled a list of 20 happy songs about sunshine.

20. She & Him-“In the Sun”
Volume Two, 2010

On the first single from She & Him’s sophomore release, Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward craft a shimmery pop song full of reverb guitars and sweet melodies.

19. The Parlor Mob-“Into the Sun”
Dogs, 2011

“Into the Sun” is a driving, optimistic rocker with huge riffs. The single’s presence on ESPN and in numerous commercials helped expose this heavy New Jersey quintet.

18. Alexi Murdoch – “Towards the Sun”
Towards the Sun, 2011

While this Scottish folk singer made his name from the soundtrack to the 2009 film, Away We Go, his follow-up record is equally stunning in its hushed simplicity. This title track takes a contemplative look at life though a nature metaphor.

17. Fleet Foxes – “Sun Giant”
  Fleet Foxes , 2008

The Seattle indie-folk band’s first song off its eponymous debut is not only an excellent introduction to the LP, but to Fleet Foxes as a whole.

16. TV on the Radio – “Staring at the Sun”
Desperate Youth, Bloodthirsty Babes, 2004

Brooklyn’s psychedelic art rock favorites first gained attention from this song. Singer Tunde Adebimpe’s looped vocals help create this trippy indie masterpiece.

15. Aqualung-“Brighter Than Sunshine”
Strange & Beautiful, 2005

British pianist and songwriter Matthew Hales penned this poppy ode to being in love in the early 2000s. Aside from providing the soundtrack to the sappy comedy A Lot Like Love, it also appears on Aqualung’s American debut album, Strange & Beautiful.

14. Noah and the Whale – “5 Years Time (Sun, Sun, Sun)”
Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down, 2008

Even if this song really questions the longevity of a relationship, its bubbly ukulele strumming and sunny repetition make it a lovely pop gem for a bright afternoon.

13. The Kinks – “Sunny Afternoon”
Face to Face, 1966

Even when singer Ray Davies was faced with the taxman, girlfriend problems and more in this classic Kinks song, he still got a catchy chorus and the comfort of a sunny afternoon to cheer him up.

12. The Beatles – “Here Comes the Sun”
Abbey Road, 1969

“Here Comes the Sun” is one of those rare gems that is both comforting and contemplative. The twangy tune is often considered one of George Harrison’s best works and just one of several sun-related Beatles tunes. Here’s a Richie Havens cover:

11. Bob Marley – “Sun is Shining”
Soul Revolution, 1971

Bob Marley’s relaxed reggae on “Sun is Shining” goes through each day of a toiling week to remind listeners of the joys that good company and good weather can bring.

In addition to being the number one go-to topic of conversation during every socially awkward situation, talking about the weather has become an oft-sung theme in pop music, as well. With Daylight Savings Time now springing us ahead and granting an extra bit of sunlight each day, we compiled a list of 20 happy songs about sunshine.

10. The Doors – “Waiting for the Sun”
Waiting for the Sun, 1968

On their third studio album, The Doors experimented with more psychedelic blues. With Jim Morrison’s sparse lyrics and almost droning vocals, “Waiting for the Sun” represents the intersection of the natural world and mind-escaping acid rock.

9. Cream – “Sunshine Of Your Love”
Disraeli Gears, 1967

With one of the most memorable, classic guitar riffs of all time, Cream pretty much guaranteed that kids will be teaching themselves “Sunshine of Your Love” for generations.

8. The Beach Boys – “Warmth of the Sun”
Shut Down, Volume 2, 1964

Before the Kinks took solace in the solstice, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys sang love songs that used the sun as a form of redemption and consolation.

7. Stevie Wonder – “A Place in the Sun”
Down to Earth, 1966

“A Place in the Sun” was one of Stevie Wonder’s first songs with a touch of social commentary. Later, acts such as Englebert Humperdinck, The Supremes & The Temptations and the Gabe Dixon Band covered the hopeful, progressive tune.

6. Violent Femmes – “Blister in the Sun”
Violent Femmes, 1983

From its singable guitar riff to its notable hand claps, the Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun” is a cheery, catchy integration of ‘80s folk and punk.

5. Katrina and the Waves – “Walking on Sunshine”
Katrina and the Waves, 1985

One of the greatest one-hit-wonders, “Walking on Sunshine” simply exudes happiness with its snappy snare hits and trumpeting horns. The tune has also spawned covers from Dolly Parton and Aly and AJ.

4. The Pine Ridge Boys – “You Are My Sunshine”
Bluebird Records, 1939

While the original songwriters of this classic ballad are still debated, its continued influence on modern music is impressive. Artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Brian Wilson, Frank Turner and The Civil Wars—to name just a few—have all recorded renditions of “You Are My Sunshine.”

3. John Denver – “Sunshine on my Shoulders”
Poems, Prayers & Promises, 1971

So pure in its simple, poignant lyrics, country/folk singer John Denver supposedly wrote “Sunshine on my Shoulders” as an ode to the changing of the seasons.

2. The Carter Family – “Keep on the Sunny Side”
Bluebird Records, 1928

This traditional folk song was originally written in 1899 by Ada Blenkhorn and J. Howard Entwisle and first recorded by The Carter Family in 1928. More recently, the tune was popularized in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

1. The Beatles – “Good Day Sunshine”
Revolver, 1966

Upbeat, optimistic and concise at just more than two minutes long, “Good Day Sunshine” epitomizes the Fab Four in their heyday. “Good Day Sunshine” is an evergreen track in the cannon of sunny songs.

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