Sunday mornings are celebrated by all, as they offer a final opportunity to wake up slowly before the dreaded Monday morning arrives. As a young kid, Sunday morning was all about the much-anticipated drive taken in my dad’s Porsche. He and I would cruise around with no objective in mind. Contrary to its roaring engine and devilishly quick handling, the Porsche served as a hub of easy music. As much as we enjoyed the ample bass provided by the car’s crisp sound system, it was an unspoken, mutual understanding that Sunday mornings were for relaxing, vintage-sounding songs.
If I were to compile a list of songs straight from his Sunday morning catalog, there would be an overwhelming abundance of Tears for Fears. While I have nothing against the mullet-wearing Englishmen, I would prefer to craft a more diverse Sunday morning playlist. Sorry, “Sowing the Seeds of Love,” we were acquainted one too many times.
Admittedly, this list includes some of my father’s favorites, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Once I sifted through the mountains of Julio Iglesias CDs, I discovered that there was some good stuff in his collection. With credit given where credit is due, let’s start up the car and take a drive.
“Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson epitomizes the ideal lazy morning. Originally written to distract Johnson’s wife from juggling one hundred things at once, this playful song has become a staple in the Hawaiian’s live show, a true fan favorite. The lyrics detail a morning around the house that involves fruity pancakes and unspeakable shenanigans. The sleek acoustics and easy nature of the song make it incredibly easy to embrace. “Banana Pancakes” is a savory bite of breakfast food perfectly suited for your Sunday morning.
“Easy” by Lionel Richie is one of my father’s favorites. Perhaps it is the melodically droning chorus, “That’s why I’m easy / I’m easy like Sunday morning,” that endears me to the track. The memorable piano groove is complemented by crisp horns and a brief, funky guitar solo. “Easy” is a chill track. If this song is too soft for you, be sure to check out Lionel Richie’s more recently released songs, “Difficult,” “Of Medium Difficulty,” and “Kind of Difficult” (Please don’t search for those titles, it is mere tomfoolery).
Otis Redding’s silky smooth voice remains one of mankind’s most precious musical gems. It is Redding’s critically-acclaimed song “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” that fits into this playlist seamlessly. Although released in 1968, it still retains a magical charm that eases the listener into grooving along with it. Beginning with the lulling, “Sittin’ in the morning sun / I’ll be sittin’ when the evening comes,” and ending with carefree whistling, this song is a song fit for Sunday morning.
Despite the taboo subject matter, Lou Reed’s iconic “Walk on the Wild Side” is an ideal addition to the Sunday morning playlist. When I was younger, this song was a joy for me to hear on Sundays because of its chilled nature. Whether it was the hypnotic bass-line or Reed’s conversational tone, “Walk on the Wild Side” has always stuck out in my head as being one for a sunrise. Of course, there came the morning when “shaved her legs and then he was a she” registered in my mind. Let’s just say that I brushed it off and took the song for what it was.
To conclude this playlist is Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine,” one of the greatest songs ever written. Simple yet powerful, this track is one for the ages. While the track is not particularly uplifting, it does get your head bobbing. From the soulful bass-line to the beautiful strings to the smooth vocals, “Ain’t No Sunshine” would be right at home within a Sunday morning playlist.
“I know, I know, I know, I know, I know” that those five recordings are a solid base for your personal Sunday playlist. With some of your own flavor added into the mix, you can craft your own playlist. Grab some coffee, rub out those tired eyes, and get listening!