Some love songs capture a moment, others capture eternity. John Denver's simple and tender "Sunshine on My Shoulders" is full of so much sincerity and warmth, one can practically feel the sunshine on one's shoulders when listening to it. A single released in 1973 from the album Poems, Prayers & Promises, it shot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974, deservedly so. Denver had a slew of hits, but none resonate about the gift of life as much as this one.
While the song is already thought-provoking, it took on an even more profound meaning as the Vietnam War ended and with the untimely death of John Denver in 1997. The uber-talented singer-songwriter is noted as saying that he wrote the song during the end of a particularly rough winter. He was ready for spring. And, thus, this song was born. However, it can also be interpreted as just appreciating the simplest things in life, like sunshine on the shoulders. It means you've lived to see another day. What a beautiful and deep message. Many songs from the 70s had a simple melody, but insightful, heartfelt lyrics. These kinds of songs are part of what made the 70s special and magical.
You can learn more about John Denver here:
About the Curator - Sonya Alexander
After graduating from UCLA, Sonya trained to be a talent agent. After realizing she belonged on the creative end, she started freelance writing, covering film festivals for Los Angeles local papers. She's written about film, video games, global affairs, wildlife conservation and, most recently, music. She specializes in classic rock, classic soul, blues, classic country, classical and world music and is tri-coastal, residing in Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans.
31 May 2021
The Isley Brothers added smokiness and umbre to it. They’re not just singing the song, they’re living it.
3 March 2021
The song is simple in its approach. It has an uncomplicated melody, a catchy refrain and Withers’ dulcet vocals. Songs like this epitomize the 70s, full of happiness and love. Pop culture always defines eras. The movies, television shows and music mirror the times. “Lovely Day” symbolizes the 70s, but it’s eternal in its outlook.
20 November 2020
The 70s had some of the best slow jams. Love songs were actually about love. Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” from the album of the same title, is a worthy entry into the 70s catalog of golden love song hits. The silky tune blazed up the music charts in 1974 and remained at number one for a week on Billboard’s Hot 100 Singles…