Herein, I break down the first round of contestants in the Sun Region of the Weather Channel’s Weather Song Tournament, or as I like to call it, March Madness for Music Nerds! I promise to be mercurial and opinionated, because I know my readers expect nothing less!
On a related note, this being the internet, many commenters have already voiced strong opinions on which songs aren’t included that should’ve been, and are included that shouldn’t, and I have a thought or two about that myself. This kind of curatorial activity always displeases someone, because by definition, you can’t include everything. TWC’s selection committee made the decision to include only songs with weather references in the title, which left out many songs that might actually talk about weather more, and left in some songs where the title is the only weather connection. Oh well, that’s showbiz!
First Round Matchups: Sun Region
This is a no-brainer for me. Both songs were released in 1966, and both reached #1 on the charts, but to me, the Beatles song is less dated and more enduring, while Donovan’s song is a bit goofy (not that that’s entirely a bad thing!).
MMN’s pick: The Beatles: “Here Comes The Sun”
I’m not a big country music fan, though I do like a lot of what has been called “Y’allternative” (and what my fellow GRAMMY blogger Twang Nation would call Americana). But in this case, I prefer Kenny Chesney’s song. Sheryl Crow is a bit overplayed to me, and anyone who thinks the term “diddly-squat” has any business appearing in a non-satirical song lyric has a lot of karmic penance to do, in my opinion. The fact that it rhymes with the admirable aphorism, “It’s not having what you want / It’s wanting what you’ve got” only serves to highlight the badness.
Okay, the Chesney lyrics ain’t exactly Shakespeare either, but they’re more consistent, at least.
MMN’s pick: Kenny Chesney: “When the Sun Goes Down”
Though I do find “Walking On Sunshine” infectiously joyous and fun to dance to, I’m gonna go old-school with “House of the Rising Sun,” just to be contrary. I dig the guitar arpeggios, and besides, someone has to stand up for our music-historical heritage… or something like that!
MMN’s pick: The Animals: “House of the Rising Sun”
- Stevie Wonder: “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” vs. Louis Armstrong: “On the Sunny Side of the Street“
Oh, boy — this one just hurts. How can I possibly vote against either of these? Weather Channel, you’re killin’ me!
Well, I’ll go with Louis, just because the song is technically more directly weather-related. Still… ouch!
MMN’s pick: Louis Armstrong: “On the Sunny Side of the Street”
I guess I’ve outgrown any attraction I ever had for anything psychadelic. I used to live near Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley; I’ve paid my dues. I’m going with classic Beatles again here.
MMN’s pick: The Beatles: “Good Day Sunshine”
Apologies to the acoustic guitar and the city I visited last week, but there ain’t no contest here.
Side note: whenever I hear this song, I think of NPR host Renee Montagne gamely singing it to demonstrate how autotune works. She was a good sport!
MMN’s pick: Bill Withers: “Ain’t No Sunshine”
I’m quite charmed by the syncopated rhythms and vocal harmonies of the Cream song. It’s probably the less weather-related of the two here, so you could justifiably accuse me of inconsistency. But then, I never claimed otherwise!
MMN’s pick: Cream “Sunshine of Your Love”
Sorry, Sir Elton, but childhood is forever!
MMN’s pick: The Street: Sunny Day (Sesame St. Theme)”
What are your picks, music nerds?
Next up: the Elements Region!
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