Monday, July 19, 2010

My Pick for Song of the Day -- In the Sun

In the Sun is an amazingly beautiful song written by Joseph Arthur.  Tender, haunting, soulful -- the kind of song that makes you feel something every time you hear it.  No wonder it's been used in a zillion different TV shows and was recorded to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Here's a version ofthe song recorded as a promo for the Glastonbury Festival in 2000. Guess who else played at that Festival that year? SOTD artist #6, David Gray. Coincidence? I think not.

I am particularly drawn to this video because in it Arthur holds a passing resemblance to John Lennon. His vocals are not perfect, but they fit the song.

My favorite version is the cover by Michael Stipe, but I can't find a video clip for that, so this will have to do.  It's a duet featuring Stipe  and some other guy who is married to some gorgeous Hollywood actress (whose mother played Hawkeye's love interest on one episode of MASH).

Stipe's crystalline voice, so nuanced and evocative, combined with those gentle, aching lyrics, makes a great song even better.  I remember at the time being so in love with this song I bought every single version, including this one with the more vocally-challenged Chris Martin:

Maybe because I heard Stipe's cover first, I wasn't as impressed with Arthur's more laconic singing style. He's a gifted (albeit tortured) songwriter and like so many great writers, he was not blessed with an easy-to-listen-to voice.  But this version, performed live on Letterman, is exquisite:


  1. Yeah! Loved the "In The Sun" by Joseph Arthur! That was really great! Another new one for me! Thanks! MAE777

  2. I heard this song for the first time a few months ago on an adult alternate radio station. I liked it immediately. Shari, we have similar musical tastes :)

  3. Would love to hear Matt Morris sing In the Sun. He has the perfect voice for it!