Daily Song Study

Ray Charles – That Lucky Old Sun

In songs on July 1, 2011 at 11:26 am

Up to this point, I’ve been drawing from songs written in the past 30 years. Obviously that has to do with my age, but it’s also partly because many earlier songs have lyrics which sound a bit naive to my post-modern ears.

However, there are songs that are great precisely because they take us out of our post-modern heads and remind us of a human condition that far pre-dates any of our current existential concerns. Originally written in 1949 by Beasley Smith and Haven Gillespie, it’s given perfect authority here in this 1963 version by Ray Charles, probably my favorite vocalist of all time.

And yes, while I could do without the cracker choir behind him, the rest of the arrangement is unimpugnable, to my ears. The chord changes on the last build, coupled with the vocal line, are about enough to make me give up trying, but sometimes it’s good to have a mountain left to climb. And climb, and climb…

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  1. […] Nominally, perhaps, but there are elements of jazz & blues in there, which practitioners like Ray Charles know are “the same goddamned thing exactly.” Truthfully, it’s a pop song, in the […]

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