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Make light of it
January 21, 2011 2:43 AM   Subscribe

Various songs explain the sun; The Chromatics. The Sun Is A Mass of Incandescent Gas. Erskine. Why Does the Sun Really Shine?
posted by twoleftfeet (32 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not to mention Here Comes The Sun, It's The Sun, Reach for the Sun, and The Sun.
posted by knile at 2:57 AM on January 21, 2011


Actually, "the Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas" is wrong, which is why TMBG released a follow-up correction song:

Why Does the Sun Really Shine? (The Sun is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma)

posted by ShawnStruck at 3:01 AM on January 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Sadly, beauty is not truth: TMBG's original Why Does the Sun Shine? is a better song IMHO than Why Does the Sun Really Shine? (linked in the post) even though it's wrong. Especially the live version on Severe Tire Damage. Although I'm taking a strictly low-brow "better = bouncier and more fun" attitude here - your mileage may vary...
posted by alasdair at 3:08 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Save a secret for the moon.
posted by shoepal at 3:10 AM on January 21, 2011


The Smiths' "Hand in Glove" explains from whence the sun shines.
posted by chavenet at 3:32 AM on January 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


TMBG's original Why Does the Sun Shine? is a better song IMHO than Why Does the Sun Really Shine? (linked in the post) even though it's wrong.

I agree, and there's some kind of lesson here for all of us: When it comes to a choice between the truth and a good song, go with the good song.
posted by Faze at 4:23 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to go against the grain and say I like Why Does the Sun Really Shine better. It has this groovy, spaced out feel to it that really suits the subject matter. They're both pretty cool, though.
posted by TedW at 4:39 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who cares if it makes plants grow?
posted by ovvl at 4:42 AM on January 21, 2011


sunshine, on my shoulders - makes me happy
sunshine, in my eyes - can make me cry
sunshine, on the water - looks so lovely
sunshine, almost always - makes me high
posted by Sailormom at 5:04 AM on January 21, 2011


TMBG performed both Sun songs when I went to their last concert and, having not heard either of them, I thought it was a delightful bit of musical comedy.
posted by hellojed at 5:11 AM on January 21, 2011


I kept waiting for the beep that tells you to move to the next slide on the filmstrip.
posted by tommasz at 5:17 AM on January 21, 2011


I first heard 'Why Does The Sun Shine' in the 60's.
A friend of my sister came to the US from Britain to work as a counselor in a summer camp. He learned it there.
I'd heard the TMBG version[s] before, but this made me curious about who wrote it- Hy Zaret and Lou Singer, and when- looks like the album came out in 1959.
MP3's available
.
posted by MtDewd at 5:45 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


sunshine, on my shoulders - makes me happy
sunshine, in my eyes - can make me cry...


Wasn't that written by Henry Deutschendorf about his time as a sniper in Vietnam?
posted by TedW at 6:24 AM on January 21, 2011


Ahh, that's the wrong chromatics! I was hoping it was going to be these chromatics, singing this song about the sun. Which admittedly is low on the heliophysics.

Circled Sun
posted by Smegoid at 6:39 AM on January 21, 2011


I was hoping for these Chromatics, but acknowledging the sun would not be their style.
posted by activitystory at 6:41 AM on January 21, 2011


Oh yeah, Circled Sun!
posted by activitystory at 6:46 AM on January 21, 2011


Wasn't that written by Henry Deutschendorf about his time as a sniper in Vietnam?

I believe you are correct. When you're a sniper, you have to think about something all those hours you spend waiting.
posted by Sailormom at 6:48 AM on January 21, 2011


But why is there no sunshine when she's gone?
posted by HumanComplex at 6:52 AM on January 21, 2011


But why is there no sunshine when she's gone?

Don't you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:00 AM on January 21, 2011


Don't you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know, you know?

Leave young thing alone!
posted by katillathehun at 7:39 AM on January 21, 2011


I know I know
posted by hypersloth at 7:40 AM on January 21, 2011


My favorite song about the sun.
posted by koeselitz at 7:45 AM on January 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


and then there's that other sun ...
posted by philip-random at 8:34 AM on January 21, 2011


Now here's a fun thing: the line " the Sun is a mass of incandescent gas, etc. etc. ..." is from the Golden Guide book Stars by Herbert S. Zim. I was delighted to find that out by accident just last year when I found my ancient copy of it, one of my favorite books from childhood.

Also, the book says that Isaac Asimov was one of the contributing writers, so I like to imagine he wrote that line. :)
posted by zoogleplex at 8:41 AM on January 21, 2011


Save a secret for the moon.

Astronomy will have to be revised...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:45 AM on January 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


TMBG's original Why Does the Sun Shine? is a better song IMHO than Why Does the Sun Really Shine? (linked in the post) even though it's wrong.

At least six years before "Why does the Sun Really Shine" was released, I would sing the original song and then while vamping the way TMBG does for the other spoken bits, explain that my nuclear-physicist father-in-law had pointed out that it was technically wrong, and then launch into the chorus one more time using the phrase "The sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma."

Trying to squeeze "miasma" and "plasma" into the space where "mass" and "gas" used to be just makes it even funnier.

Alas, I have no video, so it didn't really happen.
posted by straight at 9:14 AM on January 21, 2011


I think it's interesting that TMBG's (arguably) most definitive three songs - Istanbul, New York City, and Why Does the Sun Shine - are all covers. I'd never thought of that before.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:40 AM on January 21, 2011


I'm sorry, roll truck roll, but I think Particle Man beats out New York City, much as I love the latter.
posted by knile at 10:53 AM on January 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah roll truck roll, those are far from TMBG's definitive songs. I would go so far as to say those are the TMBG songs that are most liked by people who don't otherwise like TMBG. Knile is right that Particle Man fits this description better, and I would add Birdhouse in Your Soul and She Thinks She's Edith Head.
posted by Faze at 11:07 AM on January 21, 2011


And "Ana Ng," for heaven's sake. And "They'll Need a Crane."

While I was sweeping off my car today, I was singing "I Am not Your Broom" so obviously I am not the most objective observer, though.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:32 PM on January 21, 2011


Goddamn The Sun
posted by lumpenprole at 3:10 PM on January 21, 2011


Don't let's start declaring definitive TMBG songs...
posted by shoepal at 2:42 AM on January 22, 2011


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