The Hump Day Picker-Upper

Cheering you up for a dreadful Wednesday, one song at a time

For those of us taking care of business during the regular workweek, I guess it’s safe to assume we’ve all felt that dreadful Wednesday blues. Sometimes, that middle point of the workweek can be a true drag. But help is on the way!

Today, the music doctor prescribes sunshine. A good dose of sun can do miracles. Of course, like with most things, the caveat here is everything in moderation – the doctor does not want to get you a sunburn!

So let’s embrace the sun, real or imagined, with Good Day Sunshine. The Beatles song was mostly written by Paul McCartney and credited to him and John Lennon. It appeared on the group’s 1966 studio album Revolver, a favorite among many fans of The Fab Four.

McCartney wrote Good Day Sunshine on John Lennon’s piano at Lennon’s house in Surrey, South East England. It was inspired by The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Daydream, which had become an international hit for the American band, topping the charts in Canada and New Zealand, and reaching no. 2 in the UK and U.S.

Here’s what Macca told Barry Miles for the 1997 McCartney biography Many Years From Now, per The Beatles Bible: “It was really very much a nod to The Lovin’ Spoonful’s ‘Daydream’, the same traditional, almost trad-jazz feel. That was our favourite record of theirs. ‘Good Day Sunshine’ was me trying to write something similar to ‘Daydream’. John and I wrote it together at Kenwood, but it was basically mine, and he helped me with it.”

McCartney re-recorded Good Day Sunshine for his 1984 film Give My Regards to Broad Street, a musical drama picture directed by Peter Webb about a fictional day in the life of McCartney starring the ex-Beatle, Linda McCartney and Ringo Starr as themselves. The song also appeared on the accompanying soundtrack album of the same name.

According to Wikipedia, McCartney has regularly performed Good Day Sunshine during live concerts. This made the nerd in me curious, so I just checked Setlist.fm for the two Macca shows I’ve seen to date. It turns out he played Good Day Sunshine during his October 17, 1989 gig at Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany, but the tune wasn’t part of the setlist on July 19, 2016 at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey, Pa.

Good Day Sunshine has also been played in space. In November 2005, McCartney performed the song live for the crew of the International Space Station. The tune also served as the wake-up music during the final mission (STS-135) of the U.S. Space Shuttle program in July 2011.

Pretty much all Beatles songs have been covered by other music artists, and Good Day Sunshine is no exception. The first cover was by British beat group The Tremeloes in 1966. Scottish singer and actress Barbara Dickson performed the song in 1974 as part of the British stage musical John, Paul, George, Ringo … and Bert by Willy Russell. Good Day Sunshine was also featured during a 2016 episode of the same name of the animated children’s television series Beat Bugs, where it was performed by British artist Robbie Williams.

As announced yesterday, this installment of Hump Day Picker-Upper will be the last in the series. It’s been a pleasure serving as your doctor who hopefully helped chase some clouds away you may have experienced on a Wednesday over the past 20 weeks. To go out with a big bang, following is a Spotify playlist of all songs that were included in the feature. I hope they will cheer you up going forward, as needed.

Happy Hump Day, and always remember George Harrison’s wise words: All things must pass!

Sources: Wikipedia; The Beatles Bible; Setlist.fm; YouTube

5 thoughts on “The Hump Day Picker-Upper”

  1. When I saw the Revolver cover in the video I knew which song it was… I really like the live version he did in 2011… great song for a Wednesday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always thought Good Day Sunshine was the best song on Revolver. I’m surprised to read that it was inspired by The Lovin Spoonful, who are my second favorite band of the 60s. But now that I think about it, I could kind of see the resemblance. And you could see how Paul McCartney songs have the same kind of old-time show biz feel to them. Kind of like Music Hall or Vaudeville. That old-timey feel.

    Liked by 1 person

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