Although the birds aren’t yet chirping and the flowers aren’t budding, spring is on the horizon. Therefore, this week’s music review is dedicated to welcoming the spring and embracing the joys that come with warmer weather. What better way is there to look forward to spring than listening to Sheryl Crow’s “Soak up the Sun”?
The song, released in 2002 as the lead single for Crow’s album “C’mon C’mon”, earned her a nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards. Additionally, the song hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts on April 6 of its release year and remained on the Billboard charts for four weeks.
Interestingly enough, it wasn’t Crow that came up with the initial idea of the song. Jeff Trott, a co-worker of Crow’s, inspired the song during a conversation they had on a 2002 flight from Portland, Oregon to New York City. Trott recalls he felt it was “really ironic that [he was] leaving Portland being soaked in rain, and … actually going to New York to soak up some sun,” he said in an interview with Song Facts. Trott ran with the thought he had on the plane and turned it into a song that brings an optimistic view to life with Crow.
Despite Trott’s literal interpretation, when Crow sang about soaking up the sun, she didn’t mean it quite so obviously. As explained in an article at Song Meanings and Facts, Crow refers more about the “disposition of putting on a happy face.” Crow intended for the song to drive people to feel this mindset.
As can be interpreted from the song, Crow lightens the mood by staying positive while looking into the future. In order to understand a song in all of the possible contexts, it is important for listeners to consider the end of the post-chorus. The line “before (the sun) goes out on me,” can represent the idea of acknowledging that there is an inability to hold such a disposition, although Crow resolved to maintain a happy attitude.
As a second interpretation, Crow explains how she’s going to keep soaking up the sun “while it’s still free.” Critics have interpreted the lyric as an attack on consumerism, focusing not on just a moment of happiness, but Crow’s career trajectory and how every star has its fall. However, others have interpreted the line regarding freedom to simply refer to the fact that the sun is always free, and therefore she should always be allowed to have a positive outlook on life.
To listen to Crow’s “Soak up the Sun,” it can be found on Youtube, Apple Music, Spotify, or iHeartRadio. To read more on Crow’s “Soak Up The Sun,” visit Song Meanings and Facts at https://www.songmeaningsandfacts.com/meaning-of-soak-up-the-sun-by-sheryl-crow/.