Sunny Came Home
|"Sunny Came Home"|
|Single by Shawn Colvin|
|from the album A Few Small Repairs|
|Released||June 24, 1997|
|Genre||Rock, contemporary folk|
|Length||4:24 (album version)
3:46 (radio edit)
|Writer(s)||Shawn Colvin, John Leventhal|
|Shawn Colvin singles chronology|
"Sunny Came Home" was a commercial success, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was also a critical smash, winning both Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Song of the Year and was nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
About the single
The song tells the story of a woman named Sunny who burns down her house to escape her past. It is one of several "story songs" on A Few Small Repairs, a method of songwriting Colvin began experimenting with while writing for the album. The title of the song comes from the opening lyrics.
The song's bright, calm and warming music, fronted by a distinctive mandolin strum, contrasts very sharply with the destructive lyrics, particularly the haunting bridge: "Get the kids and bring a sweater; dry is good, and wind is better. Count the years; you always knew it / Strike a match; go on and do it". The title of the album, A Few Small Repairs, also appears in the third line of the second verse of the song, "'It's time for a few small repairs,' she said."
At the end of the song, the lighting of a match can briefly be heard, followed by a quick breath to presumably put the flame out. The version that played on most radio stations was edited, as was the music video version, removing approximately 30 seconds of instrumental music, mostly at the end of the song.
"Sunny Came Home" is Colvin's biggest hit. At the 1998 Grammy Awards, it was named Song of the Year and Record of the Year. The Grammy Awards presentation was the occasion for an interruption by rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard stating that his group, Wu-Tang Clan, "is for the children. We teach the children. You know what I mean?", while Colvin was about to receive her award. It peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, and likely would have achieved a higher peak had it been released commercially sooner to correspond with the song's airplay maximum: it was #1 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart for four weeks and also #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart for four weeks. On the Hot 100 Single Sales chart, however, it peaked at #29. Colvin's record label did not plan to release the track as a retail single until it became an airplay favorite on CHR as well as AC and Adult Alternative radio stations and the label deduced that the song appealed to a younger audience who might be willing to buy the single.
End of year charts
"One Headlight" by The Wallflowers
|Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks
June 29 - August 9, 1997
"All for You" by Sister Hazel
"Go the Distance" by Michael Bolton
|Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks
August 9–30, 1997
"How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes
- "Bio." Shawn Colvin. Accessed April 17, 2010.
- Colvin, Shawn, and Leventhal, John. Lyrics. "Sunny Came Home". A Few Small Repairs. CD. Columbia. 1996.
- "Grammy Gold - The Bastard Interrupts the Show". Time. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Australian-charts.com – Shawn Colvin – Sunny Came Home". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
- "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
- "Shawn Colvin Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Shawn Colvin. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Shawn Colvin Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Contemporary Songs for Shawn Colvin. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Shawn Colvin Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Shawn Colvin. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Shawn Colvin Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Pop Songs for Shawn Colvin. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
- "Billboard Top 100 - 1997". Retrieved 2010-08-28.