Today’s cover is “A Sunday” off of Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity album.
First, listen to the bands original recording:
Now, check out mine:
This was my second track where I’ve livestreamed the entire process from start to finish (read a bit more about that here) – thanks for joining the streams if ya did and thanks for watching the archive recording available on my Instagram page if you went that route instead! Hopefully it was mildly enjoyable.
The livestreams are funny to me right now because they both make the process a little more enjoyable for me but also make me a little bit more anxious about every little thing I’m doing or saying, so I’m still adjusting and bare with me while I get more comfortable with doing things this way!
Okay, lets jump into the lyrics for this one and see what they make us think about today, a Thursday.
These days I find myself having this thought often: what you wish for won’t come true. It’s always been one of those types of phrases that sticks in my mind as I try to make general life decisions and I think it’s a good one to hang on to.
When I was really young I was a pretty shy kid. I hated when my parents would have company over and I’d have to wander over and say hi and stand there a while while they’d comment about me, try to engage with me, when I would’ve been rather doing my own thing. I also was super shy when it came to having to speak to strangers even about pretty small things, like when we’d be at the hockey arenas for my brothers games and I wanted to order a pop from the concession stand.
I spent a LOT of time at hockey arenas growing up because both my brothers played and my dad coached one of their teams. I have a super distinct memory of when I was really young – before my parents would just hand me a 5 dollar bill to get my own snack – where my dad took me over to the concession stand and wanted me to order for myself. I guess I was at an age where they thought I should be able to do this, and in my mind when I remember this I might’ve been 5 or 6 (but I’m notoriously bad about ages so I was probably a little older), but still, so, so shy. And he said to me that day something he’d say to me often when I was young, “if you want something, you have to ask for it yourself”.
I don’t know how exactly this very specific example of learning to order a pop from a guy working a concession stand at a hockey arena translates into becoming a strong independent adult but it is something I think about a lot to this day.
And it’s what I’m reminded of whenever I hear “A Sunday”. For me what that line does is remind me that you can’t just sit around waiting for things to happen, you can’t just wish things into existence, you have to put in a certain amount of work towards achieving whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. If you choose not to put in that work, or ask that concession guy for that Root Beer, you have to live with that decision.
On that day, when I was too shy to utter the words myself, dad reluctantly ordered for me, but it wouldn’t be long before he cut that out entirely and I had to muster up that courage myself.
Fortunately for me, vending machines were a thing back then.
Honestly I wish I knew what actually inspired this lyric because it seems to point to a very specific situation and time and I personally love hearing the back story to these types of things, but anyway.
I envision it as something like having to take a trip away from home for a weekend and it’s obviously a pretty far drive out of the way from where you feel like you want to be in that moment. Kind of like how when I was a kid in the summer I’d feel like the drive to my family’s cottage was excruciatingly long and I always dreaded it, because once we got there then I was still hours away from all my friends that I’d rather be hanging out with instead.
And then it’s when you’re on that trip back staring out the window with nothing else really to occupy your mind since the long road home is pretty boring to look at once you’ve done it a few times, that you start to get that feeling that maybe you’ve just wasted the entire weekend, you can’t get that time back, and yeah you have to live with that now but also maybe it’s time to make a change in the course of your life so that you don’t find yourself repeating this same pattern, this same thinking.
I feel like I personally perpetually live in this state and I don’t really recommend it.
Finally upon arriving home you come to the realization that you spent the last 36-72 hours thinking about on the road. You know what you want and you are ready to make the next step in achieving it. You’ve got that 5 dollar bill in your hand and dammit you want a fountain pop today even if it kills you. Hell, shop keep, make it a double!
This verse really just carries through with the initial thought process for me that we’ve gone over in the previous verses, where again, regardless of what decisions you make or don’t make for yourself, you’ll just have to live with those and let things fall where they may, from your hands to the ground to rest.
Now, finally in the bridge do we take a more direct look at what this story might be about and get a little… clarity. But of course as I noted, I haven’t a clue the real story that inspired this song but I think we can put a few things together here.
At this point I’d have to assume at least 1 person in Jimmy Eat World is all too familiar with witnessing or knowing and caring for someone who has some sort of addiction to drugs because it’s a recurring theme in their catalogue, or they’re just really attracted to that type of imagery.
If we’re going to take the more literal approach here, the reality is that with drugs or any addictive substance you reach a point of dependency and they come-down from those highs are often difficult to manage leading of course to the recurring nature of them. But it’s during those come downs, the worst part of the disease, that you have the remember how you spent the last 36 hours of your life on that high and if you’re going to keep returning to it or not, if it serves you or doesn’t, if it’s manageable or isn’t.
I get the sense from this lyric in particular if we’re taking it from the viewpoint of someone watching someone else struggle, they feel like that it won’t end well if they don’t learn from their experiences at this point and so their hope is that the person will come off it, kick the habit, and make better choices for themselves.
But both the user and the support system needs to remember that the choices we make are ours and ours alone and regardless of what path we choose, we have to live with that.
Substance Use Resources
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, check out this page on AdolescenceHealth.org for help.
I’ll be revisiting the 1994 self-titled record again next but, heads up, I’m probably going to take this next week off which means the next cover wont be out on Friday April 29th – instead, expect it the following Friday.
Honestly just feeling a little burnt out these days and need to refocus some of my other goals and decide on how to approach my other original music projects for a bit, hope ya understand!
I’ll livestream when I get to working on it and try to keep you informed of those times through my twitter page as I have been. My twitter page is the same handle as my Instagram page: @JaimeeEatWorld.
Please also feel free to let me know what you think of the livestreams and if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see on upcoming streams!
Quick reminder that we are officially underway with the Believe In What You Want fundraiser in support of mental health and you can read about it and how you can get involved at the link below!