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Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow

Album: C'mon C'monReleased: 2002Charted:
17
16
  • Crow's co-writer, Jeff Trott, came up with the idea for this on a flight from Portland, Oregon, to New York. He told Songfacts: "I'm thinking this is really ironic that I'm leaving Portland being soaked in rain, and I'm actually going to New York to soak up some sun. I'm going to New York to soak up some sun. That's got a ring to it. That's kind of cool.

    Then I started thinking about the sun, and I started thinking of these Beach Boys-style harmonies. On that five-hour flight, I had come up with the whole song completely in my head, not all the lyrics necessarily. I had a good chunk of the chorus of 'Soak Up The Sun,' but I had harmonies and everything all in my head, and I'm just having to scratch it down on a piece of paper."
  • As Trott and Crow started working on the song together, they started talking about the then-recent Columbine shootings, where two students went on a killing spree at their high school before committing suicide.

    "We kind of carried that over into the song as the voice of Sheryl as a young teenager with a lot of oddball friends who can't really quite make out why people are the way they are," Trott told us. "There's a reference to 'I've got my 45 on so I can rock on.' The 45 on was like a kid with a gun, originally, and then we thought that's a little scary.

    We were talking about Columbine and we're like okay I've got my 45 on, so I can rock on, like I can blast you guys. I'm going to blast all the people that are bugging me. That's kind of where we were at with it, and then we said that's just a little too... over the top."
  • The video was part of a promotional deal with American Express. During the shoot, footage was also collected for an American Express commercial, which came out looking very similar to Crow's video. American Express helped pay the production costs, hoping that viewers would remember their product every time they saw the video, since it looked so much like the commercial. MTV does not allow sponsors to pay for videos, but because the card never appeared in the video, they didn't know about the deal and gave it plenty of airplay. Sting had a similar deal with Jaguar in his video for "Desert Rose."
  • In the video (directed by Wayne Isham) Sheryl Crow showed off more skin than she ever had before. She also posed provocatively for the cover of Stuff magazine around the time this was released. She said she did it to prove that women over the age of 40 could still be sexy. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Brookings, SD
  • Crow had some high-profile help with the backing vocals on C'mon C'mon. Liz Phair sang backup on this track, and Stevie Nicks sang on the title track and "Diamond Road." In 2001, Sheryl helped Stevie write and produce some of her album Trouble In Shangri-La.
  • This casual song about enjoying the simple things in life was very marketable for Crow, as it enjoyed success on pop radio and was a #1 on the Adult Top 40 chart.
  • Trott was shocked when he first saw the music video, which completely dulled the song's edge and transformed it into a fun-in-the-sun surf song. "I thought, 'Oh my God, Sheryl's surfing. What the hell is that? It's not even close to what it's about.'

    I think having Sheryl on a surfboard, being at the beach, is probably more palatable then having her in a trench coat shooting people in a lunch cafeteria. Not that I thought that that's what the song was, but my impression from writing it was that it was much edgier than what came across. The video of course is like, hey, we're having a holiday. We're surfing. We're catching some sun. Everything's cool. Strum acoustic guitar. Like, wow! That's not even close to what we thought it was about."
  • Best Buy used this song in television commercials to pitch their electronic consumer goods, conveniently ignoring the song's message of enjoying the simple things in life:

    I don't have digital
    I don't have diddly squat
    It's not having what you want
    It's wanting what you've got
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Comments: 21

She is not dogging big oil. It's about being poor and broke, and crazy enough to tell someone on a human level what you feel regardless of their fame. The sun is free and everything else costs money. It would be good if people did lighten up. 60's music was like that.Mike - Akron, Oh
It was never meant to be a song. It was a letter she got and turned into a song, which explains why it's disjointed. She had made a very disturbing video with "Favorite Mistake." A fan told her in a letter to lighten up. This fan really liked her and is a little crazy and broke at the time he wrote the letter. The 45 reference is a take "Keeping the Faith" by Billy Joel. It's a nod to him.Mike - Akron, Oh
Actually, I think the "45" reference is talking about her beloved Gibson J45 acoustic guitar. Get it? "I've got my 45 on, so I can rock on"
(i.e. "I've got my guitar, so I can rock on")
Max - Philipsburg, Pa
Weird song, Sheryl tries too hard sometimes.Theresa - Murfreesboro, Tn
I agree with the "hurls" aspect of it. I thought the song was a parody of some sort when I heard it. It's a scary pop nightmare.

And I get annoyed by rich people playing the whole "I'm so down to earth" card. Puhlease.
Belle Mann - Philadelphia, Pa
I agree with the "hurls" aspect of it. I thought the song was a parody of some sort when I heard it. It's a scary pop nightmare.

And I get annoyed by rich people playing the whole "I'm so down to earth" card. Puhlease.
Belle Mann - Philadelphia, Pa
This song makes me think of many things. It makes me think of summertime with my friends, boys, anything exciting going on in ur life and its just pushing you to live life to the fullest!Julia - Richmond, Hill, Ga
OK, i'm quite shocked by the number of people posting here that doesn't like SC at all... how rare... anyway, just to put an end to the discussion about the "45": i read on the fan forum that she said it was the sunscreen. It wasn't any member, it was the moderator who has direct contact with her. I'm a complete fan of Sheryl Crow, she so inspiring...Lucas - Jaragua Do Sul, Brazil
Happy little song and clip. Sheryl Crow is a truth Earth Woman. She loves being barefoot. The back cover has a close up of her tender soles. She is barefoot in this clip, and quite a few others ("Strong enough to be my man" & "if it makes you happy").Craig - Melbourne, Australia
This song reminds me of summer and all the good things that come with it.The meaning of this song to me is that people should have as much fun as they can and live each moment of their life to the fullest. Ya, sure life gives you up and downs but you ride through them like a roller coaster. Nothing can stop you if you just believe in yourself and are confident. I think that " Got my 45 on, so i can rock on" means 45 as the sunblock and then just going to have fun and be free! I also think thay Sheryl's songs are inspirational!!














































































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Ashley - Omaha, Ne
I must say I was quite disappointed by this song and this album. Sheryl Crow was a sophisticated rock 'n roll artist/songwriter and then she had to go and release this pop/country-dominated junk. I'd say only half the album is worth listening to and only a few tracks live up to her previous efforts. With a Kid Rock collaboration and a Rod Stewart cover to follow, she just continued to go downhill...Adrian - Brookings, Sd
i'm french, but I usually understand songs in english. but this song, it's amazing how i just don't get it. What's an RV ? afford his gas ?? etc...Charles - Paris , France
I think it is a very clever song..... the BIG picture makes it seem as if it is a happy playful summer song. Dig a little deeper and you realize she is dogging BIG OIL.....promoting solar energy.

I can't afford his gas

I'm looking up(SUN), you're looking down(OIL)

You have a fancy ride(Limo), but baby
I'm the one who has the key(Gas/Oil)
Ed - St. Louis, Mo
I find it ironic that some people are bashing this song and the meaning of it is to just have a good time and not take life so seriously. hence the line "going to tell everyone to lighten up"

I think she's great and her songs are great. Good to see someone write the songs and play the instuments on the songs.
John - San Antonio, Tx
Oh, come on people, I'm only twenty years old and I know she is talking about 45s, vinyl records! Although, I suppose I can sort of see the sunblock thing because of the sun theme, but that's not the first thing I thought of AT ALL. Anyway, I love Sheryl Crow and I think she deserves (even) more credit.Tasha - Seattle, Wa
I'm not 100% sure, but I assume the "got my 45 on, so I can rock on" refers to 45 spf sunblock, so she can soak up the sun.Jason - Charlottesville, Va
Ms Crow is a collector of collectibles; she has several 45 s.Linda - Kennett, Mo
I believe that by 45 she's referring to a 45rpm vinyl record...is that about right?Dave - Edmonton, Canada
You People Don't Know Good Music When You Hear It. Instead Of All The Rap Crap Out Now, This Is A Joy To Listen To, Although I Must Admit The Radio Stations Played It To Death.Jerry - Auburn, Ny
I have to agree. Sheryl Crow attempts to come off as earthy & intelligent, but falls short. Her songs, to me, are straining to be hip & painful to listen to.Amy - Chicago, Il
the epitomy of commercial pop, this is the most overplayed, overrated piece of crap ever recorded. Did I mention it hurls.Anonymous
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