Stress

Album: The Best Of Phil Stubbs (2002)
  • According to Stubbs, stress transcends species. This song opens with a story about a woman who has been evicted from her home with five children. The second verse is about a grouper who is pursued by a shark. In the third verse, two snails try to cross the street. The last verse finds a monkey snatched by a buzzard, which doesn't go well for either of them.

    In every case, they deal with stress seven days a week. There is no happy ending, but those of us feeling the weight of our troubles can commiserate, knowing other living things are feeling it as well.
  • Stubbs is a popular artist in his native Bahamas. The song incorporates and upbeat island rhythm, taking the edge off the gloomy lyric.
  • Most Americans know this song via Vincent Poag's adaptation, which includes the "Monday... stress, Tuesday... stress" refrain but has different lyrics. His song is about a stress that is more common in the US: the workweek grind.

    In a Songfacts interview with Poag, he explained: "I first heard a rendition of this song played on Long Island by a Bahamian artist. I fell in love with the chorus and would sing it playfully with friends and family. Ten years before I did any recording of my own, I rewrote the 'Stress' song for my own birthday party. When I did my first record I wanted to include this song.

    I had thought the 'Stress' song was an anonymous Bahamian folk song. I learned you can record any song providing you give the proper credit but you can't alter another artist's work without permission. To avoid and legal issues, I did some research. It turns out the original 'Stress' song was written by Philip Stubbs, one of the most beloved and popular Bahamian singer-songwriters. I was able to track Phil Stubbs down. After several months of phone calls and a meeting in the Bahamas we worked out a deal. Philip Stubbs' music and songs are a treasured one-man public relations welcome mat to the Bahamas. We come from different worlds but are now very much connected."

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