“Sunny”: The Story Behind the Song

Level 2 (High Beginning and Up)

A Sunny Song for Dark Times

Singer and songwriter Bobby Hebb wrote the song “Sunny” in 1963. He wrote the song after two tragedies. Both happened on November 22.

The first tragedy was a national tragedy–President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. The second tragedy was a personal tragedy–that same night, Bobby’s older brother died in a knife fight outside a nightclub. Why did Bobby write a song about bright days and sunshine after two tragedies? He said he wanted to think of happier times “because times were at a low.”

After the song became a hit, many people asked Bobby, “Is Sunny a real person?” He answered that Sunny was not a real person, but a person he imagined. “Sunny,” he said, “is any person who has a positive attitude.”

Sunny.docx          Sunny.pdf


Story: Copyright © Sandra Heyer, 2020. Permission granted to reproduce for classroom use.
Image of sun: Copyright © Nvnkarthik | Dreamstime.com. Reprinted with permission.