“Sunny”

1. READ

On Saturday, April 18, 2020, more than 20 million people watched a special TV concert. The concert was called “One World: Together At Home.” The purpose of the concert was to:
1. encourage people to stay home during the Covid-19 pandemic
2. thank healthcare workers
3. raise money for the World Health Organization (WHO)
Many famous performers like Elton John and Lady Gaga sang their favorite songs. They all performed from home.

Billie Eilish is an 18-year-old American singer and songwriter. For the TV special, she decided to sing the song “Sunny” while her brother played the piano. “Sunny” is an old song–it was popular more than 50 years ago. Many young people had never heard the song before, but on social media, they shared that they really liked it.

2. WATCH

Watch Billie Eilish’s performance of “Sunny” on YouTube. The words are a little difficult to understand, so don’t worry if you don’t understand every word. You will read the words to the song later in this lesson.

Click on the video below, or click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJuHn8JzhP0

3. READ:  The Story Behind the Song

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.”

4. READ

Read the lyrics to the song “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb. The words in the list below are missing from the song. The words rhyme with the words in bold. As you read the lyrics, mentally fill in the missing words. (The lyrics are also in a Word document and pdf below.)

desire,   grace,   hands,   pain,   sincere,   tall,   you,   Z

Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain                                                  
Sunny, you smiled at me and really eased the ________________________
Now the dark days are done, and the bright days are here
My sunny one shines so ________________________
Sunny one so true, I love ________________________

Sunny, thank you for the sunshine you gave
Sunny, thank you for the love you brought my way
You gave to me your all and all
And now I feel ten feet ________________________
Sunny one so true, I love you

Sunny, thank you for the truth you let me see
Sunny, thank you for the facts from A to ________________________
My life was torn like windblown sand
Then a rock was formed when we held ________________________
Sunny one so true, I love you

Sunny, thank you for that smile upon your face
Sunny, thank you, thank you for that gleam that flows with ___________________
You’re my spark of nature’s fire
You’re my sweet complete ________________________
Sunny one so true, yes, I love you

Sunny, yesterday oh, my life was filled with rain
Sunny, you smiled at me and really, really eased the pain
Now the dark days are done, and the bright days are here
My sunny one shines so sincere
Sunny one so true, I love you

Sunny, lyrics.docx            Sunny, lyrics.pdf

5. LISTEN

Listen to Bobby Hebb sing “Sunny” while you read the lyrics above. Click on the video below, or click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubvYQxTXO3U&list=RDubvYQxTXO3U&start_radio=1

6. SING

Listen to Bobby Hebb’s recording again. This time, sing along.

7. SHARE

Billie Eilish said the song “Sunny” makes her feel good. What song makes you feel good? Share the title of the song with your classmates. If there is a performance on YouTube that you especially like, share the link, too.

 

 

  • The song lyrics are intended for nonprofit educational purposes only.
  • Permission granted to share this lesson for nonprofit educational purposes only.
  • Image of sun: Copyright © Nvnkarthik | Dreamstime.com. Reprinted with permission.