Raised on radio, most nights I still tune in before falling asleep. That seems a quaint idea in the 21st century, but there’s something quite comforting about listening to a familiar song or two before departing for dreamland, especially those I haven’t heard in years because I’d never think to cue them up myself.
Venturing down the dial this past week is how I came across Shawn Colvin‘s “Sunny Came Home.” Hearing the song around midnight turned out to be a perfect match for her 1997 hit arsonist’s tale, especially the song’s haunting bridge, a striking bit of inner dialogue:
Get the kids and bring a sweater / Dry is good and wind is better / Count the years, you always knew it / Strike a match, go on and do it
Inspired by a painting that doubled as the cover art for its parent album, 1996’s A Few Small Repairs, “Sunny Came Home” was released as a single the following summer. The song reached #1 on both the Billboard Adult Top 40 and Adult Contemporary charts and even peaked at #7 on the Hot 100 (amazingly, it debuted at #8).
“Sunny Came Home” so ignited the imagination of the record-buying public and industry colleagues that Colvin and producer John Leventhal took home Record of the Year and Song of the Year honors at the 1998 Grammy Awards, a fact I’d long since forgotten.