Longtime Sunshine

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"Longtime Sunshine"
Longtime Sunshine cover
Demo by Weezer
Album Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
Released December 18, 2007
Recorded 1994
Length 3:15
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
RC# 171
Producer(s) Rivers Cuomo
Status officially released
Live debut June 7, 2011
Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo track listing
"Chess"
(6)
"Longtime Sunshine"
(7)
"Blast Off!"
(8)
Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition) track listing
"Butterfly (alternate take)"
(11)
"Long Time Sunshine"
(12)
"Getting Up and Leaving"
(13)
Songs from the Black Hole (Tracklist 1) track listing
"What Is This I Find?"
(15)
"Longtime Sunshine"
(16)
"Longtime Sunshine (Reprise)"
(17)
Alone III: The Pinkerton Years 1994-1997 track listing
"Now I Finally See"
(15)
"Longtime Sunshine"
(16)
"I'm Lonely on a Saturday Night"
(17)
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
"Getting Up and Leaving"
(RC# 170)
"Longtime Sunshine"
(RC# 171)
"When You're Alone"
(RC# 172)
Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition)
Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition)

"Longtime Sunshine" (sometimes rendered as "Long Time Sunshine") is a song written by Rivers Cuomo. It is the seventh track on Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo.

Appearences

Overview


Rivers Cuomo head.png
In the midst of struggling to make it as a rock star in Los Angeles, I started longing for the safety, peace, quiet, simplicity, and family structure of my New England childhood. I thought back to one of my favorite memories, lying in the bottom bunk, my brother in the top, in our bedroom in our farmhouse in Eastford, Connecticut, in the hot, hot, summer, 7, 8 p.m., sun still up, but having to go to sleep because it's our bedtime, one of those big box fans blowing, and my parents, Ma and Steve, sitting at our bedside, singing an old hippie song to us, to calm us down and ease us into sleep, "May the Longtime Sun Shine Upon You."

I borrowed the hook phrase from this song and set about writing my own song to capture my feelings of loss and longing. I wrote it on my mom's piano when I was back in Connecticut at Christmas. My mom had a piano because I told her that the house seemed too quiet and I was worried about her living in silence, all alone after my step-dad left. So that is how "Longtime Sunshine" came to exist.

When I recorded this track, I had just bought a clarinet and figured out how to play a few notes. Because of my poor embouchure it sounds very much like a kazoo.
- Rivers Cuomo, Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo liner notes

"Longtime Sunshine" was written by Rivers Cuomo in December of 1993 or January of 1994, while visiting his mother for Christmas at her home in Connecticut. The title is borrowed from "May the Long Time Sun Shine," a section from the track "A Very Cellular Song," written by Mike Heron of psychedelic-folk group the Incredible String Band for their 1968 album The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter. As a standalone song, "May the Long Time Sun Shine" has became very popular among the hippie movement and even in Sikh religious services in the years since its release and has often been assumed to be a much older or more traditional composition.[1] Cuomo released this demo to fans online in the early 2000s, and later on the demo compilation Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo in 2007.

Cuomo later retrofitted "Longtime Sunshine" as a song in consideration for a planned (albeit ultimately unfinished) "rock-opera" concept album, Songs from the Black Hole (itself intended as a metaphor for Cuomo's disillusionment with rock stardom). Early drafts of SFTBH featured "Longtime Sunshine" as the closing track, intended to be sung by Cuomo as the story's protagonist, Jonas. The story for the album concept, however, was never fully developed. In one early draft, wherein the characters learn the space voyage depicted in the story was, in fact, some sort of filmed experiment, Jonas sings "Longtime Sunshine" after volunteering to remain on a doomed planet orbiting a supernova in order to allow his crewmates to escape.[2] Weezer worked on "Longtime Sunshine" at Electric Lady Studios in New York during early sessions for the band's second album (at this time still planned to be Songs from the Black Hole). During these sessions, the band experimented with an extended coda wherein Cuomo, Matt Sharp, and Brian Bell sing a medley of "Longtime Sunshine," "Why Bother?," "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams," "No Other One," and "Blast Off!" Though this experiment was apparently discarded thereafter,[3] it appeared on the Deluxe Edition of Pinkerton in 2010. Short vocal demos for the coda, as well as a potential reprise, later appeared on the compilations Alone III in 2011 and Alone IV in 2020.

Though Songs from the Black Hole would ultimately be scrapped, Karl Koch has noted[citation needed] that "Longtime Sunshine" was meant to close Pinkerton until "Butterfly" was recorded on the final day of recording at Sound City in June of 1996. Cuomo revisited the song in 1997,[4] recording a home demo in September of that year and and rehearsing it as part of his short-lived side project, Homie. None of these recordings currently exist in circulation and it was not performed live during this period. During the filming of the second video for "Island in the Sun" in 2001, Cuomo played "Longtime Sunshine" on an acoustic guitar for director Spike Jonze, a few seconds of which could be seen in a behind-the-scenes video released on weezer.com. It is unknown why Cuomo was playing the song.

During a Memories Tour concert in Austin, Texas on June 7, 2011, Weezer performed the song live for the first time, featuring a new arrangement. The song was played live a number of additional times, including on the Weezer Cruise. The song was brought back for a performance for NPR's Tiny Desk concert series in 2019.[5] The song was also performed solo by Cuomo at Weezer concerts in 2023.

Known recordings

Performer(s) Title Filename Date of recording Recording location Length Appeared on Notes
Rivers Cuomo Longtime Sunshine December 1993/January 1994 ?, Connecticut 3:15
Rivers Cuomo Longtime Sunshine 1995 Longtime Sunshine Reprise.mp3 1995 ? 1:23 Alone IV: The Blue-Pinkerton Years Demo of coda
Rivers Cuomo Longtime Sunshine 1995 Longtime Sunshine Vocals#1.mp3 1995 ? 0:25 Alone IV: The Blue-Pinkerton Years Vocal demo of reprise
Rivers Cuomo Longtime Sunshine 1995 Longtime Sunshine Vocals#2.mp3 1995 ? 0:28 Alone IV: The Blue-Pinkerton Years Vocal demo of reprise
Rivers Cuomo Longtime Sunshine 1995 Longtime Sunshine Vocals#3.mp3 1995 ? 0:36 Alone IV: The Blue-Pinkerton Years Vocal demo of reprise
Rivers Cuomo Longtime Sunshine 16 Longtime Sunshine.mp3 1995 ? 0:49 Alone III: The Pinkerton Years 1994-1997 Truncated audio from "1995 Longtime Sunshine Vocals#3.mp3" + reprise of "Superfriend"
Weezer Longtime Sunshine August/September 1995[3] Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY 4:18 Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition) With coda experiment
Weezer Longtime Sunshine September 6, 1995[3] Electric Lady Studios, New York, NY
Rivers Cuomo Longtime Sunshine September 1997[4] Boston, MA
Homie Longtime Sunshine Fall 1997[4] ?
Weezer Longtime Sunshine June 7, 2011 Stubb's BBQ, Austin, TX 3:49 Live in Austin, Texas (Pinkerton)
Weezer Longtime Sunshine July 13, 2011 Zepp Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan 3:41 Live in Tokyo, Japan (The Blue Album)
Weezer Longtime Sunshine January 21, 2012 Palladium Lounge, Carnival Destiny 3:43 Live on the Weezer Cruise - Palladium Lounge
Weezer Longtime Sunshine July 29, 2012 Stir Concert Cove at Harrah's Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel, Council Bluffs, IA 3:45 Live in Council Bluffs, Iowa
about this table

Live performances

Personnel

Demo version

  • Rivers Cuomo – piano, lead vocals, percussion, bass guitar, clarinet

Studio version

Audio

Lyrics

Solo demo

Sometimes I wanna pack it all up
Get on a bus and move to Vermont
Or Maine, or any of those states back east
That I remember
Sometimes I wanna go back to school
An east coast college with some history
I'd be satisfied, I know
In the simple things

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

Sometimes I wanna build a house
With a wood stove or a fireplace
In the middle of the living room
An old piano
Sometimes it don't seem so bad
To settle down with a good woman
Leave this lonely life behind
Forever, and ever

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

Sometimes I wanna get in a car
Close my eyes and drive real fast
Keep on going till I get some place
Where I can truly rest

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

Pinkerton sessions

Sometimes I wanna pack it all up
Get on a bus and move to Vermont
Or Maine, or any of those states back east
That I remember
Sometimes I wanna go back to school
An east coast college with some history
I'd be satisfied, I know
In the simple things

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

Sometimes I wanna build a house
With a wood stove or a fireplace
And in the middle of the living room
An old piano
Sometimes it don't seem so bad
To settle down with a good woman
Leave this lonely life behind
Forever, and ever

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me
Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

Goodbye friends, goodbye my girl
Close my eyes as you fly away
Keep on going till you get some place
Where you can truly rest

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me
Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

[JONAS:]
Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

[WUAN:]
Why bother? It's gonna hurt me
It's gonna kill when you desert me

[DONDÓ:]
He is in my eyes, he is in my ears
He is in my blood, he is in my tears
No, there is no other one
No, there is no other one
Can't have any other one
Even though I would with one

[JONAS:]
Blast off! Up to the stars we go
And leave behind everything I use to know
Somebody's giving me a whole lot of money
To do what I think I want to
So why am I still feeling blue?
Oh, Wuan and Dondó

See also

References

  1. Wittstamm, Willem. "May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You: Where It All Began..." Aquarian Times Feb/March 2009. https://studentsofyogibhajan.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Where-it-all-began.pdf
  2. Cuomo, Rivers. The Pinkerton Diaries. 2011. Self-published.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Weezer Recording History - Page 8
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Weezer Recording History - Page 10
  5. NPR Music. "Weezer: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert" YouTube. 9 April 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8UKQJZsv4o