Sunrise, Sunset #1 – The Walker Brothers and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)”

The two series I have most enjoyed putting together for this blog have been the ones concerning the natural world. First there was The Wheel Of The Year In Song and over the last couple of years, as regular visitors to this place know, I have become a bit of an expert on all thing pertaining to our only satellite, the moon. I have written 21 posts in total for The Full Moon Calendar In Song and can see there will be a few more to be added, as the way the full moon falls, no two years will ever be the same. When writing about the annual rituals performed by the ancient Celts or Native Americans, it is clear that Mother Nature was the overriding influence over everything they did and how they lived. Oh how things change.

As someone who is usually heavily invested in the political coverage ahead of a general election, this time it leaves me cold. We are in effect watching our leaders “fiddle whilst Rome burns” but the political system being what it is, we seem to be relatively helpless in doing anything about it. Life has changed just so much in the last 10 years (and yes, I’m looking at you Mr iPhone) but we struggle to adapt quickly enough to these changes. My recent posts documenting the suicide of a close friend’s daughter due to cyber-bullying, is a case in point.

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So, what do you do if you have decided to bank all the hours usually reserved for watching political debate, and commune with nature instead? Why you go off in search of sunsets of course. Our forefathers would have had a short day at this time of year, as sunset was at 15:47 here today in the North of Scotland. After a period of twilight when we would have passed through civil, nautical and astronomical dusk, the sun reaches a point 18 degrees below the horizon and it becomes night.

I have long been fascinated by this period of twilight and have built up a fair knowledge of its foibles over the years, so my new series about the natural world is going to be called Sunrise, Sunset. One of the highlights of my recent trip to Bergen in Norway was travelling to the top of Mount Fløyen on the funicular, just before sunset. With its magnificent views over the city we took some great pictures, but I’m going to save them for another time. Instead, here are some I took only last week by the shores of Loch Ness. We’d had an Australian friend staying with us and as it was her last day we tried to find somewhere special to take her, and the sunset was just perfect. Sadly the temperatures were sub-zero so we couldn’t linger long enough to wait until darkness fell, but hopefully down the line we shall.

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Loch Ness just before Sunset
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Loch Ness just after Sunset

But of course this is a music blog, and as with the moon, there are many, many songs that relate to “the sun, sunsets and sunrises”. As ever I would love to hear your suggestions for future posts, but to get us started, and because I’m still feeling rather sad about our recent tragic bereavement, this time I’m going to feature The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) by The Walker Brothers. It was written by the prolific songwriting pair Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio. They wrote many hits for The Four Seasons (Gaudio was a member of the group) and although originally released as a single by Frankie Valli, it was much more successful when recorded by The Walker Brothers in 1966. It topped the UK Singles Chart and also became their highest rating song on the Billboard Hot 100 where it peaked at No. 13.

It can be described as a very despondent song about the feeling that comes with the loss of love. In an interview Bob Gaudio explained: “I remember it was a rainy day and Bob Crewe and I were in his office, which was in the Atlantic Records building in the Lincoln Center area of New York, and it started to come together. It was a gloomy day and we were both a little depressed. And out it came.”

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) by The Walker Brothers:

As for The Walker Brothers, they were an American pop group who moved to Britain around the time the British Invasion was happening at home, where bands like the Beatles were dominating the US Charts. They ended up achieving much more success in the UK than in their home country. They were unrelated and used The Walker Brothers showbusiness name simply because they liked it. After splitting up, all three continued to release solo records, with Scott Walker being by far the most successful and creating a large cult following.

So, “What’s It All About?” – I think I have a new series on my hands and I look forward to venturing out and about taking pictures of the perfect sunset or sunrise. Like with the moon, no two are ever the same so plenty of material to work with. Plenty of songs that refer to the sun, or phenomena associated with the sun (rainbows?) so feel free to come up with your own suggestions. And by this time you know, “I always reply”.

Until next time….

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The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) Lyrics
(Song by Bob Crewe/Bob Gaudio)

Loneliness
Is a cloak you wear
A deep shade of blue
Is always there

The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky
The tears are always clouding your eyes
When you’re without love, baby

Emptiness
Is a place you’re in
With nothing to lose
But no more to win

The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky
The tears are always clouding your eyes
When you’re without love

Lonely
Without you baby
Girl I need you
I can’t go on

The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky
(The moon ain’t gonna rise in the sky)
The tears are always clouding your eyes
(The tears are always clouding your eyes)
The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore
When you’re without love, baby

(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)
(The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore)

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

20 thoughts on “Sunrise, Sunset #1 – The Walker Brothers and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)””

  1. Lovely idea for a series and lots of scope too, I look forward to more. I can think of quite a few songs so will wait to see if you come up with the same! As for communing with nature – absolutely, I would take nature over an iPhone any day too (and do!) – the internet generally bores me after a while (certain blogs excepted!), but nature never ever does and no two sunsets are ever the same. Your photos are gorgeous, they have a painterly quality too, the stillness of the water is incredible and the colours so beautifully subtle. I can almost breathe that air right now.
    ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More’ is just such a classic – and don’t they look so cool too?
    – Just to let you know too, this post hasn’t come up in my Blogger feed for some reason – it may just be me but other blogs seem to have updated as normal in my Reading List; thought I’d mention it in case your visitor count is lower than normal for it in case others aren’t seeing it either!

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    1. Yes, lot of pictures to be shared and lots of interesting info about the sun, twilight, dusk, rainbows etc so looking forward to it. So many songs to choose from too. We were really lucky in that the water was flat calm last week – We went off for half an hour between shots and although I would have loved to wait another hour or so until the sun went fully down, the temps were minus 3 degrees so not really possible.

      You are right about The Walker Brothers, they do look cool don’t they – One of the first groups I remember watching on telly but hadn’t really thought about the lyrics until writing this post, but incredibly sad and poignant.

      If you mean your sidebar, it takes a couple of hours to show. If you mean something else, not sure how that has happened – hopefully will sort itself out.

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      1. Just to let you know it was the Reading List we Blogger users get within our control panel, it gives us a preview of all the latest posts from all the blogs we choose as they go out, and I was getting others but not yours for some reason. However, it’s righted itself now so all good, must’ve just been a glitch!

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        1. Pesky glitches! I fear for the day we lose everything as no doubt a new platform will come along to replace what we currently use as bloggers. Vlogging seems to be the thing nowadays but not really my medium.

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    1. I do have a fair few pictures of local sunrises in my arsenal as during January/February, when I was still going to work, I could see beautiful skies from the kitchen window when I was having my breakfast. I often took pictures and short films. Looking forward to sharing them in due course.

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  2. That’s a great idea for a blog series! Our home faces west, and we’re fortunate to have an unobstructed view so that we can watch the journey of the setting sun through the year. My record for sunrises is much less thorough, but for different reasons! I have occasionally wondered how feasible it would be to try and plot the position of the sun at the same time every day for a year (Scottish weather permitting!). The resulting diagram (an analemma?) should be a long, slender figure-of-eight.

    No problem with post alerts here.

    Good Luck with the new series!

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    1. You must get some beautiful views where you are if the house faces west. Yes, trickier to catch the sunrises but Jan/Feb for me is usually a really good time. I’m loving this diagram called an analemma – As you say, a slender figure of eight. Just the kind of interesting info that will be included in this series.

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        1. Just noticed this comment – sorry but because it included links it didn’t get posted. That looks like an interesting concert – Hope the Moog does put in an appearance.

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  3. Excellent news. Great photos too. I used to love photographing sunsets, I think that’s one of the reasons I called my original blog Sunset Over Slawit.

    The Sun Ain’t gonna shine… is one of my favourites too, so I’m really pleased you started with it. A very powerful piece of music.

    Too many other potentials out there, but I’d recommend Sunrise from the last Pulp album as a personal favourite.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many potentials as you say, more than with moons actually, but thanks for the Pulp suggestion – It will no doubt put in an appearance. As sunset/sunrise photographs are always going to be included in this series, I think (as Brian below has suggested) it would be great if I could collect favourite pictures from the blogging community – Could cover a lot of ground both at home and abroad. Will have a think about how to best do that for the next post in this series. A picture of a Sunset Over “Slawit” would be most welcome.

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  4. An endless number of wonderful songs to choose from for this series. I have actually been to Loch Ness. It was in February 2012, but the cold weather didn’t keep us from enjoying the beautiful views. It isn’t often we get to do nothing but take in a sunrise, but I had this moment with my family back in June at Bryce Canyon in Utah. Photos don’t do it justice, but I might have to send you one anyway.

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    1. So many songs to include and so many pictures as well by the sound of it – I really like that idea of having people send me their own sunset shots to feature. Bryce Canyon sounds as if it would have been amazing – If you click on the Contact Me tab at the top it could be attached in an email.

      Loch Ness in February sounds as if it would have been cold and dreich but glad you enjoyed it – My own pictures were taken from the east side of the loch which is a lot less commercialised, but even on the other side still miles and miles of unspoilt views. We went to Loch Lomond recently when visiting DD in Glasgow – Shocked to find they had a shopping mall on the shore plus a car park that could hold 1000s of cars. The sunsets there are probably still quite magical through.

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