Posts Tagged ‘helmut vonlichten’

There’s a song that’s been on my mind lately. It’s called “Sunday,” by Les Friction†, a group that’s been on my tight rotation playlist‡ ever since I discovered them in 2011.

I love this song for several reasons. It starts out with a distinctly “Eleanor Rigby” vibe—a string octet playing a clipped ostinato with a tin-can percussion back—a lovely ariose melody drifting downward from the opening notes, singing of how “she” always wakes up late on Sunday mornings, takes her coffee, and heads out the door to a street populated by flower vendors and serenity. The lyrics take a turn toward longing, a searching for love, and feelings of hope, as we wander (at least in the music video that plays in my head) the streets, down from the Pantheon toward Notre Dame. And then BANG!, a chorus with full orchestra, chimes, and a pulsing rhythm section. Another verse and back to the chorus, followed by a 4+2 instrumental bridge that throws in strings and brass (clarino trumpet!) and even a glockenspiel (I’ve always been a sucker for a well-placed glockenspiel part), all building building building to a climax that breaches heaven before it stops . . . and the Rigby octet returns, recapitulates the quiet opening notes, and fades out to silence.

At its heart it is a love song, complex in structure and orchestration, but simple in its message: two souls seeking, destined to meet, to find, and to share the rest of their allotted time, to “live like every day is Sunday.”

Yeah, I’m fond of the song.

It has been, ever since I first heard it, how I’ve imagined my retirement. Living like every day is Sunday. Lazy Sunday. Sleepy Sunday. The Day of Rest.

But ever since I broached the T-minus one year mark toward my impending retirement, that outlook has changed. Sunday? Every day like Sunday? No. The closer I get to my last day of work, the more I have come to appreciate not Sundays but rather, Friday afternoons. (I mean, let’s be honest. Sundays come with some baggage. Sure, it might be a day after all the errands and have-to’s are done, a day when you can sleep in a bit, but it’s also a day that comes with the knowledge that the morning brings a return to work, a malaise we here call “Sunday-night-itis.”)

Friday afternoon, though—especially if you get off work a tad early—it comes with a feeling of freedom, of release, of celebratory drinks and the promise of the whole weekend ahead. If you manage it right, a properly used Friday afternoon can make it feel like the first day of a three-day weekend. Yeah. Friday afternoons are great, and while I won’t complain of the occasional lazy Sunday type of day, given the choice, I’d like to live each day like it’s Friday afternoon, with all the joy and hope and expanse of future time that it brings to bear.

Oh, I still love the song “Sunday,” and I’ll listen to it over and over in the coming years, but it is a song that speaks to the time-sense of the working stiff.

And in relatively short order, I won’t be that.

So, I’ll take Friday afternoons, please.

And thank you.


† Les Friction is an outgrowth of the group E.S. Posthumus (also on my tight rotation playlist), formed by the Vonlichten brothers, Helmut and Franz. The sound they created was heavily orchestrated and driving, used for many movie trailers and the NFL on CBS theme. After Franz’s sudden death in 2010, Helmut eventually returned to music and created Les Friction.

‡ Other similar groups on my tight rotation playlist include Two Steps from Hell, Thomas Bergersen, and Jo Blankenburg. Just sayin’.

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