I first heard this song performed by Manhattan Transfer on the soundtrack for A League of Their Own (great soundtrack, by the way, with covers by James Taylor (“It’s Only A Paper Moon”) and Billy Joel (“In A Sentimental Mood”), and an original by Carol King (“Now and Forever”), which was nominated for a Grammy in 1992.
The song, “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” was originally performed in 1930 for the musical Lew Leslie’s International Review. The Manhattan Transfer does a great job of bringing a refreshing, upbeat sound to this age-old classic.
It’s stuck in my head now, as this storm passes over our house; while our back yard’s rain-brushed lilac bushes are drenched in sunlight, the front of the house still remains dark and ominous.
I shift my chair to look out the back windows and keep to the sun.
My sister, my hero, has mastered this. In her two-decade battle with cancer, she shuns the evening news and gets her top stories from happynews.com (“Real News, Compelling Stories, Always Positive”). She surrounds herself with positive people, positive messages, positive everything.
I have to admit, I’ve sought out comic relief lately to balance out some of the deeper subjects I’ve been writing about. Amy and I cycle through the various seasons of 30 Rock, Arrested Development, SNL, and even Weeds after the kids go to bed. There’s something about laughing out loud right before going to sleep that makes me wake up a little happier. A few weeks ago, we watched Seven Pounds with Will Smith, and–to quote Harry Potter in Prisoner of Azkhaban (the book–Ron said it in the movie), I awoke feeling “like I’d never be cheerful again.”
Who needs that?
I hope you find your way to the sunny side of the street today, despite whatever storms may be passing overhead. . . .