“Sunrise”: Norah Jones’ Song That Sticks In Your Head
Before you start reading this article, be warned: by the end of it, you’ll most likely have one song stuck in your head. And it probably won’t be easy to let it go. Why? Because, after all, we are talking about one of the catchiest songs ever released. It’s “Sunrise”, by Norah Jones.
Using the song as an expression of love, “Sunrise” starts by talking about clocks which appear to have stopped. Although it isn’t that explicit, the connection between the sun and the notion of time makes sense. As you know, the sun plays a major role in defining our daily routine and counts the passage of days and years.
In this specific blog post we won’t speak about time in a scientific way. Instead, we look at it through Norah Jones artistic point of view. The song seems to take place after a long day and night of love, when the “clocks held 9:15 for hours”. Besides Norah Jones, “Sunrise” implies the existence of another person: probably a boyfriend to whom she is madly in love.
During the lyrics, the singer reflects about sunrise (maybe a metaphor for daily life?), saying that as beautiful as it could be, nothing would take them from each other’s arms. In that same bed, the time will continue to pass, although it is as if it has stopped: “cause the afternoon already come and gone”.
The next part of the song speaks about mutual understanding and exploring each other’s feelings. The song ends with the wish to stay forever there, with the reference to the night, the opposite of sunrise.
This is just one of the interpretations that you can take from the lyrics. Let’s now watch the video.
Why “Sunrise” Does Stick in Your Head
This happens often. There are even scientific studies to understand why some songs are stuck in our heads. Some say that the auditory cortex of our brain naturally needs to fill the gaps in songs’ rhythm. That’s why, after hearing a catchy song, we keep automatically hearing that exact melody.
This is surely not the only reason, but it helps us explain why the song is so popular. Even thought it didn’t make number 1 in any chart, “Sunrise” gave Norah Jones the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and sold over 500,000 copies worldwide.
“Sunrise” is part of the 2004’s “Feels Like Home”. This was Norah Jones second album, granting her a place among the most influential singers of that time. “Feels Like Home” is considered to be her consecration work, after the success of the previously launched “Come Away with Me”.
Norah Jones’ Indian Background
Norah Jones was born in 1979, in Brooklyn and, as we all know, is a famous blues and jazz singer, composer and pianist. She is the daughter of the famous Indian sitarist, Ravi Shankar, and started her career in 2002.
With the separation of her parents, the singer stayed with her mother. The childhood was passed in Grapevine, Texas. In her early years, she studied first at the Grapevine High School and then at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts of Dallas.
At the age of 16, she officially changed the name to Norah Jones, a shorter version of the original one: Geetali Norah Jones Shankar. The passion for the classics of jazz led her to play songs from names like Bill Evans and Billie Holiday. She then studied at the University of North Texas, specializing in jazz.
Even thought jazz artists were the major influence of Norah Jones music, the Indian background allowed her to open her horizon to a wide diversity of music. In an interview, she said that she “always felt that the music we grow up with plays a huge role on the music we make as adults”.
Norah Jones stresses that the relationship with India has “definitely evolved over the years”. “I think it’s very sweet that people feel a sense of pride because of my nationality”, she said. In 2007, Jones recorded a song with her half-sister, Anoushka Shakar. Besides being sisters, the two admire each other’s work.
Being the one of the most important singers of today, Norah Jones was considered among the most influential people of 2004, by TIME magazine. She was only 25 years then. The artist stared her first movie in 2007, occupying the leading role in “My Blueberry Nights”. Her latest musical work was released in 2012 and it is called “Little Broken Hearts”.
Apart from her solo work, the singer is also a member of the alternative country band, The Little Willies, and sings in an alternative rock band named El Madmo.