Sunday, December 13, 2015


Listening to Frank Sinatra’s 1954 recording of “Sunday,” I was slightly startled to realize that the song depicts American life before the institution of the weekend. Here is my transcription of the lyric, from the first recording, by Jean Goldkette:

I’m blue every Monday, thinking over
That one day when I’m with you
It seems that I sigh all day Tuesday
I cry all day Wednesday
Oh my, how I long for you

And then comes Thursday
Gee it’s long, it never goes by
Friday makes me feel
Like I’m gonna die

But after pay day, that’s my fun day
I shine all day Sunday
That one day when I’m with you
See? Saturday is pay day, the end of the workweek.

Wikipedia has a brief account of the development of the American two-day weekend, which began with a New England mill in 1908. The first union contract with a five-day workweek was negotiated in 1929. But “it was not until 1940, when a provision of the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act mandating a maximum 40 hour workweek went into effect, that the two-day weekend was adopted nationwide.” “Sunday,” by Ned Miller, Chester Conn, Jule Styne, and Bennie Kreuger, comes from the 1926 revue The Merry World.

Related reading
All OCA Frank Sinatra posts (Pinboard)

[Why Goldkette? Sinatra takes liberties with the lyrics here and there.]

comments: 1

Elaine said...

My dad, an Army officer much of my young life, always worked half of Saturdays. When we lived in Ft. Smith, I noticed that the neighborhood dads did not.