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Bring Me Sunshine

"Bring Me Sunshine" is a song written in 1966 by the composer Arthur Kent, with lyrics by Sylvia Dee.[1] It was first recorded by The Mills Brothers in 1968, on their album My Shy Violet.[2] In the UK, the song is synonymous with the popular comedy duo Morecambe & Wise, after it was adopted as their signature tune in their second series for the BBC in 1969.[3]

"Bring Me Sunshine"
Bring Me Sunshine - Morecambe & Wise.jpg
"Bring Me Sunshine" BBC CD cover
Composer(s)Arthur Kent
Lyricist(s)Sylvia Dee

Musical influencesEdit

Professor of Critical Musicology at the University of Leeds, Prof Derek B Scott,[4] argues that the song is influenced by the Viennese popular style. He writes:

"The melody implies a minor key, with harmonies on the tonic and subdominant. This would, of course, be bizarre and inappropriate for the words "Bring me sunshine in Your Smile / Bring me laughter all the while". But we find that the tonality is actually the relative major of the key implied by the tune, and the harmonies consist of the tonic (with a free-floating sixth) and dominant ninth. Suddenly the words and music make perfect sense, the tension of the dissonances conveying the sense of an appeal for sunshine, rather than the actual presence of sunshine."[1]

Morecambe & Wise versionEdit

Morecambe & Wise in their classic "skip dance" pose, performed to "Bring Me Sunshine"


Although the second verse was often performed by an orchestra conducted by Peter Knight over the duo's closing credits, they only ever sang the first verse, the second one being purely instrumental, with Eric and Ernie performing a "skip dance" to exit the stage. The dance has been attributed to BBC producer, John Ammonds,[5] and Eric's son Gary recalls that the inspiration for the skip-dance came from a Groucho Marx film sequence.[6]

Morecambe & Wise tributesEdit

When Eric Morecambe died in 1984 so closely associated were the pair with the song that it was the title of the Bring Me Sunshine tribute show at the London Palladium held in his memory. Ten years later, the BBC ran another 3-part tribute, also titled Bring Me Sunshine.

Lyrics to the song were also read at Morecambe's funeral by Ernie Wise.[7] Wise went on to declare it his favourite song during his appearance on the BBC radio programme, Desert Island Discs in Oct 1990.[8] On the same programme three months later, the song was also a choice of jazz singer Adelaide Hall,[9] and has since been the choice of several other guests including Dawn French[10] and Rankin.[11] It has also been used for the title of several books about the pair.

When Morecambe & Wise defected from the BBC to Thames Television in 1978, directly after their record-breaking Christmas Special the previous year, the signature tune was dropped. It was however used in later installments of these shows.[citation needed]

BBC promotional clipEdit

In 2011, the BBC used the song in a promotional clip for the 75th anniversary of its main channel, beginning with the familiar opening shot of Morecambe & Wise before leading into a montage of other famous moments from the channel's history, most of which were edited so as to lip-sync with the song.[12]

Willie Nelson and Brenda Lee versionsEdit

The 30 Nov 1968 edition of Billboard magazine predicted that Willie Nelson's version of "Bring Me Sunshine" (produced by Chet Atkins and Felton Jarvis), would reach the Top 20 in the Country Single Charts,[13] eventually reaching #13 in 1969. It was included in 1974 on the budget compilation album, Spotlight on Willie Nelson. A different mix appears on Nelson's 2009 album Naked Willie; this version is featured in the closing credits of the 2010 film The Crazies. The song was also covered by American singer Brenda Lee on her 1969 album, Johnny One Time (Decca).[14] In 2013, Willie Nelson's version was used as the theme to ITV sitcom "The Job Lot".

Other recordingsEdit

The song has also been recorded by:


  1. ^ a b Derek B. Scott, Sounds of the metropolis: the nineteenth-century popular music revolution in London, New York, Paris, and Vienna, Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2008, ISBN 0-19-530946-4, ISBN 978-0-19-530946-1, 304 pages (page 7)
  2. ^ "Bring Me Sunshine", Retrieved 29 April 2019
  3. ^ Gary Morecambe, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone: The Life and Work of Eric Morecambe, Publisher HarperCollins UK, 2009, ISBN 0-00-734367-1, ISBN 978-0-00-734367-6, 256 pages (page)
  4. ^ "Prof Derek B Scott", Professor of Critical Musicology, Leeds University, home page.
  5. ^ "Been and gone: The man behind Eric and Ernie, and the First Dog", BBC News website, retrieved 2 March 2013
  6. ^ Gary Morecambe, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone: The Life and Work of Eric Morecambe, Publisher HarperCollins UK, 2009, ISBN 0-00-734367-1, ISBN 978-0-00-734367-6, 256 pages (page)
  7. ^ Ernie Wise , Robert Sellers, James Hogg, Little Ern!, Publisher Pan Macmillan, 2011, ISBN 0-283-07157-5, ISBN 978-0-283-07157-7, 352 pages (page)
  8. ^ "Ernie Wise", Desert Island Discs, Sun 21 Oct 1990
  9. ^ "Adelaide Hall", Desert Island Discs, Sun 13 Jan 1991
  10. ^ "", Desert Island Discs, Sun 23 Dec 2012
  11. ^ "[1]", Desert Island Discs, Sun 03 Mar 2013
  12. ^ "Bring Me Sunshine", BBC comedy clip, at the BBC website, retrieved 11 Dec 2011.
  13. ^ Billboard, 30 Nov 1968, (page 92)
  14. ^ "Johnny One Time" album details at Brenda Lee website, retrieved 11 Dec 2011
  15. ^ "Johnny One Time - Brenda Lee" at
  16. ^ "Jack Greene - Statue of a Fool" at
  17. ^ "Yestergroovin' - Chet Aktins" at
  18. ^ "Liz Damon's Orient Express" at
  19. ^ "Spotlight on Willie Nelson" at
  20. ^ "Mickey Gilley - Mickey at Gilleys" at
  21. ^ "Sentimental Journey - Cliff Adams Singers" at
  22. ^ "The Very Best of Mrs. Mills" at
  23. ^ "Top Cat - Richard Shelton" at
  24. ^ "Bring Me Sunshine", Foster & Allen, at
  25. ^ "Bring Me Sunshine - Patrick Williams & His Big Band" at
  26. ^
  27. ^

External linksEdit