Everyday Is Like Sunday (from the film, Boys on the Side)

A song I often hear on Apple Music is “Everyday Is Like Sunday,” recorded by the English-American rock band, Pretenders. It’s title is a pleasant reminder to me whenever I hear the song that, in retirement, each day feels like it’s on a weekend.

I remember the Pretenders from soon after they formed in 1978, and their early music gained popularity soon after I hit adulthood. Songs that dominated the radio airwaves included “Brass in Pocket” from their 1979 debut, self-titled album, and “Middle of the Road” and “Back on the Chain Gang” from their third, Learning to Crawl (1984) which also included the slower ballad “My City Was Gone.” These and many other tunes showcase frontperson, lead singer and primary songwriter Chrissie Hynde’s smooth vocals, which contrast with her appearance which combines hippy, hard rock and new wave vibes.

Born in the USA in 1951, Hynde moved to London, England, in 1973 in search of a band. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to strike up a musical act, she founded the Pretenders in 1978. The group remains active today, though Hyndes and drummer Martin Chambers (b. 1951) are the only original members remaining; two other founding members died in the early 1980s from complications of drug use.

The band has an impressive discography with 11 studio albums (the latest of which was issued in 2020), four live records, four compilations, an EP, six video albums and 54 singles. And I didn’t know until today that “Everyday Is Like Sunday” is not one of Pretenders’ original compositions but rather a cover of a Morrissey recording from his 1988 debut solo album, Viva Hate.

“Trudging slowly over wet sand, back to the bench
Where your clothes were stolen
This is the coastal town that they forgot to close down
Armageddon, come Armageddon, come Armageddon, come

Everyday is like Sunday, everyday is silent and gray
Hide on the promenade scratch out a postcard
And how I dearly wish I was not here
In the seaside town that they forgot to bomb
Come, come, come, nuclear bomb

Everyday is like Sunday, everyday is silent and gray
Trudging back over pebbles and sand
And a strange dust lands on your hands and on your face
On your face, on your face, on your face

Everyday is like Sunday, win yourself a cheap tray
Share some greased tea with me, everyday is silent and grey
Everyday is like Sunday, everyday is like Sunday
Everyday is like Sunday, everyday is like Sunday”

“Everyday Is Like Sunday,” by Morrissey and Stephen Street.
Lyrics retrieved from Genius.com.

The magazine American Songwriter says in an article from five years ago that the song is about “the dreariness of a tourist town out of season,” which for some strange reason had the lyricist Morrissey calling out for nuclear armageddon. Seems harsh.

After listening to Morrissey’s original today, I prefer the Pretenders’ rendition. While both versions feature string sections, the cover has a cleaner melody and a more layered sound, giving it a softer edge and creating a more contemplative mood. I also hear a subtle country twang in one of the guitars.

Interestingly, my grammar-checker picked up the song title as improper usage, which I had only considered after I read that warning. And for what it’s worth, I agree: “Everyday” means ordinary or typical and describes something used every day. “Every day,” however, means “each day,” which is what I think Morrissey and Street were going for, as in, “each day is like Sunday… in the dreariness of an off-season resort.” Oh well, not for me to correct a published work… I very much like the song, regardless, and I hope you do, too.

The Pretenders’ version of “Everyday Is Like Sunday” comes from the original soundtrack album for the cross-country road trip film Boys on the Side (1995) and also appears on the band’s four-side, 81-track compilation album Pirate Radio (2006).

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here.

Here is the official audio from the Pretenders YouTube channel:

And for comparison’s sake, here’s Morrissey’s original:

So, which version do you prefer? Please drop me a note in the comments section and let me know!



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