The Surprising Meaning Behind Easy Like A Sunday Morning Thursday August 18 2022, 11:45 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
The Surprising Meaning Behind Easy Like A Sunday Morning

Easy Like Sunday Morning Meaning

Along with many other people, I always thought this hit song from the Commodores was speaking positively about a romantic relationship because I didn't pay enough attention to the verses.

The song has such good vibes with such positive lyrics and chipper backing vocals in the hook that it's really easy to mistake this for a lovey-dovey track. Once you start going through all the lyrics, though, you start to realize that the song is about a breakup.

A Happy Twist On A Breakup Song

Most breakup songs put an emphasis on the negative aspects and include a matching score with minor chord progressions and intensely emotional instruments to match.

This song, however, gives off a feeling of relaxation, with lyrics that perfectly match the musical atmosphere that's built. But surprise, surprise, the story behind the lyrics is about a man leaving a woman.  

Sunday mornings are a time to relax for many families across the globe. While I, who grew up in a church-going family, was always quite busy, many people like to sit back, relax, and enjoy a morning where they don't have to work or worry about much at all.

Sunday mornings are easy, calm, and chill. Lionel was feeling all of these emotions after letting go of the stress from the relationship he was exiting. 

Songs lyrics that are about breakups love to focus on the pain that is briefly mentioned in the first verse, but Lionel Richie, who wrote the lyrics himself, builds up the happy and carefree content in the chorus that truly makes the song.

Lionel Richie's Thoughts On The Lyrics 

Lionel didn't dive into the relationship aspects of the songwriting when asked, but he did mention that he wanted the vibe of the hook to remind people of "small Southern towns that die at 11:30 pm".

He put so much emphasis on the feel of the chorus, which I think is what makes this song feel so intensely freeing. And it's why the fact that it's a breakup anthem can seem so confusing.

The lyrics have been compared to Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd, which doesn't give off the same uplifting atmosphere but speaks of the same type of relationship drama. 

The Story In The Verses 

Since Lionel didn't go too far into the story behind the breakup, we can only infer what happened between the lovely couple and why he feels so free after getting rid of what may be a heavy burden.

In the first verse, he opens up with, "I know it sounds funny, but I just can't stand the pain." I wonder if he mentions that it sounds funny because the woman he was with is blindsided by the fact that he wants to break up.

He then goes on to say that he did many things, including begging and borrowing, to keep the relationship going. But there's way too much detail missing there to make sense of it fully!

In the second verse, Lionel questions why he would want to feel restricted by what feels like chains, which means s that he felt trapped in the relationship.

He then alludes to the fact that people want him to be a certain way, but he wants to make his own decisions and be true to himself. I'm guessing that he wasn't feeling like he could be himself in the relationship, which was causing him the pain he mentioned in the first verse. 

Now, this is just one take on the story, and nothing is verified, but I think he could have been describing a "manly" desire to not be tied down in a relationship and be free to be himself and do whatever he wants, possibly with other intimate partners.

The main three reasons are because he mentions it "sounds funny" in the first verse, he basically sings about not wanting to be tied down in the second verse, and the overall relaxed feeling of the hook and instrumentation. The emphasis on "easy" may even be a double entendre. 

Another take on the breakup is that it "sounds funny" because the couple was together for so long, and a true breakup would feel strange to them, especially the woman he is talking to.

The mentions of begging and borrowing in the first verse could just be a brief touch on years of intense drama. The feeling of the hook being so liberating could be because the weight was so heavy that the breakup freed him beyond he could imagine. 

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Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!

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