“Walkin’ in the Sun”

“Walkin’ in the Sun”

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story Behind the Song

Jeff Barry
“Walkin’ in the Sun”

Written and Recorded by Jeff Barry

Sometimes a writer’s favorite song is not one of his biggest hits. That’s the case with “Walkin’ in the Sun.” It is very meaningful to me.

My father was blind since he was about 6 years old. He was an insurance broker and did most of his work from home in Brooklyn, New York. Most of his sales were done on the phone; he was really good at it. Once in a while, though, he had to go to the office in Manhattan. Although my parents were divorced when I was 7, I still spent a lot of time with my dad.

One day, when I was about 13 or 14, I went to the city with him. We were heading to the subway and I remember it must have been the end of the day, it was kind of chilly. We talked about how the sun was on an angle jutting through the tall buildings. My dad asked if the sun was out on the other side of the street and, sure enough, it was. He said, “Let’s walk there where it’s warm.”

Many years later, when I was probably in my early thirties, I was writing songs for myself. I had an office at A&M Records and they wanted me to record some of my songs. I thought about that day and “Walkin’ in the sun.” It’s very simple. There are three verses and no bridge. The lyrics say that when things have been negative long enough, you need to know when they get good. The last line of the verse is:

Even a blind man can tell when he’s walkin’ in the sun.

I was the first person to record it but I’m very moved by the fact that it’s also been covered by many cool artists, that soulful people have chosen to record this song — Glen Campbell, Percy Sledge, B.B. King, Chaka Khan, and others. I think people like it because they can tell it comes from a place of sincerity.

“Walkin’ in the Sun”

Things have been goin’ wrong long enough to know

Everything is right

Been walkin’ in the dark long enough to know

Finally seen the light

Been losin’ long enough to know when I’ve finally won

And even a blind man can tell when he’s walkin’ in the sun.

I’ve cried enough tears to know

This feeling’s called a smile

Been bottom rung long enough to know

When I’m doin’ it in style

Been run long to know

There’s no more need to run

And even a blind man can tell when he’s walkin’ in the sun.

Oh, the wind is at my back

And I’m sailin’ on a ship that’s overdue.

Well I’ve blown so many chances

I ain’t gonna blow this one with you.

I’ve seen enough bad times to know

Good times have begun

And even a blind man can tell when he’s walkin’ in the sun,

And even a blind man can tell when he’s walkin’ in the sun.

Lyrics and Music by Jeff Barry. © Irving Music/Jeff Barry International

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