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Sunny Afternoon Lyrics

The tax man's taken all my dough,
And left me in my stately home,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon,
And i can't sail my yacht,
He's taken everything i've got,
All I've got's this sunny afternoon.

Save me, Save me, Save me from this squeeze.
I got a big fat mama trying to break me.
And i love to live so pleasantly,
Live this life of luxury,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
In the summertime
In the summertime
In the summertime

My girlfriend's run off with my car,
and gone back to her ma and pa,
telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty.
Now i'm sitting here,
Sipping at my ice cold beer,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Help me, Help me, Help me sail away,
Well give me to good reasons why I
oughta stay.
'Cause i love to live so pleasantly,
Live this life of luxury,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.

Ah, save me, save me, same me from this squeeze.
I got a big fat mama trying to break me.
And I love to live so pleasantly,
live this life of luxury,
Lazing on a sunny afternoon.
In the summertime
In the summertime
In the summertime
Song Info
Copyright
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Submitted by
Submitted on
Mar 22, 2002
33 Meanings
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Why no comments on "Sunny Afternoon"? It's a classic! there doesn't seem to be much love in general for the kinks on this site, based on the low number of comments. More people should be listening to the kinks! This song is a perfect example of why - lashing out at the tax system while telling the story of a man who refuses to give up his luxuries, despite his lack of money.

@a10dency2ask I think that he has more a desperate than a refuse attitude to give up his luxuries.he cant vision a life without money

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If The Beatles had done this, the world would be humming its tune.

@BoHo The Beatles DID write a song about the terribly high taxes in England in the 70s - it's called Taxman. 'Should five percent appear too small, be thankful i don't take it all - cause i'm the taxman.

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First poster is right... Why do the Kinks get such little love on this site? I'd say the Beatles are overall a better band but come on the Kinks rock!

@ed.bk84 Am a Beatles fan but I do love the Kinks.

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I think the interpretation above is missing out on the satire in this song -- rather then sympathizing with the "rich" who are being taxed it is lampooning them. They have been taxed so much that they can't sail their yachts anymore, and all they have to do is laze around on a sunny afternoon. Poor them!

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holy shit i always thought Ray was saying "blazing" as is smoking weed instead of lazing

@jtucker7 I thought the same thing but I also misheard dough as dope.

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Even though it is often touted as a "libertarian anthem," I take issue with that notion. This song is poking fun at the "poor little rich boy" attitude. The Kinks always struck me as artists who could complain about something while at the same time making fun of such complaint through song. If anything, it sounds like it could have been based on a news story about a rich man who got busted trying to evade taxes and the government is collecting its due while he refuses to acknowledge what's really going on.

@gregorybrian When the Kinks wrote this, the people in their income range in England were paying out 95% of the money they made in taxes. That's why So many left England and established residency elsewhere -- Sean Connery moved to Spain, John Lennon and Ringo Starr to the US... The tax law was finally re-examined and altered but the taxes are still pretty high there for those generating a lot of income.

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What a wonderfully libertarian song...

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I have no idea how so many people have managed to convince themselves that Ray Davies wrote "Sunny Afternoon" as a genuine attempt to engender pity for this character. Whatever his opinions on the fairness of British tax law in the 60's, this man is a blithering idiot. This is satire and sarcasm at their most obvious, which is not to say the criticism is any less biting. Evidence, you say? Simple: this man's catalog of grievances is objectively ludicrous. The taxman has "taken everything (he's) got"? Ok, he means besides the "STATELY home", the "ICE COLD beer" (which qualifying superlative suggests, beyond the fact that he's an idiot, the existence of other luxurious appliances in his position), his "car" (which clearly not taken by the taxman since it was driven off by a frightened, abused girlfriend). Besides a home, cold beer and a car, which Davies surely recognized were precisely the luxuries that sustained regular folk the whole world 'round, I guess he has nothing. Or, as I think Davies is obviously implying, this man is whining about what has befallen him while constantly letting slip that he still lives in extreme comfort. To working class people "lazing on a sunny afternoon" is a rarity and a luxury. For this man, it is an eternal torment. Now that I think of it, did the taxman even take his yacht? He just laments that he "can't sail (his) yacht". That is a strange way to put having one's boat repo'd. More likely, he is too down and out about having to give taxes away to enjoy his God-given right to, erm, sail in a giant yacht. To give this idea some credence, consider that he asks for someone to "help (him) sail away". Davies wasn't careless with his words, and the repetition of this word suggests that he does not mean another, heretofore unmentioned boat. In fact, maybe it's not that he's too "depressed" to take his yacht for a spin- maybe he really can't "sail (his) yacht" in a practical sense. He doesn't know how to do it, and possibly had to fire a Captain who had done the sailing for him. His plea, then, of "help me, help me, help me sail away" would not be a plea for someone to join him in his escape from a painful present. It's a request for someone to do his bidding without remuneration. He deserves to be waited on, just as he deserves to be on a yacht and to smack his wife around. That part is so obvious I will not mention it beyond laughing at this plea for sympathy for his lost "car" from an abusive, driunken spouse. Anyway, I could go on, but I just had to get the truth in there as I was so amazed that so many people were missing some of the clearest satire in rock n' roll history.

My Interpretation
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It is a great song... I especially love the minor sound to it, the mysterious tone.

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I love the way Davies' voice sounds in this song. It greatly contributes to the mood of the song.

Such a great song!

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