Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
This satirical song by the Kinks mocks the “suffering” felt at the time by the English privileged class for the new progressive income taxes. It is curious how many have interpreted the description of the comfortable existence led by the unpleasant protagonist of the text as a celebration of laziness. I love singing it when I get out of the shower in my bathrobe imitating the movements of a consummate showman.
Windsurfing Windsurfing – Lucio Battisti
“And already” is the only album in which Battisti signs the lyrics together with his wife. The imagery of this very naive piece is pure escapism. It hurts to discover that even Battisti was so stressed by work that he wanted to escape to the sea away from everything, but it moves me to imagine Lucio finally free to follow his creative vein without the constraints of Mogol’s texts, ready for his new phase, for the white albums, for Pasquale Panella and for the future.
I’m Only Sleeping – The Beatles
In this psychedelic song, John Lennon (known lazy who loved to spend hours lying in bed) perfectly paints the atmosphere of prolonged doze on purpose not to get up. The text clearly states what to think of those who do not understand the importance of unproductiveness “Everybody seems to think I’m lazy, I don’t mind, I think they’re crazy”. PS it is also for positions like this that i
Beatles are my favorite band.
Wonderful day – Vasco Rossi
This very stylish sounding track relaxes me just thinking about it. If Lou Reed in “Perfect Day” tells with a lot of irony a postcard perfect day complete with a ride to the park, cinema and then home, Vasco’s point of view in this passage is that of someone who has already spent his wonderful day without giving us many details. In both of these masterpieces it is very probable that it is a day “Stravissuta, spoiled, bewildered”.
Mal d’Afrique – Franco Battiato
I wanted to propose “Scalo A Grado” (the detailed account of Battiato’s trip to the North-East) for the sense of freedom it conveys to me, but then I chose Mal d’Africa. Why? Because it speaks of the afternoon nap: a very wise habit of the Mediterranean culture. Only a civilization completely devoid of common sense forces you to work even when it would be appropriate to take a refreshing nap.
Another round around the house – Amari
The Amari are the first to mix indie and rap in Italy. This passage moves me because it talks about taking it easy before going home with a walk to get lost in the surroundings. Lately I can’t afford this luxury which perhaps would make even the streets of the dormitory districts more pleasant, designed only for whizzing by car in one’s “living niche” without walking around and meeting other humans.
Long Playing Afternoon – BornaJeans
BornaJeans is a new heroine of the Italian underground scene who produces her 80s/90s Sanremo-style hits completely at home. In this passage, she talks about the little joys of wandering the record shops on Saturdays: the only day that those who work from Monday to Friday truly enjoy. How about increasing this pleasure with a simple choice that would improve many lives like a short work week?
I Like to Stay Home – R. Stevie Moore
The first hero of lo-fi music sings about the joys of domestic life, probably inspiring the song “Casalingo” by Bugo who will promote lo-fi music in Italy in the 2000s. Texting is the perfect antidote to FOMO: the fear of missing out on something cooler happening elsewhere that rises when you’re on social media too much. “I don’;t care about. About going anywhere. I don’t think about about appearing anywhere. I got enough to do right here”.
This song opens the homonymous album by Franz Ferdinand and the refrain expresses a great truth that should be remembered to those who live only to work: “It’s always better on holiday, so much better on holiday. That’s why we only work when we need the money”. It seems self-evident but not all people take it for granted.
This song can help them.
Magic Life – Hammers
I’d love to write songs about love and good feelings but at the moment I can’t, I’m too traumatized by how we passively accept that work and profit eat up our lives and our planet. I had hoped that the forced pause of the lockdowns would have increased the general level of awareness on the issue but instead we have seen an acceleration in the opposite direction. For all these reasons it’s time to sing “End of work. magical life”.