Single Review: Moby “Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday)”

Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday)
Album: 18
Year: 2003

A young woman grieves for her lost lover in the tragic “Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday.”)

A piano opens with bleak notes as the Sylvia Brown “Sunday” sample starts. Brown is awestruck and rattled. Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day filled with promise and hope. However, sadness has washed over her. But she’s in shock and can only focus on what a wonderful day Sunday was. (“Sunday was a bright day yesterday/Dark cloud has come into the way.”)

The lyric is repeated several times. However, new instrumentation is added with each repetition. It goes as follows: 1) ominous piano 2) quiet drums and piano, 3) consoling strings. With each instrumentation change, it conveys a further sense of her denial about Monday.

The strings accompany Brown as she says the days are usually serene and uneventful before a tragedy occurs. (“They sing to the darkest night/long before.”)

The tone becomes troubled as Brown torments herself, believing she did something wrong to cause his death. She scolds herself for not seeing the signs. (“Why can’t I face it/Am I too blind to see/Why did he go/Why did he leave me.”)

The strings return as the main melody as the single begins again. The same pattern is followed as before but with additional “oohs.” (“Sunday was a bright day…come into the way.”) An encouraging piano breaks in, to accompany Brown’s “Oo-oo-oo-oo-oooo/La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.”)

After the last “Sunday was a bright day…come into the way,” Brown “oooo-oo-oo-oooo/La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.” until the single’s abrupt end.

Grief has consumed Brown in “Sunday,” which Moby conveys with sensitivity and patience. The original “Sunday” seems to have been a typical break-up song. However, Moby brings another dimension to the song by only selecting certain lyrics and building a consistent tone around it.

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