Photo: Jeffrey Coolidge (Getty).
Unlike holiday songs, day-of-the-week songs get played all year round. So theoretically, every Tuesday, DJs the world over play “Ruby Tuesday” and consequently put more well-earned cents into Keith Richards’ deep pockets, which simultaneously allows the heroin industry to go on flourishing. And as important as that is, “Ruby Tuesday” didn’t even make this list. That’s crazy, I know, but Tuesday has a lot of contenders, as do most days. Alas, there can only be one “best song” for each.
The Best Song For Each Day Of The Week
“Sunday Morning Coming Down” – Johnny Cash
I’m not just handing this one to Johnny, even though he’s threatening me from the grave, promising to haunt my every Sunday if I don’t give him the crown over such worthy contenders as U2’s “Sunday, Bloody Sunday,” No Doubt and The Velvet Underground’s separate “Sunday Morning” songs (Maroon 5’s need not be considered), Etta James’ “A Sunday Kind of Love,” and the tempting runner-up The Commodores’ “Easy Like Sunday Morning.” But this one is just so poetically deep. Kris Kristofferson wrote it after his wife and kid left, and he learned the hard way that Sunday is by far the worst day of the week to have no one to hold, particularly back in Nashville where the bars didn’t open until after one (yet he still found a way to have a beer for breakfast and one more for dessert). Kris got a lot happier once Johnny Cash took it to No. 1 and depressed the hell out of the rest of us. Beautifully so, of course.
“I Don’t Like Mondays” – The Boomtown Rats
You can see no reasons, cause there are no reasons, but that’s the reason The Boomtown Rats barely beat out “Monday Monday” by The Mamas and Papas, the front-runner among such other worthy contenders as The Bangles’ “Manic Monday,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Monday Morning,” Jimmy Buffett’s “Come Monday,” and T-Bone Walker’s “Call It Stormy Monday.” But some 35 years later, Bob Geldof’s poppy murder ballad may even resonate more than it did when he wrote it, back in 1979 after a 16-year-old girl shot up a playground full of kids in San Diego. The title of the song is the response she gave for why she did it, while adding “this livens up the day.” And yet the majority of the working world has taken it to heart as a plucky sing-along to make the ride to work more bearable after a rowdy weekend.
“Tuesday’s Gone” – Lynyrd Skynyrd
So many good choices here — The Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” The Moody Blues “Tuesday Afternoon,” and ILoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday” (feat. Drake), just to name a few — but I gotta give it to Skynyrd’s “Tuesday’s Gone” because at this point, it’s simply impossible to separate it from the crescendo scene of one my favorite movies “Dazed and Confused.” After Clint beats up the dancing brainiac, when the Moon Tower kegs run dry, Wooderson finally gets that redheads’ phone number, and Randall “Pink” Floyd loses one girl but picks up a hotter one. It’s the second best use of a song in one of the best soundtrack films ever, a song soulful and honest and epic enough to help capture the fleeting nostalgia of all those Tuesday’s gone by the wayside back when you were feeling up cheerleaders under the bleachers.
“Business Time” – Flight of the Conchords
This may just be the thinnest day of the bunch, with the only other real contenders being Simon & Garfunkel’s “Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m.” and John Lee Hooker’s “Wednesday Evening Blues.” But neither of those holds a business sock to the Conchords’ finest number. I hear some of you complaining already that Wednesday should be in the song’s title, or that it should be what the song’s about. I understand your feeling disgruntled, I do. But while the main point of the song is to regale Jermaine’s sexploits, such lothario-ing couldn’t be possible on any other night of the week, “when everything is just right” for weekly lovemaking. If that’s not an ode to Wednesday, then perhaps I’m misconstruing the meaning of Hump Day.
“Thursday (Here’s Why I Did Not Go To Work Today)” – Nilsson
The Weekend’s “Thursday” is tough to beat sonically, and David Bowie gets the sentimental nod with “Thursday’s Child,” but no one feels as passionately about Thursdays as Harry Nilsson on “Thursday (Here’s Why I Did Not Go To Work Today).” Granted, I have no problems with Thursdays myself. In fact, I rather like them. But not Harry, who must have really f**ked up on a Thursday or two to have developed such wariness of the day. Unless there’s some other way of interpreting “If Thursday was a boat, I bet it’d sink,” that is. But, in music, heartfelt always wins. Plus I have to factor in bonus points for giving us all another excellent reason to get out of work, which is basically: “Oh, sorry, couldn’t make it today, you know, Thursday.”
“Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” – Katy Perry
With nearly 100 million YouTube views, the popular choice here would be Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” but what the f**k does popular have to do with best? In this case, nothing, as those 100 million views represent a great many people who are less cool for having seen the video. Yet again, Bowie would be the sentimental pick here with “Friday on My Mind,” which is a better song than his Thursday effort, but just misses taking the top spot here. As does The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love” and Steely Dan’s “Black Friday.” But all these worthy contenders pale in comparison to Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)” for one very important reason — the 1:13 mark of the above video, which, now that I look at it, has over 740 million streams (presumably with most of those pausing at the 1:13 mark). So I guess popularity does win in this case. One for the people!
“Another Saturday Night”
Just to show you I’m not a sentimentalist, Bowie’s “Drive In Saturday” is out of the running, though his bassist does win the consolation prize for best sideburns. I’m sure a lot of you think the winner here should be Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,” but I can’t condone violence. “Saturday Night Special” certainly gets a nod, but we only have seven “best songs” to award here, so would it really be fair if Skynyrd took home two? I’m sure a case could be made for the entire “Saturday Night Fever” album, but since none of those songs even mention Saturday, I won’t be the one making it. And heck, if I was a big skating fan, I might even give the nod to Bay City Rollers’ “Saturday Night,” but skating’s stupid. So basically it comes down to Chicago’s “Saturday In The Park” and Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night,” which is a quandary indeed, but I’ll give it to Cooke since Cat Stevens recorded a version that rival’s both songs in the running, which means one song performed by two solo artists gets more points than one song recorded by many kick-ass bandmates. Because math.
F–k You Day
If you disagree with any of these, please feel free to replace them with this one. Always a solid choice.