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Performances Song History Lyrics

Ether Sunday

Also Known As: Sunday Morning

Music/Lyrics: Anastasio/Lawton/Markellis

Vocals: Trey

Original Artist: Trey Anastasio

Original Album: Trey Anastasio (2002)

Albums: Trey Anastasio

Historian: Tim Wade (TheEmu)

Last Update: 2011-09-28

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a lazy Sunday in July. It’s warm, but not hot, and you rock back and forth on your porch swing while sipping a cold lemonade and enjoying a slight breeze. This morning is about taking your time and soaking in the beauty, and all that’s needed to complete the picture is the one you love to share it with. Got that feeling? That’s what “Ether Sunday” is all about.

The gentle ballad that concludes Trey Anastasio’s self-titled solo debut album is one of those tunes whose gentle, swaying rhythm and afterglow imagery make a smile almost impossible to suppress. The lyrics capture the sublime moments of a summer morning when the world opens itself and invites you to share in its simple perfection: Beams of sunlight making silhouettes dance on the blinds, the soft breathing of a dozing friend, birdsongs blending with the music on your mind. It’s a beautiful dream that is meant to be shared, and “Ether Sunday” leaves us with the wish that, sometime soon, it will be.

The song’s title, while obviously a classic example of Trey’s playful wit, evokes the mythological god Aether, the upper air of purity and light which was breathed by immortals. At a moment like that described in “Ether Sunday,” the mundane aspects of life seem to evaporate and bring us closer to the vivid world of the divine.

“Ether Sunday” first dawned as the Set II closer on 2/21/01 in Boston, and while the song’s structure and sentiment were in place, the images had yet to mature. The lyrics would be reworked for the album version and make their live debut with the Dectet on 5/21/02 in Seattle, WA. Be sure to check out 10/28/05 in Vegas – Trey’s only solo acoustic performance to date – when he explains the “Hammy’s in the kitchen” line. Fans of this tune should be attentive to its quiet and delicate nature so that, hopefully, we will continue to discover these hidden ether eggs for years to come!

TAB – ”Ether Sunday” 2/20/11 Boston, MA

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