Longtime Sunshine

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"Longtime Sunshine"
Longtime Sunshine cover
Demo by Weezer
Album Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo
Released December 18, 2007
Recorded 1994
Length 3:15
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
RC# 171
Producer(s) Rivers Cuomo
Status officially released
Live debut June 7, 2011
Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo track listing
"Longtime Sunshine"
"Blast Off!"
Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition) track listing
"Butterfly (alternate take)"
"Long Time Sunshine"
"Getting Up and Leaving"
Songs from the Black Hole (Tracklist 1) track listing
"What Is This I Find?"
"Longtime Sunshine"
"Longtime Sunshine (Reprise)"
Alone III: The Pinkerton Years 1994-1997 track listing
"Now I Finally See"
"Longtime Sunshine"
"I'm Lonely on a Saturday Night"
Rivers Cuomo song chronology
"Getting Up and Leaving"
(RC# 170)
"Longtime Sunshine"
(RC# 171)
"When You're Alone"
(RC# 172)
Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition)
Pinkerton (Deluxe Edition)

"Longtime Sunshine" (sometimes written "Long Time Sunshine") is a song written by Rivers Cuomo in 1994.



"Longtime Sunshine" was written in January of 1994. At the time, Rivers was feeling very nervous about the uncertainty of his future. Said Rivers in the liner notes for Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo,

Rivers Cuomo head.png
In the midst of struggling to make it as a rock star in Los Angeles, I started longing for the safety, peace, quiet, simplicity, and family structure of my New England childhood. I thought back to one of my favorite memories, lying in the bottom bunk, my brother in the top, in our bedroom in our farmhouse in Eastford, Connecticut, in the hot, hot, summer, 7, 8 p.m., sun still up, but having to go to sleep because it's our bedtime, one of those big box fans blowing, and my parents, Ma and Steve, sitting at our bedside, singing an old hippie song to us, to calm us down and ease us into sleep, "May the Longtime Sun Shine Upon You."

I borrowed the hook phrase from this song and set about writing my own song to capture my feelings of loss and longing. I wrote it on my mom's piano when I was back in Connecticut at Christmas. My mom had a piano because I told her that the house seemed too quiet and I was worried about her living in silence, all alone after my step-dad left. So that is how "Longtime Sunshine" came to exist.

When I recorded this track, I had just bought a clarinet and figured out how to play a few notes. Because of my poor embouchure it sounds very much like a kazoo.
- Rivers Cuomo,

The song was later considered for the unfinished "rock-opera" concept album Songs from the Black Hole. In the context of the album, "Longtime Sunshine" is a slow, piano-driven ballad about lead character Jonas' longing to return to a simpler time. Though the song was later dropped in subsequent drafts and track listings, the initial draft for the album concluded with the song (concluding with modified lyrics from Cuomo's original demo), following Jonas' decision to sacrifice himself to save the rest of the crew:

turns out there's no goal there to be accomplished. Turns out they were just guinea pigs being filmed the whole time. Thanks for participation. There are 5 light speed transporters that will bring them back but they realize that with Maria's baby there are now 6. Jonas volunteers to be stranded. He sings longtime sunshine as the transporters take off and the star supernovas.

Goodbye friends
Goodbye my girl
I close my eyes as you fly away

Though the Black Hole would ultimately be scrapped, Karl Koch has noted that "Longtime Sunshine" was meant to close Pinkerton until "Butterfly" was written, very late in the sessions. The song lived on, however, and was considered for Cuomo's Homie music project in 1997 (though it was never played live). Cuomo released the original demo to fans online in 2002, and it was later included on the 2007 collection Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo. Later, a version recorded during the Pinkerton sessions (with a special coda ending) was released in 2010 on the Deluxe Edition of Pinkerton. A short, Cuomo-only demo of a reprise of "Longtime Sunshine" also appeared on the compilation Alone III: The Pinkerton Years 1994-1997 (listed simply as "Longtime Sunshine") in 2011. The track also includes a short, instrumental reprise of the song "Superfriend".

During the filming of the second video for "Island in the Sun" in 2001, Rivers played "Longtime Sunshine" on acoustic guitar for director Spike Jonze. A few seconds of this performance were included in a behind the scenes video released on Weezer.com. It is unknown why Cuomo was playing the song.

During a Memories Tour concert on June 7, 2011 in Austin, TX, Weezer performed the song live for the first time, featuring a new arrangement. The song was played live a number of additional times, including on The Weezer Cruise. The song was brought back for a performance at an NPR Music Tiny Desk concert in 2019.

Title origins

The "old hippy song" that the song is based on is the last four minutes of "A Very Cellular Song," which appears on the Incredible String Band's 1968 album The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter and was written by band member Mike Heron. The original song does in fact use a Jew's harp, a kazoo-like instrument. As the standalone song "May the Long Time Sun Shine On You," this excerpt became very popular among the hippie movement and even in Sikh religious services after its release and has often been assumed to be a much older or more traditional composition.[1]

Special Coda Mix

The "Special Coda Mix" is a version of the song experimented with while the band was working with the Black Hole concept, and is the version that appears on the Deluxe Edition of Pinkerton. It consists of an overlapping medley of vocals from "Longtime Sunshine", "Why Bother?", "No Other One", "I Just Threw Out the Love of My Dreams", and "Blast Off!".


Demo version

  • Rivers Cuomo – piano, lead vocals, percussion, bass guitar, clarinet

Studio version



1994 demo

Sometimes I wanna pack it all up
Get on a bus and move to Vermont
Or Maine, or any of those states back east
That I remember.

Sometimes I wanna go back to school
An east coast college with some history
I'd be satisfied, I know, in the simple things

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

Sometime I wanna build a house
With a wood stove or a fire place
In the middle of the living room
An old piano
Sometimes it don't seem so bad
To settle down with a good woman
Leave this lonely life behind forever, and ever

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

Sometimes I wanna get in a car
Close my eyes and drive real fast
Keep on going 'til I get some place
Where I can truly rest

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

Pinkerton sessions

Goodbye friends, goodbye my girl
Close my eyes as you fly away
Keep on going 'til you get some place
Where you can truly rest.

Longtime sunshine
Longtime sunshine upon me

(Rivers, repeated:) Longtime sunshine, longtime sunshine, longtime sunshine upon me
(Brian, repeated:) Why bother? It's gonna hurt me, it's gonna kill when you desert me
(Matt, repeated:) He is in my eyes, he is in my ears, he is in my blood, he is in my tears
(Rivers:) No, there is no other one. No, there is no other one. Can't have any other one, even though I would with one
(Rivers:)Blast off! Up to the stars we go, and leave behind everything I use to know
Somebody's giving me a whole lot of money to do what I think I want to
So why am I still feeling blue?
Oh, Wuan and Dondó

See Also


  1. Wittstamm, Willem. "May the Long Time Sun Shine Upon You: Where It All Began..." Aquarian Times Feb/March 2009. https://studentsofyogibhajan.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Where-it-all-began.pdf