“That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)” (Frankie Laine)

Following a strict Biblical logic, work is a curse (“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return into the ground” [Gen. 3:19]). Double-barreled vocals indicate that one will “sweat ‘til I’m wrinkled and grey,” which is both daunting and depressing for the singer; but also, as the song swells, that the Sun poses an ecstatic, negative example of “paradise.” What’s missing: an account of a rigorous laziness (or what Nancy calls “an extremity of play”) which might thread these seemingly exclusive domains, and place work in the service of what Blanchot calls unworking. As is, one is still conceptualizing the Sabbath, and thereby reinforcing the primacy of labor.

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