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She's Only Happy in the Sun--A Cover Story

Updated on March 13, 2013
AMAPELE Kaikamahine o Hawaiian Odysseus
AMAPELE Kaikamahine o Hawaiian Odysseus | Source

Hey! Since When Did THIS Word Mean THAT?

Words are powerful.

Especially when you discover one day that a word you've been using for almost all of your life has taken on a new meaning.

Take the word, cover, for example.

For as long as I can remember, a cover was something a little boy screwed haphazardly back onto a sticky jar after making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. His ability to do so successfully was directly proportional to whether or not he'd asked Mom first.

It was also something you put on a pot in order to keep the lobsters from crawling out as they began to realize the sudden rise in water temperature wasn't exactly due to an upgrade in lifestyle.

In Little League baseball, it was something the first baseman did to his base whenever a grounder was hit to the left side of the infield. Training a little kid to do that was simple enough. The really challenging thing for the coach was to teach the youngster not to cover the base when the ball was hit to the right--or first base--side of the pitcher's mound.

When watching Combat on television, "Take cover!" was Sgt. Saunders' sharp order to his men when either an enemy plane was about to strafe them or the staccato beat of a bunker machine gun was tearing the otherwise silent night apart. Childhood games mimicking this defensive tactic resulted in a few cuts and bruises as we'd more often than not take cover in the thorny lantana bushes.

In high school, it was an intransitive verb one would ask a good pal to do. Eh, Kimo! I like go surfin' Tuesday morning! Bitchin' killah waves down at Nort' Shoah! Covah fo' me at school, brah! Eh, why you be li' dat? I do the same for you, bruddah!

It was something your bed didn't need in the honeymoon period of wedded bliss. Decades later, it was something you'd wrestle with your spouse over in the middle of the night.

Anyway, you get my point. A word can mean a lot of different things.

The Lyrics


(Words and music by Ben Harper and Dean Butterworth)

I know you may not want to see me

On your way down from the clouds

Would you hear me if I told you

That my heart is with you now

She's only happy in the sun

She's only happy in the sun

Did you find what you were after?

The pain and the laughter brought you to your knees

But if the sun sets you free, sets you free

You'll be free indeed, Indeed

She's only happy in the sun

She's only happy in the sun

Every time I hear you laughing, I hear you laughing

It makes me cry

Like the story of life, of your life

Is hello, goodbye

She's only happy in the sun

She's only happy in the sun

Vintage Dictionaries Aside...This is What COVER Now Means

I stumbled onto the newest definition of cover about two years ago. And I'm glad I did.

A DVD was presented to me by a family member. The subject was a benefit concert at Walla Walla University. Students and citizens from the local area were asked to donate blankets for the homeless in Portland, Oregon. A beautiful cause, indeed.

The featured entertainers were a young musician named Ryan and two sisters, Kristen and Kendra. A third of the numbers were solos performed by Ryan, who accompanied his singing with guitar and piano. For the rest of the program, Kendra provided accompaniment with her upright bass, and Kristen sang a solo and several duets with Ryan while playing a violin.

Months later, I learned that some of the songs from that concert were now featured on YouTube.

I was delighted to discover that my favorite song from the set, a beautiful ballad entitled, She's Only Happy in the Sun, written (in collaboration with Dean Butterworth) and originally performed and recorded by Ben Harper, was one of the songs someone from Walla Walla University had chosen to share on YouTube.

Just as I had thoroughly enjoyed the first time I'd ever heard this haunting melody and its bittersweet lyrics, I reveled in putting on my earphones, enlarging the video presentation to full screen, turning up the volume, kicking back in my computer chair, and watching this wonderful performance by the talented young Hawaiian/Asian/German man.

And in so doing, I learned a brand new, contemporary Generation X, Y, and Z definition of the word, cover. As wikipedia defines it: In popular music, a cover version or cover song, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording of a contemporary or previously recorded, commercially released song or popular song.

She's Only Happy in the Sun, performed by Ryan (Liana, Keiki Kane O Hawaiian Odysseus)


Submit a Comment

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @rajan jolly

    Glad you liked it, Rajan! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing in this experience! My son surprised me with his ability to hit that falsetto note in the song. : ) I know you can relate when I say that we parents are blessed to have had our children for a season and doubly blessed when they turn out to be fine young adults. Have a great rest of the weekend and a productive and memorable week ahead!

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    How varied is the meaning of words and how their meaning changes over time! This was a fun and interesting read, my friend. Thoroughly enjoyable.

    Voted up.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you, Sarah. My son is the singer, and my daughter is the model. Glad you liked it!

  • sarahshuihan profile image

    Sarah 4 years ago from USA

    Great hub as always!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Mike Robbers

    Hi, Mike!

    Thank you so much for your kind feedback. Yes, that was my son, Ryan, performing the cover, and I was so proud of him and his two young lady friends who put on this benefit concert to help the homeless in Portland, Oregon.

    I'm grateful for the opportunity God gave me through HubPages to share this song and article with all the viewers.


  • Mike Robbers profile image

    Mike Robbers 5 years ago from London

    This song is really beautiful, loved the lyrics and melody. I listened the Ben Harper's original performing by curiosity and I can say that I liked the cover more :)

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state


    Hi! Good to hear from you again! Yes, I really enjoyed writing this Hub...everything about is very close to my heart.

    I still think about that Hub you wrote where you shared pictures of yourself and your family. I especially liked the photo where you were standing by the van. It is simply amazing, isn't it, how time flies quickly by the older we get? Ah, to be young again, knowing what we know now. LOL!

    It's a sincere pleasure to be a part of this mutual "followship," my friend. Blessings to you and your family! BTW, are you planning to write a Hub about the upcoming presidential election? With your style, savvy, and wit, it'd be a terrific article. In any event, I remain,

    Honored to be a writer peer of yours here on HP!

  • pagesvoice profile image

    Dennis L. Page 5 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

    Voted up, useful and interesting. Well my friend, you hooked me with the title and once I started reading your article I couldn't stop. I'm glad to know a fellow Combat watcher. I loved that show. Words are so interesting and I think you did a great job of CYA in explaining the new meaning of "Cover." It's always a pleasure to read your work.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state


    Thank you, Tom! Your comment was clever and punny! LOL! Hey, my son, Ryan, the subject of this Hub, happens to be in your state this week undergoing some corporate training. He's enjoying a wonderful view of Boston from one of the taller buildings in Bean Town.

    Take care, my friend, and thanks again for being a favorite Hub peer of mine!

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi my friend, i did my best to cover this hub in reading it and found it to be a awesome read . Well done !

    Vote up and more !!!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state


    Thank you very much. The irony is that I have never listened to the original rendition of this song. Sometimes, a cover version so moves a person that it transcends the original.

    Glad you stopped by and enjoyed this Hub, my friend.

  • wetnosedogs profile image

    wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

    That is a lovely song and a grand hub. You have the talent for weaving words to keep people reading.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image

    Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Thank you for reading between the lines and following the coded dots. I know when I wrote it that you would decipher the Hansel and Gretel bread crumbs I was leaving on the trail. The captions say it all, right? LOL! I'm blessed by what you said. Mahalo, Ka'imi'loa!

  • benisan85745 profile image

    Ka'imi'loa 5 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

    I have top dollar that says, although the Mana'o was there, the Mana was weak with hurt to Pau Pono the Hub as intended. Uncle God knows you would like fo' your Mea'Aloha to Ho'i Mai, and as a Makua'kane Maoli O' Koko Kahiko...Koa you must remain nevah mind da heart get full of Pukas, the Mele will for the moment be your Makana to allow you to remember that the two of you are Pilialoha forever Unc.

    Nice Hub