Beautiful Suns: Nostalgic Longing Through Pictures and Song| O Sole Mio!

Last year, in the middle of the week, I sent off an email with the request to “send me some sun!”

My desire was to inspire simple creativity by inviting people to participate in an easy collaborative project.  

I was blown away by the wonderful response.  Twenty-two people said, “Yes! Here’s my bit of beauty for you!”

What you will see below is the result of this shared experience – a collection of suns.  You will see photos and drawings that were recognized as beautiful and shared with the world.

I absolutely love anything that fosters a “can-do” spirit regarding creativity and the arts, especially when it involves adults pointing out beautiful things.  

(want to get such invites in the future? click to get our weekly emails)

Why sunshine?

O Sole Mio translates to “My Sunshine.”

The featured song this week is a now famous Neapolitan song from 1898 – O Sole Mio!  A characteristic of many songs from this genre, according to Wikipedia, is that they are about nostalgic longing for Naples as it once was.

Longing for things as they once were – me oh my oh mio! I think we all are doing a share and a half of that these days.


A song that has been performed by such greats as Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti, this celebratory melody has been the base of songs featured by Tony Martin and Elvis Presley.    In the live recording presented here, you can enjoy Nathan Bird (yours truly’s hubby), David Walton, and John DeCausmeaker singing “O Sole Mio” at the 2017 A Three Tenor’s Christmas at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.

Whatever your current state of health, comfort, progressive activism, or nostalgic reminiscence, we hope that you find great peace and joy in the moments that you spend in listening to this song and gazing at these beautiful pictures. 

The lyrics, along with the sun pictures and credits, are also included below in this post.

Thank you so very much to all the contributors!!

Purchase the audio of this, and the whole July collection


LYRICS of “O Sole Mio”
by Giovanni Capurro
English translation compiled from various sources, listed at end of post

What a beautiful thing is a sunny day,

Linda Kussman - Blinding sun pic
photo: Linda Kussman

The serene air after a thunderstorm

Jeff Krogstad 1
photo: Jeff Krogstad*, Boundary Waters Canoe Area

The fresh air, and a party is already going on…

Paul Johnson 2
photo: Paul Johnson*

what a beautiful thing is a day of sunshine.

Toby Getsch
photo: Toby Getsch


But there is another sun that is more beautiful

Kris Koenigsberg
photo: Kris Koenigsberg*

the sunshine of mine is your bright face

Paige McIntire edited
drawing: Paige McIntire, 5

This sun, my own sun,

Gretchen Waldeland - Nebraska Sunrise over Field
photo: Gretchen Waldeland*

Shines from your face;

Nate Farley sketch of sun
drawing: Nate Farley*

It shines from your face!

Yvonne Kludt - Panama City Beach
photo: Yvonne Kludt, Panama City, FL


There is light coming out of your window

J Gerdes sun through barn
photo: Jonathan Gerdes, Caledonia, MN

a laundress singing and she is bragging

Leah Bird 1
photo: Leah Bird, WA

And while she’s wringing the clothes, hanging them up to dry, and singing,

Tom Getsch of Manny carying cup to sandbox
photo: Tom Getsch*, Minnetonka, MN

There is light coming out of your window

Becky McIntire
photo: Becky McIntire*, Colorado Springs, CO


But there is another sun that is more beautiful

J Gerdes sun and reflection over field
photo: Jonathan Gerdes, Caledonia, MN

the sunshine of mine

Averie Griffis age 11 submitted by Kathy Turgeon - edited
artwork: Averie Griffis, 11, MN, submitted by her grandmother, Kathy Turgeon*

is your bright face

Charlie Bird.jpg
drawing: Charlie Bird, 5

This sun,

Bonnie Goodnough - bigger
photo: Bonnie Goodnough

my own sun,

Linda Kussman - filtered through trees
photo: Linda Kussman


Shines from your face;

sun classroom at church - taken by Remy Rodriguez - inspired by Pat Trautman
photo: Remy Rodriguez, inspired by Pat Trautman*

It shines from your face!

Nate Farley 2
photo: Nate Farley*


When the night comes and the sun goes down

Scott 2
photo: Scott Constable, WA

I almost start feeling melancholy;

Leah Bird 2
photo: Leah Bird, WA

And I would like to remain under your window

J G colorful sunset
photo: Jonathan Gerdes, Caledonia, MN

When night is falling

Roger and Betty
photo: Roger and Betty Young*

and the sun is setting

Scott 4
photo: Scott Constable, WA


But there is another sun that is more beautiful

Paul Johnson 1
photo: Paul Johnson*, MN

the sunshine of mine is your bright face

Trace McIntire
drawing: Trace McIntire, 7

This sun, my own sun,

Mark Waldeland - Nebraska Sky at Sunrise - When Morning Gilds the Skies
photo: Mark Waldeland*, NE sunrise “When Morning Gilds the Skies”

Shines from your face;

Patience - edited
drawing: Patience Bird, 8

It shines from your face!

Craig Anderson
photo: Craig Anderson*, Fort Myers Beach, FL

*denotes members of the “SongNotes from the Birds” music-of-the-month subscription club (more info here)

Thank you again to all of our contributors!
I just love love love how this turned out. 
What do you think?
Comments or questions can be sent to
naomi [at] nathanbird [dot] com 

Lyrics Sources’O_sole_mio


Spread a little sunshine.  Literally.  We’d love for you to share this!


Thanks for reading!

~Nathan and Naomi

The July Collection is now available for purchase as a single issue!
See July DIGITAL packet

See July PRINTED packet