Features | Awards

The "Dayenu" Award for a Song Both Ultimately Extraneous and Still Fantastic

By David M. Goldstein | 16 December 2011

Wilco :: “One Sunday Morning”
from The Whole Love
(dBpm; 2011)

Those of us of the Jewish persuasion sing this catchy little ditty on the holiday of Passover known as “Dayenu” (pronounced “Die-ay-noo”). Loosely translated, the phrase means “it would have been enough,” and the song is an upbeat celebration of the gifts that God allegedly bestowed upon the Jewish people (e.g., if he had only led us out of Egypt…Dayenu; if he had only given us the Sabbath…Dayenu; get it?).

Even if The Whole Love didn’t contain “One Sunday Morning,” it would have been enough; it’s easily Wilco’s strongest release since A Ghost is Born (2004). Love is the post-Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002) album that sounds the most like a fully collaborative effort, that revives their dormant experimental tendencies, and that contains some of their catchiest straight-up rock songs since Being There (1996) without ever succumbing to pap like the Feist duet on their last album (and John Stirrat is turned way the fuck up).

But “One Sunday Morning” is more than just Wilco’s finest album closer, it’s arguably in the band’s all-time Top 5, worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and “Misunderstood.” A twelve-minute ballad that can only be described as quietly gorgeous, it contains an instantly memorable melody, never overstays its welcome, and suggests what most had already assumed: Jeff Tweedy was sleepwalking through the previous two Wilco albums. The Whole Love would have been successful enough without the inclusion of “One Sunday Morning,” but we are all richer due to its presence. Dayenu.