Sunglasses have been the subject of a few songs over the years. Corey Hart sang about ‘Sunglasses At Night’, Timbuk 3 throught ‘The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades’ and goth band The Cramps have recorded a song called ‘Sunglasses After Dark’. But long before these guys were trying to look cool, Hilary (Archibald) was donning some dark glasses. But she was not needing to protect her eyes from the effects of the sun, but rather she was hiding her tears as she had spotted her guy making out with another while on the beach.
While this little pop gem from 1968 may sound a little cheesy nowadays, there is still a certain poignancy to the heartbreak that hides behind the sweet girlie voice. The song was first recorded by Sandy Posey who had a big hit in South Africa with ‘Single Girl’. That version is all orchestral and melancholic while Tracey Ullman’s 1984 cover is melodramatic ‘Cyndi Lauper’ quirky and while some may prefer those versions, there is something about Hilary’s candy-coated sadness that makes this version worth a listen.
‘Suglasses’ was the second song by a local woman to go to number 1 on the Springbok Radio charts (the first being Carike Keuzenkamp with ‘Timothy’) where it stayed for 7 weeks, an all time record for a local lass. Hilary re-recorded the ‘Sunglasses’ part of the Let’s Play SA medley in 1983, sadly in 1989 she passed away from cancer in her early 40s.
Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 1 (1994) GMP, CDGMPD 40485 (CD)