The Meaning of Sugar Ray’s “Every Morning”

Sugar Ray scored a massive hit with 1999’s “Every Morning”, the lead single from their third album 14:59. The laid-back, summer-friendly track is a total earworm and absolutely dominated rock radio all over the world upon its release. If you listen closely, you can still hear “Every Morning” ringing out at backyard BBQs and frat parties from time to time.

Lyrically, “Every Morning” tells of a relationship gone wrong, filled with lies and deceit. It’s fairly straightforward, but between the lines the band has buried another layer of meaning that is actually quite dirty.

It all begins with the opening lyrics, where singer Mark McGrath sets the scene:

Every mornin’ there’s a halo hangin’ from the corner
Of my girlfriend’s four-post bed
I know it’s not mine, but I’ll see if I can use it
For the weekend or a one-night stand

Intro lyrics to “Every Morning” by Sugar Ray.

Upon first listen, you may not think twice about the first lyric that mentions a halo hanging from his girlfriend’s four-post bed. It brings to mind the image of an angel who takes off her halo for a bit of bedroom sacrilege from time-to time.

Since she was introduced as his girlfriend, you wouldn’t assume right away that he was talking about cheating. However, considering the rest of the lyrics, he say’s the halo is not his, but he can use it for the weekend or a one-night stand.

There’s no other way to slice this — he’s talking about a condom. It’s his girlfriend’s condom, not his, which reveals that she’s been sleeping around. Instead of getting mad, though, McGrath treats it as a useful item for his own life.

Mark McGrath on the cover of Rolling Stone, March 1999.

This is quite telling as to the state of this relationship, which McGrath dives deeper into in the first verse:

Couldn’t understand
How to work it out
Once again, as predicted, left my broken heart open
And you ripped it out
Something’s got me reelin’
Stopped me from believin’
Turn me around again
Said that we can do it
You know I wanna do it again

First verse to “Every Morning” by Sugar Ray.

The first verse reveals that the pair have continuously tried to work things out, or at least McGrath has, and the girl continues to break his heart. Still, she insists that they can do it, and he gets spun around and caught up in the relationship once again.

It’s clear that this woman has an enchanting effect on our singer, and as suggested by the chorus, some of this has to do with what happens between the pair in the bedroom:

(Sugar Ray say)
Oh
(Every mornin’)
Oh
(Every mornin’ when I wake up)
(Shut the door, baby, don’t say a word)
Oh
(She always rights the wrong, she always rights, she always rights)
(Shut the door, baby, shut the door, baby)

Chorus to “Every Morning” by Sugar Ray.

Even if the two seem to connect sometimes, lies and toxicity plague this relationship, and McGrath is slowly coming around to that reality, between bouts of being sucked back in.

Sugar Ray’s 14:59 (1999)

The second verse turns the halo into heartache, and shows that this woman insists she loves him, while still continuing to go out and sleep with whomever she pleases:

Every mornin’ there’s a heartache hangin’ from the corner
Of my girlfriend’s four-post bed
I know it’s not mine and I know she thinks she loves me
But I never can believe what she said

Second verse to “Every Morning” by Sugar Ray.

It’s gotten to the point where McGrath can’t believe a single thing she says. However, he still can’t bring himself to leave, because she always comes back to turn him around again.

As the song’s title suggests, the meaning of “Every Morning” can be found in the repetitive nature of the relationship. Each morning brings more of the same old story, yet there is something holding him in the relationship.

This is heard in the pre-chorus, just before he is sent back into the whirlwind:

Somethin’ so deceiving, when you stop believin’
Turn me around again
Said we couldn’t do it
You know I wanna do it again

Pre-chorus to “Every Morning” by Sugar Ray.

McGrath does reveal some of what holds him in the relationship. He insists that she always rights the wrong, or that she is good enough to make up for the crappy way that she treats him.

He sings about this in the bridge, before the song drops into another chorus:

She always rights the wrong
For me
Baby
She always rights the wrong
For me

Bridge to “Every Morning” by Sugar Ray.

Finally, in the third verse, we see a complete repetition of the introductory lyrics, which goes to show that after all this, the story is still the same “Every Morning”. This girl is still out cheating on him every night, blatantly not even trying to hide it (leaving condoms all over the place), and yet he still hangs on.

Either my man Mark McGrath is a simp, or this is one extremely attractive, extremely charming woman. More likely, “Every Morning” is a song about both.

Watch the music video below.

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