Friday, October 15, 2010

beautiful day

ten years ago this song hit the top of the u.k. singles chart. though it didn't even crack the top twenty in the u.s. it went on to win grammys for song of the year, record of the year, and best rock performance. as the leadoff single for their new album all that you can't leave behind, it marked a return to the guitar sound from their earliest records while still utilizing new techniques like electronification of the chords with a beat box.

according to bono the song is about "a man who has lost everything, but finds joy in what he still has." when it topped the british charts, he told bbc radio one: "this tastes very sweet. you think to yourself, you're a rock band, you don't need the pop charts, but you do need the pop charts. singles are what makes rock sharp, and we've not been great at singles. i can't tell you how excited we feel, we've been around for a while and to hear this song on the radio, it feels very special."

for me, it is an optimistic song about finding joy in the ordinary things around us. no matter where we are or in what seemingly hopeless and muddy situation we find ourselves, we can still see the beauty. it dances along the line between religion and romance. you may dance too.

we played this song at my wedding. it was a beautiful night.

this video was filmed at the charles de gaulle international airport in paris.

the heart is a bloom,
shoots up through the stony ground
but there's no room,
no space to rent in this town

you're out of luck
and the reason that you had to care,
the traffic is stuck
and you're not moving anywhere.

you thought you'd found a friend
to take you out of this place
someone you can lend a hand
in return for grace
it's a beautiful day
the sky falls
and you feel like it's a beautiful daydon't let it get away

you're on the road
but you've got no destination
you're in the mud
in the maze of her imagination

you love this town
even if that doesn't ring true
you've been all over
and it's been all over you

it's a beautiful day
don't let it get awayit's a beautiful day

touch me, take me to that other place
teach me, i know i'm not a hopeless case

see the world in green and blue
see china right in front of you
see the canyons broken by cloud
see the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
see the bedouin fires at night
see the oil fields at first light, and
see the bird with the leaf in her mouth
after the flood, all the colors came out

it was a beautiful day
don't let it get away
a beautiful day

touch me, take me to that other place
reach me, i know i'm not a hopeless case

what you don't have you don't need it now
what you don't know you can feel it somehow
what you don't have you don't need it now
don't need it now
was a beautiful day

'always' is the embryonic song out of which 'beautiful day' would spring.

the edge recalled "(the song) had come through various different incarnations and though we'd always felt it had something it was kind of hard to see where it was going. really, the moment it got exciting was when bono hit on the lyric: 'it's a beautiful day.' it seems in some ways such a banal sort of lyric, but combined with the music something wild happened and we all recognized it. then brian (eno) contribution was that fantastically euro kick drum opening and keyboard line, and that gave us the clue as to where it should go next."

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