Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day…

It is probably just me…but ever since 1983–I seem to hear Bono’s words…ever single New Year’s Day…and does anything really change…on New Year’s Day?

New-years-day-videoNew Year’s Day” is a song by rock band U2. It is on their 1983 album War and it was released as the album’s lead single in January 1983. Written about the Polish Solidarity movement, “New Year’s Day” is driven by Adam Clayton‘s distinctive bassline and The Edge‘s piano and guitar playing. It was the band’s first UK hit single, peaking at #10 on the singles chart, #11 on the Dutch Top 40 and charting on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States for the first time in their career. In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine placed the single at #435 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time“. This song was also included in the Pitchfork 500

The lyric had its origins in a love song from Bono to his wife, but was subsequently reshaped and inspired by the Polish Solidarity movement. The bass part stemmed from bassist Adam Clayton trying to figure out what the chords to the Visage song “Fade to Grey” were.

In 1983, Bono said of the song, “It would be stupid to start drawing up battle lines, but I think the fact that ‘New Year’s Day’ made the Top Ten indicated a disillusionment among record buyers. I don’t think ‘New Year’s Day’ was a pop single, certainly not in the way that Mickie Most might define a pop single as something that lasts three minutes and three weeks in the chart. I don’t think we could have written that kind of song.”

New Year’s Day Original Video:  The video was one of their first to see heavy rotation on MTV. It was filmed in SälenSweden in December 1982 and directed by Meiert Avis. The band only appeared in the performance scenes of the video as it was filmed in the dead of the Swedish winter. U2 guitarist Edge revealed in the official U2 biography that the four people riding on horseback in the video that appeared to be the four U2 members were in fact four Swedish teenage girls disguised as the members of U2 riding on horseback with masks over their faces. This was done as the band were frozen from shooting the video in sub-freezing temperatures the day before. Their biography states that Bono refused to wear any headgear despite the cold weather and had a lot of trouble mouthing the lyrics.The video also features footage of Soviet troops advancing in winter during World War II.

So…does anything change on New Year’s Day?  Perhaps not… but the hope for change…remains.

Yeah…

All is quiet on New Year’s Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it’s true it’s true…
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I…I will begin again
I…I will begin again

Oh…
Maybe the time is right
Oh…maybe tonight…

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

And so we’re told this is the golden age
And gold is the reason for the wars we wage
Though I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes
On New Year’s Day
On New Year’s Day

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