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That Wonderful Day is a feel-good song is not immediately apparent. It doesn’t bombard you with happy bouncy musical cliches or regale you with jaunty lyrics. What it does goes much much deeper than that. . .
Wonderful Day is a large, ambitious song. It stretches back to the beginning of time, to the “let there be light” moment and the first dawning of the wonder of daylight. Our greatest gift, life, is the direct result of this “wonderful day.”
While the first verse celebrates this gift, in the second verse “wonderful day” takes on a new meaning. Though the daylight, and nature, provide for humankind’s basic needs, some of those humans “steal the warmth and shade the light,” causing conflict and the inevitable rise of rulers that accompanies it.
As is their nature, rulers validate and expand themselves by ramping up conflict into war, conscripting their subjects to carry it out for them and controlling those subjects through oppression, conformity, and fear. This is as true today as it was in ancient times and, sadly, helps explain the negative tilt of the “human condition” as we know it and as expressed by Rousseau in his phrase “Man is born free [yet] everywhere he is in chains.”
In the song’s lyrical climax, the phrase “wonderful day” returns, this time as an expression of freedom and an antidote to those who seek to control. The song’s final expression is that “having a wonderful day” is a sane and powerful statement in the guise of a trite phrase. It is the best and perhaps only refuge against the darkness. It is optimism.
But the song does not merely implore the listener to “think positively,” it causes the listener to think positively. This is an optimism born of wisdom and an understanding of the powers at work in the world, not of delusion and mere hope. And that’s what feels so empowering and so good about it. And that is also why the feeling lasts and is felt still more with each subsequent listen.
The swaying, almost hypnotic feel of the musical track is the perfect accompaniment to the lyric. The tune, harmony, and arrangement are in their own ways as positive as the lyric and spend an entire wordless verse in the middle of the song proving it.
So hear it. Feel it. And know that the wonderful day you choose to have is not only your expression of gratitude for the greatest gift in the universe, life, but is also the perfect way to enjoy that gift.
About Eric Wrobbel
This songwriter, artist, musician, and humorist has written and produced hundreds of tracks for himself and others, usually singing and playing most if not all parts on these recordings. Rarely performing live, he almost exclusively focuses his musical efforts as a studio artist, working in a wide range of styles that have variously been described as rock, folk, country, psych, humor, and pop.
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