Everyday

Album: Everyday (2001)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This uplifting song is very simple in its message:

    All you need is
    All you want is
    All you need is love


    The Beatles recorded a song with a nearly identical theme in 1967, but by that time they had stopped touring. Matthews' "Everyday" brought the message of radiant, universal love to the throngs of fans at concerts, leaving a little more good in the world.
  • The guitar part was borrowed from a song called "#36," which Dave Matthews band had been playing live in some form since 1993 but never successfully recorded. "#36" can be found on the 1997 album Live At Red Rocks, recorded at a show in 1995.
  • This song sprung out of Dave Matthews' first session with producer Glen Ballard, who learned from Quincy Jones while working at the Quest label in the '80s and spent the '90s making hits for Wilson Phillips, Alanis Morissette and Aerosmith. Matthews decided to work with Ballard after fruitlessly recording with producer Steve Lillywhite for about six months at the band's studio in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Dave Matthews Band had recorded their first three albums with Lillywhite, so it was rather disheartening when they bogged down on their fourth. To get out of the funk and moving forward, Matthews started from scratch with Ballard, setting out to write at least one song at Ballard's studio in Los Angeles where the Jagged Little Pill magic happened.

    During his time working for Quincy Jones, Ballard learned how to get the best out of an artist by creating a structured but relaxed atmosphere. He and Matthews developed a quick rapport, and Matthews had no trouble adapting to Ballard's workflow.

    "Everyday" started with a keyboard part Ballard played; Matthews integrated the guitar section from the DMB live song "#36," and the two came up with lyrics to suit the groove, which was hopeful and positive. They had a demo of the song that night, lifting a huge weight off the shoulders of Matthews, who described his previous six months in the studio as like "trying to s--t out a watermelon." He and Ballard were off and running; they wrote the entire album together over the next 10 days, then brought the band in from Virginia to record it.

    "Between him, Alanis Morissette and maybe Shelby Lynne, those were the few times that there was such a confluence of our intention, even though we weren't quite sure what that was, but we would just manifest it every day," Glen Ballard said in a Songfacts Interview. "That was another beautiful experience for me, the week we spent together when we wrote all these songs. We were supposed to write one or two, but we ended up writing a whole album. When you have the right two people in the room, anything can happen."
  • This is one of the most popular live songs for the band, and a singalong number for the audience. When DMB started playing "Everyday" live, fans recognized the guitar line from "#36," which has the refrain, "honey, honey, come and dance with me," so they started singing those lyrics in the instrumental passages at the beginning and end of the song, starting a longstanding tradition.
  • Vusi Mahlasela, a popular singer in Dave Matthews' native South Africa, sings on this track with Matthews. That's him at the beginning with the "pick me up, love!" line.
  • Boyd Tinsley's violin on this track was put through a wah-wah pedal to get a distinct sound.
  • The DMB song "When The World Ends" was set to be the third single from the Everyday album, but when the United States was attacked by terrorists on 9/11, those plans were abandoned and "Everyday" was released instead. It wasn't issued until November, when radio stations were once again adding new songs to their playlists, especially ones with a message of hope.
  • Matthews played this on the September 21, 2001 "Tribute To Heroes" telethon. Almost 60 million people watched the event, which raised over $150 Million to benefit the victims of the terrorist attacks on America.
  • The video stars Judah Friedlander as a guy who gets out of bed and walks around the DMB stomping grounds of Charlottesville, Virginia, looking for hugs. He has mixed results at first, but as the video goes on, he gets lots of good hugs. He hugs the news team at NBC29; he hugs school children; he hugs the Dave Matthews Band; he hugs football player Tiki Barber; he hugs firemen; he hugs Vincent Pastore, Conan O'Brien, Sheryl Crow, Hallie Eisenberg and Blue Man Group. He even hugs a horse.

    It was directed by Chuck McBride, who was working at an ad agency at the time. It debuted on MTV November 16, 2001, and became one of the most popular videos on the network, earning a VMA nomination for Best Group Video. Friedlander, who had appeared in the movies Meet the Parents and Zoolander, got a role on the hit TV series 30 Rock in 2006, playing Frank Rossitano.

Comments: 12

  • Zach from New Russia, NyI was at SPAC this summer and saw this song played live featuring Vusi Mahlasela. Vusi Mahlasela is who sings the intro to the song on the Album Everyday. Most amazing concert of my life.
  • Matt from Chicago, IlThis is one of the coolest songs to see live. The crownd immediatly starts sings, "Honey, Honey, come and dance with me." Then Dave starts Everyday, then goes into #36 with the story about the girl in the corner. Amazing Energy with the whole crowd taking a big part in this song. I don't think Dave can ever play Everyday without #36, because the crowd would just keep going with it.
  • John from Cleveland, TnFunny, while I love thing song, I've had some great times to this song, the initial sounds make me think of "Long Black Viel" from the Listener Supported album...
  • Izzie from Lala, Hithe music video to this song is so frikkin cute! it makes me so joyful! lol. they did a great job on this video. crash into me is my fave DMB song, but the video to that one doesnt make much sense, but i still like that video anyways!
  • Izzie from Lala, HiTHis is one of my favorite songs by DMB. its great.
  • Luke from Martin, TnA great song with a great video. Someday I shall wander about NYC and hug people.
  • Emma from Indianapolis, InDave was born in South Africa, but in 1986 he moved to Charlottesville where the rest of DMB was located. You're both right.
  • Dan from Port Jervis, NyThe man Tommy referred to was Chris Hani, who was Secretary-General of the South African Communist party, a long-time member of the African National Congress and a well known anti-apartheid activist. Hani was assassinated in 1993.

    #36 originally had lyrics that were quite dark and regarded Hani and his death. Later Dave changed the words, aparrently because he thought the original lyrics didn't fit the light and airy mood of the melody. The new lyrics recalled a prom or high school dance and "Hani, Hani" became "Honey, Honey" By that time though, at most performances the lyrics were largely improvised and often as unintelligible as they are on the Red Rocks live release.

    Dorky lyrics or not, I prefer #36 to this song and I wish they would start to play the full song again. The guitar part for Everyday is similar to #36 but not identical. I really loved the guitar on #36. It was very reggae-ish, much more so than Everyday.
  • Peter from Carmel, InActually, Lucian, Dave is from South Africa. Many of his songs are inspired by stories he heard there, such as the example given by Tommy.
  • Justin from Felts Mills, NyThis is a very good song, despite the ultra-tight production. The lyrics are upbeat, and the rhythms are well-written. I think it's a great song from DMB, if not their greatest. Yet it's good because of its uplifting messages...it is worth a listen.
  • Tommy from Southboro, MaThis song is based off the live song #36, especially the music. The live intro is many times "Honey, Honey, come and dance with me", which used to be written as "Haney, Haney" (not sure of the spelling) to tribute a murdered apartheid activist in South Africa.
  • Lucian from Blacksburg, VaThe video is awesome...its shot in my hometown which i share with DMB...Charlottesville, VA
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"

Dean Friedman - "Ariel"They're Playing My Song

Dean's saga began with "Ariel," a song about falling in love with a Jewish girl from New Jersey.

Mick Jones of Foreigner

Mick Jones of ForeignerSongwriter Interviews

Foreigner's songwriter/guitarist tells the stories behind the songs "Juke Box Hero," "I Want To Know What Love Is," and many more.

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Joe Ely

Joe ElySongwriter Interviews

The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

16 Songs With a Heartbeat

16 Songs With a HeartbeatSong Writing

We've heard of artists putting their hearts into their music, but some take it literally.

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the Song

"Private Eyes" - The Story Behind the SongSong Writing

How a goofy detective movie, a disenchanted director and an unlikely songwriter led to one of the biggest hits in pop history.