One Day Like This

Album: The Seldom Seen Kid (2008)
Charted: 4
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Songfacts®:

  • This was the last song on The Seldom Seen Kid to be written. Garvey explained to the Manchester Evening News: "We were buzzing, we'd just got our new deal and it was like a breath of fresh air. It was like 'thank God that's happened at last, let's chuck this song together'. It was dead simple. We wanted to do something very uplifting and very positive. That's where the line 'One day a year like this will see me right' comes from. It's very northern, and that's maybe why it's not done as well abroad. Maybe they can't get their head around it."
  • This won the award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically at the 2009 Ivor Novello awards. It was a double whammy for Elbow at the ceremony as another of their songs, "Grounds for Divorce," won the gong for Best Contemporary Song.
  • The song was chosen to soundtrack England's unsuccessful 2018 World Cup bid. It has also been used as the backing music in numerous UK television shows including "the best bits" montage for Big Brother 9, the series four finale of the drama Waterloo Road and in an episode from the third season of the Torchwood series.
  • The song was inspired by Garvey's girlfriend, author Emma Jane Unsworth. "Yes, it was about falling in love with Emma Jane," he told The Sun. "Even though the lyrics are quite bleak. I'm saying 'I'm not having a good time most of the time but today is great.'"
  • The song entered the top five of the UK singles chart for the first time after it was played live by Elbow at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games.
  • Sarah Brightman released an upbeat cover as the second single from her 2013 album Dreamchaser. The intro to the cover's official video kicks off its travels around a colorful, celebrating world with a written quote from Brightman herself. "From east to west the sun illuminates the rich variety of our lives. We can never own it, but it is ours as a gift forever – a wealth greater than any possession. We dance into the fading light leaving shadows in the footsteps of generations, as we leave our own prints for others to follow; but even as night falls, the darkness will always give way to light – to a new day – one day like this."

    In our interview with Brightman, she explained that the optimistic tone of the song, and its theme surrounding the idea of life experiences, is what drew her to making a cover. "One small experience can last you a lifetime," she told us. "And nowadays, we're very greedy for experience. I just thought about the deeper meaning of the song, what it was trying to say."
  • Sir Michael Caine picked this as one of his Desert Island Discs. He said: "I was watching Glastonbury and I thought, 'Who the bloody hell are this lot?' I thought, 'That's great.'"
  • Elbow keep listeners waiting for two minutes and 6 seconds before reaching the uplifting chorus for the first time. They then repeat it five more times throughout the remainder of the song.
  • Speaking to NME in 2022, Guy Garvey reflected on the power of "One Day Like This."

    "It's that one great big song we've got, isn't it?" he said. "When we were writing it we were feeling that it might become a popular anthem. The balance of the song is that the tone that it strikes is not saying that everything's rosy, it's saying 'this moment is rosy'. That gives people reason to throw their mouth open and their head back in song."

Comments: 2

  • Ricky Hancock from LiverpoolThe young lad throwing the sign, where was he?
  • Dale from Cambridge, United KingdomThis song means everything to me, and I cry everytime I hear it. So full of emotion, atmosphere and also very sentimental to me. The verse 'What made me behave that way?
    Using words I never say
    I can only think it must be love
    Oh, anyway, it's looking like a beautiful day' reminds me of the arguments I had with the love of my life following our breakup. I think the singer wants to explain to his love that there is a fine line between love and hate, and in the end, he just wants to shrug it off and turn it around and be strong, in 'well, anyway, it's doesn't matte anymore because today is a beautiful day in my life'.
    The song in general, from my point of view reminds me of the last six months. I lost my job, a lot of friends, family, girlfriend and when I couldn't think of my situation being any worse, this song reminds me that we I have a beautiful day ahead cause things can't get any worse, and also people are a lot worse off than I am.
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