One Better Day

Album: Keep Moving (1984)
Charted: 17
Play Video


  • Written by Madness frontman Graham "Suggs" McPherson and bass guitarist Mark Bedford, this single is about two homeless people who fall in love. Suggs explained in an interview with Daniel Rachel for the book The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters: "The idea of that song was when you'd hear people say, 'Oh, he's seen better days,' like when you see a guy in a suit looking a bit tatty. I thought, 'What was that one better day?' Then I had the idea that he would meet this other homeless person that happened to be a woman - and they fell in love. Between them they could engender one better day as people who had, supposedly, seen better days."
  • The opening lyrics refer to Arlington House, which is a homeless shelter in Camden Town, London - the band's hometown.
  • This was chosen at the last minute to be the album's second single (in the UK) in place of "Victoria Gardens."
  • The music video was shot in front of Arlington House in Camden Town and features the band members dressed as homeless people. Because it was their last single through Stiff Records, the label didn't want to film a video, so the band funded it themselves. Suggs' wife, Bette Bright, makes a cameo appearance as a homeless woman in the clip.

Comments: 1

  • Ian from Isle Of Wight Arlington House was originally a Victorian workhouse where the poor were sent to live , in the 1920s it was still essentially a work house though not quite as arcane , it was a place where unmarried mothers of the working class were sent to give birth , one of my uncles was born there !
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Richie McDonald of Lonestar

Richie McDonald of LonestarSongwriter Interviews

Richie talks about the impact of "Amazed," and how his 4-year-old son inspired another Lonestar hit.

Mike Love of The Beach Boys

Mike Love of The Beach BoysSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist of The Beach Boys talks about coming up with the words for "Good Vibrations," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Kokomo" and other classic songs.

Songs About Movies

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien Songs

The Truth Is Out There: A History of Alien SongsSong Writing

The trail runs from flying saucer songs in the '50s, through Bowie, blink-182 and Katy Perry.

Adam Duritz of Counting Crows

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

Yacht Rock!

Yacht Rock!Song Writing

A scholarly analysis of yacht rock favorites ("Steal Away," "Baker Street"...) with a member of the leading YR cover band.