Let The Day Begin

Album: Let The Day Begin (1989)
Charted: 42 51
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • In this anthemic song, The Call salute just about anyone and everything: teachers, preachers, winners, losers, strangers, loved ones. Even lions. It's very working-class, with no mention of stockbrokers, bankers or the like.
  • This was written by the group's lead singer, Michael Been, who was in his late 30s when it was released. The bearded Been, who died of a heart attack in 2010 at age 60, was a gifted songwriter who remained grounded, earning a loyal following but limiting his MTV appeal. A Christian, he sometimes made religious references in his lyrics - in this one he honors the "preachers of the sacred words."
  • The Call formed in formed in Santa Cruz, California in 1980 and issued their first (self-titled) album in 1982. Their second album, Modern Romans, was released in 1983 and contained "The Walls Came Down," which made #74 US. Often compared to U2, they had a fervent following but never broke through to wider audience. "Let The Day Begin" was their only other chart entry, reaching #51.
  • Al Gore used this as his theme song in his 2000 presidential campaign against George W. Bush. The song wasn't familiar to many listeners, but it conveyed the optimism and blue-collar feel Gore was going for. He came up short, losing the election by 537 votes in Florida. Perhaps if he chose a Tom Petty song, the fate of the nation would have been different.

    As for The Call, they were not asked permission to use the song, but welcomed the publicity.

    In 2008, Democrat Tom Vilsack used it as his campaign song during his 2008 US Presidential Election campaign before monetary constraints forced him to drop out.
  • The song bears some similarity to the 1983 Simple Minds song "Waterfront." The Call opened for Simple Minds on some tours, and the bands became close. According to Simple Minds frontman Jim Kerr, Michael Been ran it by him first, and although they have a similar rhythm, there was no problem.

    Simple Minds sometimes performed "Let The Day Begin," and recorded it for their 2014 album Big Music. "'Let The Day Begin' is like a gospel for the working man," Kerr said in a Songfacts interview. "We feel really proud to play it, especially to people that don't know it, therefore it's a kind of lost treasure."

    Been sang on the 1986 Simple Minds song "Sanctify Yourself"; after his death, Kerr wrote, "To my mind, he had a similar soul that one perceives in true American greats such as Robbie Robertson and even Dylan himself."
  • Los Angeles-based rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club covered this song for their first single from their sixth studio album Specter At The Feast. Their version was done as a homage to The Call's lead singer Michael Been, who suffered a fatal heart attack on August 19, 2010 whilst working as a sound engineer at a BRMC concert in Hasselt, Belgium. He was the father of BRMC's guitarist and vocalist Robert Been and was recognized as an honorary fourth member of his son's band.
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Comments: 6

  • Fred from Laurel, MdI guess when it comes to rock music, this song has it all: a simple, yet catchy, tune/chord structure; some b----in', soaring, slide guitar work; a relentless, righteous beat; and a hopeful message, with optimism for the future. Hearing it can make you young at any age. It sure caught my ear the first time I heard it. BTW, Wikipedia has the chart figures for this song as 42 ("UK"), 51 ("US"), 5 ("US Mod"), and 1 ("US Main"); i.e., it reached #1 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. That deserves a notation at the top, I believe.
  • Fred from Laurel, MdGreat song! I just re-remembered this, but why did I think it was done by Poi Dog Pondering??? Glad to have rediscovered its rightful source, but now I have to wonder, what did PDP do, at around that time, that caused me to connect this song with them? Looking at their whole discography hasn't struck any bells with me. Oh, well.
  • Jim from Long Beach, CaGreat song. The CALL were a great band that deserves more credit than it got....
  • Niles from Belpre, OhI still have the old tape cassette
    I can't let go
  • Jameson from Lexington, KyI was a weekend DJ in college, and I'd start my morning show on Sunday with this song. I had NO listeners, but I had a good time. :)
  • Michael from Tucson, Azw.........................t.........................f. Al.........................gore........................................sux............................................
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