A Brighter Day

Album: World Gone Crazy (2010)

Songfacts®:

  • This song got a lot of help from Billy Payne, who played piano on the track. Payne is a founding member of the band Little Feat, and has played on albums by Bob Seger, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor and many others. Doobie Brothers guitarist Tom Johnston, who wrote this song, told us: "I was so discouraged with that song I was going to pull it off the album. It just wasn't going where it needed to go. One of the things it was missing was the right keyboard part, which was the same thing that had happened with 'World Gone Crazy,' we just hadn't chosen the right guy. So I called up Billy, I said, 'Man, I really need you to come out and work on these tunes.' I had Billy fly out and 'It's A Brighter Day' was re-born. He took it to another place. It was like this gospel-oriented island feel, and all of the sudden the song was relevant, it was strong, it had the feeling again, and it felt great. The words all worked with it. It worked with the steel drum. Everything worked."
  • Tom Johnston comes up with some interesting stories when he's writing lyrics - this is the guy who brought us the sheriff with a Samurai Sword in "China Grove." Describing this song, he told us: "'A Brighter Day' is about a young guy who has the gift of being able to tell the future and see things returning, called second sight, which I believe is an old southern Louisiana term. It's an old blues term, is what it is. Then all the newsies go down to ask him what he sees, and he proceeds to tell them that mankind is screwing up by going to war all the time, and they need to talk more. It's kind of like the new version of 'Listen To The Music.' It's how the positive would trump the negative if people got together, talked, and used music and things like that as a base. That's what 'Listen to the Music' was all about: using music as our way of communicating, because it's an international language, you don't have to worry about the words. Music itself brings you up, it's just a lifting experience."

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