Throwback to The Worst Day of The Year | “Blue Monday” by New Order

Throwback to The Worst Day of The Year | “Blue Monday” by New Order

Madison Reinhold, Writer/Volunteers

The holidays are over. We’re back to school and work. And for some reason, it’s still snowing outside. The next holiday isn’t even until next month, the sun hasn’t come out in a month and a half and you’re just supposed to take it? 

There’s only one solution: ‘80s synth. 

Blue Monday” by New Order, a British rock band, combines the classic ‘80s sound of sharp melodies and lots of synthesizer beats to create a song that is practically the aural representation of fluffy hair and acid wash. “Blue Monday” is also what Merriam-Webster calls an extremely depressing Monday. More specifically, the third Monday in January once the tinsel-y shine of the holidays has disappeared and all those tasks held to the new year  actually have to get done. 

“Blue Monday” was released in 1983 as a single. It is also on New Order’s1987 compilation album Substance. It has a strong beat, vocals that alternate between angry lyrics and slightly choral drones between verses, and a danceable melody made for the ‘80s club scene, all slowly coming together over the course of the seven and a half minute track. 

The lyrics themselves don’t have much to them. Even the music video is just flashing aesthetic images of dogs, milk crates and vibrant, juvenile drawings. There’s only four verses, and they end about two-thirds of the way through the song. It’s also pretty vague who they’re talking to. 

“How does it feel, /

To treat me like you do? /

When you’ve laid your hands upon me, /

And told me who you are?” 

They sound jilted. At who? At what? 

“But if it wasn’t for your misfortune, /

I’d be a heavenly person today.” 

A really strong case could be made here that they just really, really don’t like how hard that seasonal depression hits in January. 

“Tell me, how does it feel, /

When your heart grows cold?” 

For our purposes a cold heart is surely a reference of how absolutely grueling January weather is — not, perhaps, someone who did the singer wrong who he’s asking how they could do it, being so evil. 

In this cold, cold time —whether of heart or of temperature — imagine the vibrant world this song belongs in — one that sounds like neon and glitter and bisexual lighting in some ‘80s New York City club — instead of the three inches of snow on your car waiting to be brushed off in the negative temperatures of tomorrow morning. 

So, January: 

“How does it feel, /

To treat me like you do?”