“Then I look at you, and I know it’s gonna be a lovely day…”
Even when I don’t think it’s possible, the lyrics of Bill Withers songs never fail to put me in a good mood, and there’s just something extra uplifting about his 1977 hit “Lovely Day.”
This past year, we lost a legend. On March 30, 2020, Bill Withers died of heart complications at the age of 81. With career hits like “Lean On Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Just the Two of Us” spanning across the 70s, Withers contributed greatly to soul and R&B music throughout his career. “Lovely Day” is just one of many uplifting tunes that are sure to perk up your day.
What makes the song so well recognized is its simple, repeated chorus. It conveys a positive, optimistic message of hope with lyrics like:
“When the day that lies ahead of me/
Seems impossible to face/
When someone else instead of me/
Always seems to know the way/
Then I look at you/
And the world’s alright with me/
Just one look at you/
And I know it’s gonna be/
A lovely day”
In fact, the famous chorus is so iconic that it holds a record. In the last chorus of the song, Withers holds a note for 18 seconds, which is the longest of any top 40 hit in the United States. What’s more, it’s actually one of the longest held notes of any American pop song. The song has also been featured in many commercials, and has been covered many times by many artists like Maroon 5, Diana Ross and most recently Demi Lovato during the 2021 Presidential Inauguration.
Withers’ smooth baritone and uplifting lyrics make “Lovely Day” a perfect way to kickstart the day, and an excellent addition to any of your own happy playlists. It always makes me feel good, even if it’s only for four minutes and fifteen seconds.