Songs That Moved Me: New Year’s Day

I will be with you again

“New Year’s Day” by U2

I still remember the moment I heard it.  I was in the hallway on my way to the kitchen back in my teens.  Turning on the radio, expecting to hear the Duran-Duran sort of pop stuff or the newly emerging (or should I say expanding) sound of hip-hop when something very different hit my ears as I was tuning into various stations.  Piano?  Who the heck plays that in a song?  And an off-tone, flat piano at that.  The riff was haunting.  Not quite like Black Sabbath’s “devil’s third.”  But it rang with a melancholy that sincerely begged me to listen.  So, I did.

The voice of the singer gave words of hope and bemoaning.  Things should change.  I want them to do so badly.  But, “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.”  Lyrically, he took my hand through a rapturous possibility of the anticipated newness.  An ecstatic union girded with a pledge, “I will begin again.”  The obligatory “bridge” was established with that same haunting tone of the piano now laced with the muted wail of a guitar echoing in tear like unison.  Another guitar overlays yet intertwines with its predecessor with an apex that brought me back to the vocalist yearning for the possibility to come true.  Alas, conditions won’t allow for the desire to be met.  “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.”

And the kingdom of brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis

“Where Do We Go From Here?”  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day

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