Meaning of “Beautiful Day” by U2

Beautiful Day is a song performed by the Irish rock band U2. According to Bono, the lead singer of U2, the lyrics of the song are about a man who has all that he owns, but is still joyful in the little things he has in life.

Bono’s experience and association with famous international coalition movement Jubilee 2000 was what inspired him to come up with the lyrics of the song. Jubilee 2000 was set up with the sole aim of wiping out billions of dollars of debt owed by the poorest countries in the world.

Beautiful Day lyrics

Facts about “Beautiful Day”

  • Beautiful Day was written by all members of U2. Bono wrote the lyrics whereas the other band members (The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr.) wrote the music.
  • The song was produced by the renowned English musician and record producer Brian Eno, Canadian record producer Daniel Lanois and English record producer Steve Lillywhite.
  • Despite being one of U2’s biggest songs, Beautiful Day was almost discarded by the band since the band members initially did not like it.
  • The song was released on 9 October 2000 as the first single from U2’s tenth studio album titled All That You Can’t Leave Behind – an album that sold more than 12 million copies across the globe.
  • Two music videos of the song were shot, with the primary video being shot at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France.
  • Beautiful Day has over the years been honored with numerous prestigious awards. For example at the 43rd Grammy Awards in 2001, the song won the Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year as well as the Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
  • In the 2010 list of the Rolling Stone magazine’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, the song was placed at the number 345th position.
  • On VH1’s 2011 list of the greatest songs of ’00s, Beautiful Day was placed occupied the number 15th position.
  • All the instruments on the song were played by members of U2 with the exception of the synthesizers which were played by Brian Eno.
  • The song peaked at number 1 in several countries around the world, including Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada and Spain. On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song peaked at number 21.
  • The song was one of the most used songs by Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign to become President of the United States.
  • According to the members of U2, they knew the song was going to be a hit the moment the head of their label Jimmy Iovine told them the song would be successful.
  • The lead singer of the American alternative rock band R.E.M. Michael Stipe once famously said he loved the song so much that he wished he had been the one who wrote it and that he was so angry that he wasn’t the one who wrote the song.

Frequently Asked Questions about “Beautiful Day”

Q: How many Grammy Awards has “Beautiful Day” won?

A: Three Grammy Awards.  In 2000, the song won the Grammys for Record of the Year, Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group, and last but not least Song of the Year.

Q: Does the song sample any other song?

A: No.

Q: Which artists have covered “Beautiful Day”?

A: Quite a number of artists have covered this song over the years. For example, over the years, the song has been covered by the following artists:

  • American Christian rock band Sanctus Real in 2004.
  • German heavy metal guitarist Axel Rudi Pell in 2007.
  • American singer and winner of season 9 of American Idol in 2010.
  • Australian singer-songwriter and winder of season 2 of The X Factor Australia Altiyan Childs in 2010.

Q: Which films and TV shows has Beautiful Day appeared in?

A: The song was featured in 2008 hit adventure film Nim’s Island starring, among others, Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin.


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