You Are the New Day

“Hope is my philosophy”

“You Are the New Day” was composed by multi-talented Welsh rock musician John David.

David, born in Cardiff in 1946, started his life as a musician at 14, playing drums in his father’s band. He has subsequently performed many roles througout his career: playing bass with the Dave Edmonds Band, performing and writing songs for the group Airwaves, among others, and functioning as engineer/producer for a list of hit songs by important artists.

However spiritually moving the listener might find the music, “You Are the New Day” is a secular song. David wrote it for Airwaves in 1978 during a time when personal difficulties and threats to world peace caused him to look for hope within himself.

In John David’s own words:

“The inspiration for New Day was quite simple; I had just had a major blow in my personal life, and was sitting alone late at night on the settee feeling very low, and watching an ominous story on the news about the very real possibility of nuclear war.

“I started singing to the (hopefully) soon-to arrive New Day like it was an entity, that would rescue me from the depths. If the sun came up and the birds started singing as usual then I could believe that it really was the new day in which life would go on, and in which hope would survive.

“The tune and the words popped into my head at the same time, and it was all written in about 10 minutes, which is why (to me at least) it’s not perfect. But I didn’t feel I had the right to change anything.”

The orginial version of the song, performed by the band Airwaves, as well as the lyrics, are below.

“You Are the New Day”
by John David

I will love you more than me and more than yesterday
if you can but prove to me you are the new day.

Send the sun in time for dawn, let the birds all hail the morning.
Love of life will urge me say, you are the new day.

When I lay me down at night, knowing we must pay,
thoughts occur that this night might stay yesterday.

Thoughts that we as humans small could slow worlds and end it all
lie around me where they fall, before the new day.

One more day when time is running out for ev’ryone,
like a breath I knew would come, I reach for a new day.

Hope is my philosophy, just needs days in which to be,
love of life means hope for me, born on a new day.

10 Responses to “You Are the New Day”

  1. 1 B. A. Grancell-Frank February 11, 2013 at 11:36 am

    As always when the King’s Singers perform, whomever they are at any given moment, their combined voices are glorious, and often, transcendent.

  2. 2 Kaethe May 31, 2013 at 12:59 am

    My college choir performed this and it was so beautiful I would often have tears in my eyes as I sang. I truly believe it’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written and as an agnostic, I’m thrilled to find out that it is, as I had suspected, a secular piece.

  3. 3 Kay-Louise Cannon September 1, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    When the local Whitehall-Coplay High School in Whitehall,PA sang this at a “:Tea” which was to fund their trip to Europe, I had chills as I watched Laura Rabenold (music director) lead them in this absolutely spectacular piece of music. “You Are the New Day” It should be heard by every living being. The harmony and tonality is absolutely gorgeous. I, too, had tears in my eyes when it was performed and never forgot it. Thank you John David for writing this music! .

  4. 4 Wayne Corelli March 29, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Great song and lyric.This song will live forever among other songs that are considered great compositions. The King’s Singers do it great justice! The first time I heard them sing this song I was driving in my car and had to pull over to listen to it. Have never forgotten that moment back in 1987.

  5. 5 Gerry Mosby November 13, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    The 1978 Airwaves recording of You Are The New Day is – to me – one of the most beautiful and inspiring pieces of music I’ve ever heard. From the first time I played the vinyl when it came out, I was a changed man. The melody and harmonic structure are, at times, as rapturous a combination as I ever experienced. Thank you, John David, for this truly immortal, moving work.

  6. 6 Colefordian June 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Although the original song was not religious I think that it was spiritual because finding one’s own inner strength is deeply fulfilling.

    And John Rutter has adapted it to be a Christian carol for the Cambridge Singers:

    The original song is a masterpiece. No wonder other people can do remarkable things with it.

  7. 7 Don Jackson in Vermont October 5, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I woke up to this daily while living in the D.C area. One morning, the music stopped, then long silence, and then the staff in the radio station discovered that the “DJ” had died suddenly at the turntable. Now, every time I hear the music I have added pathos, moved by its intrinsic beauty, but also because of the man who shared his passion with us listeners.

  8. 8 Scott May 18, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Such a beautiful song! This was sung by my high school choir at my graduation in 2005. A couple years later, the same choir (with different members, of course) sang at the superintendent’s retirement reception.

  9. 9 Neil Clark December 6, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    …a Lovely, Gentle, Pleading piece with its quirky tempo-change at the end of each phrase – which I hadn’t heard in YEARS… I’ve just (12-06-2019) listened to the “Christmas-ized” version on a streaming Holiday Music channel – which brought back every note of the MUSIC to me – though I KNEW that their lyrics were NOT those I remembered. What a delight to have (re)discovered BOTH versions…

  1. 1 You Are the New Day | Reaching for The Sky Trackback on June 13, 2013 at 8:00 am

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June 2011

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