Monday, October 5, 2009

Mr. Blue Sky

For reasons entirely unknown, the 1977 ELO song Mister Blue Sky popped into my head this evening and simply wouldn't leave. I soon found myself downloading the original Electric Light Orchestra album "Out Of The Blue" from EMusic and as I write this sentence have now listened to the song eight times in succession. It's 5 minutes long, so it's been playing for 40 minutes. And we're on number nine ...

Go ahead, play the song while I continue.



"Hey you! ... welcome to the human race!"

Besides being a classic piece of disco-era art-rock from the only band after The Beatles to seriously explore certain musical directions, the lyrics to this song have always intrigued me. There's a message of hope and celebration after an age of darkness. A personal darkness in which one has been shut away from the light, away even from the joys of human fellowship.

"Today's the day we've waited for"

Yes, the sun is shining, the blue sky is warming every spirit and the folk are playing in the former "streets of pity". It's a springtime of the spirit. But each day comes to an end, and ...

"Soon Comes Mister Night"

"... Creepin' over. Now his hand is on your shoulder." Are our spirits doomed to rise and fall with the day and night? Certainly not. As humans we are capable of greater freedom, and so the message of hope and renewal continues:

Never mind I'll remember you this
I'll remember you this way
Sure it's simplistic. It's "just a rock song" isn't it? But if and when we feel the oppression of many days of rain, we could do worse than remember our days with Mr. (or Ms.) Blue Sky.

Mr. Blue Sky

Sun is shinin' in the sky
There ain't a cloud in sight
It's stopped rainin' ev'rybody's in the lane (or maybe "in their play")
And don't you know
It's a beautiful new day hey,hey

Runnin' down the avenue
See how the sun shines brightly in the city
On the streets where once was pity
Mister blue sky is living here today hey, hey

Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long
Where did we go wrong?

Hey you with the pretty face
Welcome to the human race
A celebration, mister blue sky's up there waitin'
And today is the day we've waited for

Hey there mister blue
We're so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Ev'rybody smiles at you

Mister blue sky
Mister blue sky
Mister blue sky

Mister blue, you did it right
But soon comes mister night creepin' over
Now his hand is on your shoulder
Never mind I'll remember you this
I'll remember you this way

Mister blue sky please tell us why
You had to hide away for so long
Where did we go wrong?

Hey there mister blue
We're so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Ev'rybody smiles at you
Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba
Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba

By the way, for those readers who have not already followed the Wikipedia link for the song title, Mr. Blue Sky is in fact the fourth movement of the 4-song "Concerto For A Rainy Day" (I think "song cycle" seems more apt) that comprised Side 3 of the original "Out of the Blue" LP set. Composer Jeff Lynne was inspired by a break in weeks of rainy weather.

7 comments:

CW said...

Seriously, I love ELO. Little known secret about me, and this song is actually on my iPod. :-)

Apollo Unchained said...

Thanks C-dub. You really do rock.

Ro said...

If I had an iPod, it'd be on my iPod too. As it is, it's on my Samsung!

Yes, it's just a pop song ... but it's a great example of what a pop song can be, with far more depth and texture to it than is the norm.

I remember reading not so long ago that ELO came in at number one in a list of bands that people love but don't like to admit to loving. I'm too old to care :-)

Apollo Unchained said...

Right on, Ro, about the "depth and texture". That's very much it. I've been listening to that whole album this week (as well as the one before it) and enjoying it very much. "Sweet Is The Night", "Sweet Talkin' Woman", "Turn To Stone" and more. There's a lot to like here.

nitebyrd said...

ELO is amazing. Their music is unique and was a bright light of "rock" during the disco era. I haven't listened to ELO in a very long time but think I'll go back just for a bit now that you've reminded me.

nitebyrd said...

I've given you an award. ;)

Apollo Unchained said...

NByrd, thank you. Of course you and your comments are my real reward.