Behind the Song
Here’s the first thing I wrote in my notebook for this song, before I had penned any lyrics:
“A song about waking up with the memory of a golden day yesterday — but now all is drab.”
And that’s pretty much the song I ended up with.
I’ve explored the more general idea of up-and-down feelings in other songs, like “Colors” and “Up & Down Kind of Man” (forthcoming).
This one’s more about the desire to relive a perfect day, and how that all goes down.
In the second stanza of the first verse, I sing “I felt like a drank a good-luck potion.” This image was inspired by the episode in the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, when Harry drinks felix felicis and everything goes right for him.
If we could only bottle perfect days like that …
Yesterday the sun shone all day the hardest job I took felt like play the meanest man I met seemed a friend my wallet held more cash than I could spend I felt like I drank a good-luck potion every road that I drove led downhill every move that I made gave forward motion every fear that I faced became a thrill What do you do with a perfect day? You can't stretch it out for all time. When the day is done, and the next one comes, what do you do the day after the perfect day? Before I open my eyes, I already know today I'm gonna see a different show the gray skies above made me sleep in I'm already late before I begin I try to make jokes but I sound like a jerk I wish that everyone would leave every smile that I see I'm sure is a smirk I dismiss every kiss as a plot to deceive What do you do with a perfect day? You can't stretch it out for all time. When the day is done, and the next one comes, what do you do the day after the perfect day? Is it the world? Or just me? My strange nature? Or a law of reality? Is this how the world goes round? If you go up you must come down? When I stub my toe I could cry sit alone and mope, curse the sky or I could get back up and take it slow who cares how far I get as long as I go I might as well make this a perfect day where every little thing goes wrong you just have to laugh when it goes sideways if you can't run you can limp along What do you do with a perfect day? You can't stretch it out for all time. When the day is done, and the next one comes, what do you do the day after when tears replace the laughter how do you turn the next chapter what do you do the day after the day after the perfect day