New Years Day

One of my favorite songs from what I think of as “first-period” U2 (the era before Unforgettable Fire) has always been “New Year’s Day,” with its juxtaposition of optimism and acquiescence, suggesting:

Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.
On New Year’s Day.

But then at the center of the song declaring with renewed affirmation:

Though torn in two
We can be one.

I… I will begin again
I… I will begin again.

Video (why are they on horseback in the snow? I don’t know):

We enter 2009 with a “transition team” for Obama, but also with Israel and Hamas engaged in very real and violent conflict.

Do you enter the new year feeling hopeful, or resigned?

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3 Comments

  1. I side with renewed affirmation….

    There’s a new president who, whatever else, offers an opportunity for a new attitude and fresh focus. I’m hopeful, and even my inner cynic is happy to say so.

    Happy New Year to you and Jo and kids!

  2. Hopeful, positive, excited.

    It’s a shiny, brand-new year full of promise magnified by the potential for the new US administration to undo the profound damage of the last eight years, rescue our reputation as the greatest country in the history of man, and redeem us with the rest of the world. Not to put too much pressure on President-elect Obama!

    Even the awful events in the Middle East offer an opportunity we haven’t seen in a long time to once and for all resolve the issues and secure peace for the people there. Yes, I do have faith that Barack Obama can rescue the vestiges of work done by Carter and Clinton and forge a permanent peace and equitable solution for all.

    As for the U2 song about a troubled relationship — Nothing more changes from last year to the new year than any other new day which is to say we are presented with boundless opportunity to begin anew every day while we still carry all that we were/are/have with us.

    The choice is entirely yours to do with it as you choose.

    And, that is truly exciting.

  3. U2 skates near creating chiasmuses. A chiasmus is a self-opposing term (the key to indecision is flexiblity and vice versa.) The Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the world’s greatest dictionary, defines chiasmus as, “A grammatical figure by which the order of words in one of two of parallel clauses is inverted in the other.” Check out chiasmus.com fun stuff if you’re into it.

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