In our new repertoire there is one song which is proving very popular:
You are the New Day, by John David. We’re learning an arrangement by
The King’s Singers.
Although not remotely religious I adore hymns and church music, and to
me this has a hymn-like quality. It is spiritual and utterly
beautiful, and I think it has touched almost every member of our choir.
I guess it’s no accident that according to the King’s Singers’ website
it’s one of their most requested songs.
I had never heard it before and I wondered about the man who had
written it and the story behind it. A bit of research turned up the fact that John
David was born John Williams in Cardiff in 1946 and began his musical
career as a drummer in his father’s band. John went on to form the
band Airwaves in the Seventies and in 1978 recorded the single New
Day, which was performed accapella, and never reached the charts.
It’s definitely a secular song according to John David and was written
at the time when he was going through a difficult patch in his
personal life. During that period news reports suggested that there
was a very real danger of nuclear war. John felt very low and realised
that he had to look for hope within himself. The dawning of a new day
was a metaphor. He says it was written in just 10 minutes and that the
tune and the words popped into his head at the same time, fully
News bulletins today are equally as grim as those in the Seventies,
and every person carries burdens of their own; maybe we have embraced
this new song so wholeheartedly as a choir because each of us is also
looking for a ray of hope, a metaphor of our own.