What are your thoughts when you first hear this refrain?
‘Well my mama told me there’d be days like this’
Are you thinking about the negative side of things? The ‘chancers’ in life that your mum warned you to avoid? The times when it feels like nothing is going right?
You might even be thinking that this is supposed to be a part of a series called Songs for Sound Minds, and wonder: what are they thinking?
Songs for Sound Minds #22 – ‘Days Like This’ by Van Morrison
Thinking about better days
Of course this Van Morrison classic (aren’t they all?) is actually all about better days. Days when we are busy appreciating the good times. Spending our time without a care or concern.
Appropriately for those of us in Scotland the song starts with the words: ‘When it’s not always raining there’ll be days like this.’ But Van Morrison is not just talking when the typical British weather takes a holiday.
This Belfast boy is thinking about the times when ‘there’s no-one complaining’ least of all ourselves. Times when the chancers never cross our path.
Moments when life seems so straightforward and simple – ‘when you don’t need an answer’ – that even a child could get it right because ‘all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit.’
Sometimes though we forget to appreciate those good times.
Those ‘don’t need to worry’ moments
We can all too easily fall into the habit of criticising other people or grumbling about our lot in life.
It can be easy to miss the good things that are happening. Amidst the difficult times we live in – blighted by terrorism, fear and economic worries – it can feel like there is never a moment ‘when you don’t need to worry.’
Instead ‘Van the Man’ encourages us to simply focus on the better days and our better moments. To spend our time thinking of them and not reliving days when we just wanted to pull the covers over our head.
An anthem for the Northern Ireland peace process
The optimism and positivity of ‘Days Like This’ was harnessed for the peace process in Morrison’s home country of Northern Ireland.
Effectively becoming the ‘anthem’ of the peace movement, the song featured widely including in television advertising encouraging the end of hostilities between unionist and republican movements.
Although your day may not quite reach the heights of helping unite a divided country, it is important to recognise the good times and enjoy the experience of days like this.