Song Lyric Sunday – I Can See Clearly Now

For Song Lyric Sunday, our host Jim Adams, prompted us with “ Clear, Dark and Light. There were so many songs to choose from we should have a great mix of songs to listen to and some pretty interesting backstories to read. My choice this week is “I Can See Clearly Now” written by Johnny Nash. I am including two videos, the original by Nash, and also Jimmy Cliff’s version which is more modern and was used in the movie Cool Runnings.

 

This is not a song about suicide, as has been hypothesized. It is a song of hope and courage for individuals who have experienced adversity in their lives but have overcome it.

This was the first reggae song to hit #1 on the Hot 100, where it stayed for four weeks late in 1972. The next reggae(ish) song to hit the top spot was Eric Clapton’s cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff” in 1974, followed by “The Tide Is High” by Blondie in 1981.

Johnny Nash is a Texas singer/songwriter who recorded reggae-influenced music. In 1967 he went to Jamaica and recorded his song “Hold Me Tight” and a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” with a local rhythm section. Both songs became hits in Jamaica, and over the next two years also charted in England and the United States.

By 1972, “Cecilia” and “Mother And Child Reunion” found some success in the States incorporating reggae rhythms, and Nash followed that trend with “I Can See Clearly Now.”

Nash had legitimate reggae credentials: Bob Marley (before he became crazy famous) was an assistant producer and session player on the album, and also wrote three of the songs, including “Stir It Up,” which became Nash’s next – and final – hit.

Nash wrote this song himself. He recorded it in London with members of The Average White Band, who in 1974 had a hit of their own with “Pick Up The Pieces.”

A cover version by Jimmy Cliff (for a time, a bigger reggae star than Bob Marley) went to #18 in the US in 1994. His version was used in the John Candy movie Cool Runnings, about the Jamaican bobsled team.

Courtesy of Songfacts

Lyrics

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day

I think I can make it now the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day

Look all around, there's nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead, there's nothing but blue skies

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
Oh what a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day

Writer/s: Johnny Nash 
Publisher: NASHCO MUSIC, INC.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

  36 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – I Can See Clearly Now

  1. August 15, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    This is really a lovely song Christine and I have a feeling that it will be very popular today. I like both versions of the song Johnny Nash and Jimmy Cliff,

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 8:16 am

      Thanks Jim. I have that feeling too ☺️

  2. August 15, 2020 at 10:20 pm

    I love this song Christine, and the “cool Running” movie was fabulous…but I still prefer Johnny Nash’s original song…

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 8:17 am

      Thanks Ivor. Yes his voice is quite pure. ☺️

  3. August 15, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    I’ve always loved this song.
    Seeing John Candy in COOL RUNNINGS really gave me a huge smile!
    Great choice Christine! 😊

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 8:17 am

      I know right? I want to watch the movie again now 🤣

      • August 16, 2020 at 11:17 am

        I might reblog my John Candy post. He was a wonderful person! 😊

      • Christine Bolton
        August 16, 2020 at 3:12 pm

        Yes he was 🥰😢

      • August 16, 2020 at 3:18 pm

        Do you think I should reblog it?

      • Christine Bolton
        August 16, 2020 at 3:25 pm

        I’m not sure Jen. Was it a bio on John Candy? Those are always interesting 🙂

      • August 16, 2020 at 3:35 pm

        Yes a bio and videos. I’ll do it thanks 🙂

  4. August 15, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    Fab 🎶💖

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 8:17 am

      Thanks Paula ☺️

  5. August 16, 2020 at 12:12 am

    I’ve always loved this song. Great choice!

  6. August 16, 2020 at 5:07 am

    Great choice Christine, I have always loved this song, I prefer the Jonny Nash version . 💜

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 8:18 am

      Yes I agree. Sit was a shame his video was so old. He is a good looking guy! ☺️

      • August 16, 2020 at 8:41 am

        Yes indeed 💜

  7. August 16, 2020 at 5:09 am

    I love the purity and range in Nash’s voice and, despite the attempts of the video visuals, I don’t think Cliff’s version comes close to the exuberance in the original. Great to near it again (somewhere I have the album).

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 8:22 am

      Thanks Ian. I used to hear this song so much on the radio I would get the two versions confused. In the end I couldn’t remember whose song it was! I really enjoyed Nash’s pure voice and he conveyed the meaning behind the song so well. The Cliff version was just fun because of the movie. 🤣

  8. August 16, 2020 at 5:35 am

    Snap with the Jimmy Cliff version!

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 8:26 am

      Haha! I knew it would happen ☺️

  9. August 16, 2020 at 9:07 am

    Great minds and all that jazz. I always post then go through the list. Classic choice for today.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 9:38 am

      Yes me too! It used to worry me if I picked something someone else had chosen. Now I think it’s just fun when it happens ☺️

  10. August 16, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Cool song.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Thanks Jenna 🙂

  11. August 16, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Good song! Don’t hear it much these days.

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 3:12 pm

      Yes, I love it. Thank for listening 🥰

  12. August 16, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    This was my first song choice. It’s been popular today. Love it! 🙂

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 3:01 pm

      Somehow I knew it would be. I need to go and check out your now Lisa 🥰

      • August 16, 2020 at 5:14 pm

        Great minds…🥰

  13. August 16, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Love this song! Enjoyed lip-syncing with both versions… <3 Have a bright sunshiny week, Christine!

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks Bette! You too 🥰

  14. August 16, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    Super song! I hear it on the radio sometimes, but mostly now we hear it on a TV advertisement (can’t remember what for). I like them both, but the Jimmy Cliff version has more of that sound I like. 🙂

    • Christine Bolton
      August 16, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      Yes, I agree. More modern sounding. Thanks for listening Barbara ☺️

  15. August 18, 2020 at 3:10 am

    Great choice!

  16. August 19, 2020 at 9:21 am

    I really like the work of Johnny Nash. He has never been taken seriously IMO.

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