Many of U2 songs are symbolic and hard to explain. The song “Beautiful Day” is one of the best songs of this band. It is full of hidden meanings that people usually fail to see. It is not just another song about optimism as many people might think. When we take a closer look at it we can see many biblical references. In this song Bono tried to remind people of the universal virtues: faith, love, compassion; the virtues that have been and always will be the basis for our world not to collapse. In the first part of the song we can observe several references to the life of Jesus. Although not clearly stated, there are many similarities between the song’s images and the scenes from the Bible. The first strophe refers to the well-known fact from the Bible: Virgin Mary could not find a place to stay over for the night in Bethlehem and had to give birth to her child in a stable: “But there’s no room, No space to rent in this town”. Jesus came to the Earth to bring people faith and the meaning of life. He started preaching, but nobody but a few disciples followed him: “You out of luck And the reason you had to care, The traffic is stuck And you’re not moving anywhere…”
This feeling of despair and endless frustration is known to everybody. It’s hard to overcome the misfortune, bring up your spirits and move on to the future. Bono shows that just like Jesus people should carry their faith throughout bad times and go forward. The next strophe carries a reference to another fact of Jesus’ life- the betrayal of Judas: “You thought you’d found a friend To take you out of this place Someone you can lend a hand In return for grace…” According to the synoptic gospels, Jesus celebrated the Passover meal with his disciples- subsequently known as the Last Supper- in which he predicted his future betrayal by one of his apostles and his ultimate execution. Judas Iscariot did betray Jesus by identifying him to the guards with a kiss: everything happened as Jesus had foretold. The following lines are probably about the crucifixion: “The sky falls And you feel like it’s a beautiful day…”
Even at the moment when the “sky falls” and Jesus knows he would be killed, he know it is for a reason and his death would be a sacrifice for humanity’s salvation and the atonement for sin which had entered human history though the sin of Adam. That’s why Bono uses the words “feel like a beautiful day”, because in the reality this day is torturous. The lines: “You love this town Even if it doesn’t ring true You’ve been all over And it’s been all over you” may convey the Christian belief that even after all the sins that humans have committed, Jesus still loves this world and he would never leave it. As long as people will keep faith there will be a reason for them to live. The end of the song is a pray to Lord to teach people to keep the faith in bad times and to enjoy every moment of life. He is saying that the world is beautiful and people should see all the miracles that God has created for them. They should live in peace and take care of the planet instead of ruining it. The meaningful symbol here is “the bird with a leaf in her mouth”.
It is also taken from the Bible from the story of Noah’s Ark, when he sent out a dove from his vessel and it brought back a leaf, indicating that the water dried out from the earth and a new life can begin. This biblical symbol is meaningful because according to the Bible, when the flood was over and Noah stepped on earth and made a sacrifice to God, God made a promise that he would never destroy the world in this manner ever again. Thus, no matter how bad our world is and no matter how many terrible acts have been made by humans God will not destroy our planet and we always will have a hope for a better future. According to Bono we can build this future by returning back to timeless values of love and faith. This is what the last lines are about: “What you don’t have you don’t need it now What you don’t know you can feel it somehow…” These words do not coincide with the values of today’s civilization, in which every human being strives for more material pleasures and forgets about spiritual life. That’s why Bono wants to remind the society about the universal values: love, kindness, generosity, faith.