Yeah

All is quiet on New Year's Day
A world in white gets underway
I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year's Day
On New Year's Day

I will be with you again
I will be with you again

Under a blood red sky
A crowd has gathered in black and white
Arms entwined, the chosen few
The newspapers says, says
Say it's true, it's true
And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one

I, I will begin again
I, I will begin again

Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh

I will be with you again
I will be with you again
I will be with you again
I will be with you again
I will be with you again


Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira, edited by deborah305, degree7

New Year's Day Lyrics as written by Larry Mullen Dave Evans

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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New Year's Day song meanings
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85 Comments

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  • +10
    General Comment

    If you watch the video, the song is about a soldier in war time that has been seperated from his loved one. In his mind, or through letters, he is telling her that they will be together again. I feel like somehow, in the middle of the story he dies thus the lines "torn in two we can be one" he then goes on to say "I, I will be hear again" perhaps he is talking about here as their home and, though dead, he is saying he will be with her in spirit form.

    Realityon September 28, 2010   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    yeah the love song i get and stuff... but what about lines like "Under a blood red sky a crowd has gathered, black and white. Arms entwined, the chosen few." or "and so we're told this is a golden age, but gold is the reason for the wars we wage." ? just wondering...i came on here to find answers... not "this is a wonderful song. great song."

    U2takemehigheron April 20, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    To me, this song is about on New Year's Day when everyone plans on changing, or making a new years resolution .. and Bono is saying that 'nothing changes on New Year's Day' that with all the changes he will make, he still wants to be with the one he loves ... like, nothing will change that ... get it? well that's what I think.

    AllStarMeon May 27, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment

    Sigh...This song isn't about something abstract or inner-turmoil or spiritualism or any of that garbage. Its about the Eastern Front in WWII written from the perspective of a Soviet Red Army soldier writing to a loved one. For those of you who received the public school version of History where we were force fed the Civil Rights Movement at the cost of learning about WWI and WWII, allow me to translate...

    "All is quiet on New Year's day A world in white gets underway"

    This refers to the fact that the Russian Winter e.g. "A world in white" is synonymous with the Eastern Front.

    "Under a blood red sky A crowd has gathered, black and white"

    The first line is a reference to the fact that this part of the war was primarily fought in the USSR...a communist country under Joseph Stalin.

    The second line refers to the fact that in 1941, when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, they were unprepared for winter fighting and wore primarily grey and black uniforms whereas the Soviets who were fighting on their home turf wore white snow cammouflage.

    "Arms entwined, the chosen few The newspapers says, says Say it's true, it's true And we can break through Though torn in two We can be one"

    This is a reference to Soviet propaganda. Things looked bleak for the Soviets at the end of 1941 as the country was split into two fronts in the north and south. In the north, the German Wehrmacht was at the gates of Moscow and Leningrad was cut off and under seige. In the south, the Axis were driving toward Stalingrad. Despite this, the newspapers, actually just one "Pravda" kept proclaiming that the Red Army was resisting (which they were) and that the great push to drive the Germans back was coming. But, as the song and the soldier laments, "nothing changes on New Year's Day."

    BTW...The little boy on the album cover for War is from a Soviet Propaganda film about a Russian boy who becomes a Partisan (guerilla) fighter against the Germans.

    CroneCircuson June 30, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    i don't know if this is the BEST rock song ever, but i do think it's a good one. as for the first comment, i really see what you mean. but i also think it could mean that even though we make a lot of promises to change things with every passing year, we never do. people get all hyped up, saying things will be different, but we still make the same mistakes, fight kill and hate, and that nothing ever changes.

    irresistible7on August 25, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    johnpauljones86 wrote:

    "Poland did away with marshal law that year, On New Year's Day 1984. U2 1, POLAND O. ;) "

    Correction; Poland 1 - 0 Fascism.

    Hayrron April 20, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    No matter what the lyrics say, it all sounds like a poem to a far-away lover to me. It's the ponderings of a person outraged by the senseless violence of the world around him, and his belief, despite it all, that his love for another (if requited) will conquer the war he sees in himself. There's a distance between the author and his lover, and what makes the song exciting is that the author believes he may bridge that gap "tonight." It's such a song of personal empowerment, when you think about it.

    zormooton November 26, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    To me this song is a letter that a soldier writes to his beloved on the day that the war he in is ending.

    "All is quiet on New Year's day A world in white gets underway I want to be with you, be with you, night and day Nothing changes on New Year's day On New Year's day" - Tt does not necessarily have to be January 1, it could mean New Year's Day as in a time to start over, the war is over and it is time to start a new "year" or chapter in his life. Even in all this excitement he still craves to be with her.

    "I will be with you again I will be with you again" - This sounds to me like a jubilant murmured realization, that he really will be with her again, that he made it through, he can't really believe it yet.

    "Under a blood red sky A crowd has gathered, black and white Arms entwined, the chosen few The newspapers says, says Say it's true, it's true And we can break through Though torn in two We can be one" - Under the war-torn sky, a group of officers and officials of all different races have gathered together and put aside their differences. They are the chosen few to go through with the negotiations. The newspapers confirm all the rumors that the war has ended. He is jubilant about it.

    "I, I will begin again I, I will begin again" - He will start his life anew after the horrors that he has witnessed.

    "And so we're told this is the golden age And gold is the reason for the wars we wage Though I want to be with you Be with you night and day Nothing changes on New Year's day On New Year's day On New Year's day" - We're told that this is the golden age of society but he is wondering if that is true then why are all these wars being wages, for money and gold. He then repeats his affirmation that even though he is witnessing history in the making, he still wants to be with her.

    U2fantasyon December 05, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment
    ThirdWorldManon January 01, 2021   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning

    The lyrics, in fact, refer to the persecuted leader of the Polish Solidarity movement, Lech Walesa. Coincidentally, after the song was released Poland\'s Communist government announced that they would abolish martial law. In 1980 the Solidarity movement in Poland, under the leadership of future Nobel Peace Prize winner and president Lech Walesa, challenged the oppressive rule of the Polish government. In December 1981, the Solidarity movement was outlawed and Walesa, together with the other leaders of the movement, was arrested and put in jail. It is believed that "New Year’s Day" initially started out as a love song, dedicated to Bono’s high-school sweetheart, Ali, whom he had recently married, but this changed. Frontman Bono told the Rolling Stone in 2012 that he made the lyrics up on the spot, as he often does. He said, "We improvise, and the things that came out; I let them come out." "I must have been thinking about Lech Walesa being interned. Then, when we\'d recorded the song, they announced that martial law would be lifted in Poland on New Year\'s Day. Incredible."

    EternalTearsOfSorrowon January 01, 2022   Link

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