Mr. Blue Sky

One of the most incredible things about modern technology and the Internet is how they combine to bring us together when we’re separated by geography, a pandemic, or both. Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, or video messages sent by text or WhatsApp… they’re all tools my sweety and I have used at various times to stay in touch with family and friends.

We often receive video messages from family, and a recent example showed one of our grandkids dancing to his parents’ music. (This guy loves to dance and, whenever he’s over at our home, I always have songs playing just to watch him start his trademark move of rocking from one foot to the other, with a big grin on his face.) In the particular video message I remember, the background music was “Mr. Blue Sky,” by the Electric Light Orchestra, also known as ELO and, later, Jeff Lynne’s ELO.

Electric Light Orchestra is a band whose music I heard a lot of in my youth. I liked their progressive rock sound, though, oddly, I never bought any of their records. One of their big hits, “Don’t Bring Me Down,” is another standard from the typical playlist you would hear if attending that local phenomenon, the Manitoba social evening.

“Mr. Blue Sky” is a really upbeat song, praising blue sky after rain and taking joy in the celebration of light, play, and humanity. It’s a great song for a Friday, and up here in Winnipeg, Canada, a day of digging out after a significant snowstorm. It was one of those snowfalls where you go out and shovel while it’s still snowing so that it won’t be too deep when it ends.

“Morning! Today’s forecast calls for blue skies

Sun is shining in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped raining
Everybody’s in the play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day
Hey ay ay!

Runnin’ down the avenue
See how the sun shines brightly
In the city
On the streets where once was pity
Mr. Blue
Sky is living here today
Hey ay ay!

Mr. Blue Sky
Please tell us why
You had to hide away
For so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?

Mr. Blue Sky
Please tell us why
You had to hide away
For so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?

Hey you with the pretty face
Welcome to the human race
A celebration
Mr. Blue Sky’s up there waitin’
And today
Is the day we’ve waited for
Ooorrr

Oh, Mr. Blue Sky
Please tell us why
You had to hide away
For so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?

Hey there Mr. Blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you

Hey there Mr. Blue
We’re so pleased to be with you
Look around see what you do
Everybody smiles at you

Mister Blue Sky!
Mister Blue Sky
Mister Blue Sky-yiy!

Mr. Blue you did it right
But soon comes Mr. Night
Creeping over
Now his hand is on your shoulder
Never mind
I’ll remember you this
I’ll remember you this way!

Mr. Blue Sky
Please tell us why
You had to hide away
For so long (so long)
Where did we go wrong?

Hey there Mr. Blue (Sky)
We’re so pleased to be with you (Sky)
Look around see what you do (Blue)
Everybody smiles at you

[Instrumental]

[Choir singing]

[Robotic voice:]
Please. Turn. Me. Ov-er”

(Mr. Blue Sky, by Jeff Lynne. Unofficial lyrics courtesy of AZLyrics.com.)

Today as I was clearing up the last of the heavy, wet snow off the parking pad, I was greeted by, you guessed it, Mr. Blue Sky! The weather was mild, and all the people I encountered had a positive frame of mind. I chatted for a few minutes with two men who walked by and complimented me on my snow clearing. They explained that they are unsheltered, living in an encampment and trying to get their lives back together after the effects COVID-19 has had on their lives. I gave them the money they asked for to buy coffee, and then they were back on their way.

“Mr. Blue Sky” comes from ELO’s seventh album, Out of the Blue (1977), a double album that was one of their most successful releases.

Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s a video of a performance of “Mr. Blue Sky” by Jeff Lynne’s ELO. In it, band members Jeff Lynne and Richard Tandy are backed up by the Take That/Gary Barlow Band led by Mike Stevens, and accompanied by the BBC Orchestra at a BBC Radio 2 concert in September 2014 at Hyde Park in London, England. (A Wikipedia article tells me the 50,000 ticket show sold out in 15 minutes.)

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