Friday, September 10, 2010

"First Day of My Life" - Bright Eyes

Me and "The Enemy"
If you're lucky enough to have grown up with siblings you'll know that something bizarre happens to your relationship with them as you grow older. In most cases you evolve from enemies into friends. 

I grew up with a younger brother - and until just lately didn't even consider him a person. I don't mean that in a particularly cruel way, I just mean that I was always too busy fighting with and hating him for various sibling rivalry issues that I never realized he was a person too. I never knew he could be funny, witty or interesting. I certainly never thought he had decent taste in music, so when he offered up this song for me to listen to I barely acknowledged him. 

Despite all inclinations to tell him it sucked as did he, I realized that I actually liked the song. Now i'm the kind of chick that is not overly impressed with jobs, statuses or connections, but mostly by a persons taste in music. It was at that point that I actually decided to give my bro a chance to be friends with me and this has since become one of my favorite songs.

Conor Oberst

"First Day of my Life" was released in 2005 as single from Bright Eyes off the album, "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning". While it did quite well on the UK and Indie Charts it failed to have any huge sort of commercial airplay. The video, which features a series of unconventional couples, (inter-racial, same-sex), received special recognition at the 17th annual GLAAD awards.  It's a very simple video but one that is very honest and has a certain element to it that makes me a bit teary eyed. This song was a departure from the band's usual style of music. On live versions of the song the lead singer, Conor Oberst, introduces the song by saying, "This is a love song. I myself have never been in love, but I imagine this is what it would be like."

I know I"ve mentioned this previously, but there are two things that I’m a huge sucker for; 1. Unconventional love songs, and 2. Love songs recorded by Artists that don't typically write love songs. Lucky for me this song encompasses both. Oberst describes love as "The first day of my life", and "You felt as if you just woke up." The whole song works with the theme that when you find love it's like a whole new life begins for you. Another symptom of being in love is when unreasonable things become perfectly reasonable to you.. "Remember the time you drove all night/ Just to meet me in the morning?". I can remember thinking nothing of driving to a boyfriend's house at 1am on a Tuesday morning, or scheduling my days in ridiculous ways so that I could fit in time to see him.

The most discussed line of the whole song is, "But I’d rather be working for a paycheck, then waiting to win the lottery." If you're a glass half empty type of person you'll think this line means that he's willing to settle for a sure thing rather than wait for something incredible to happen. If you're a glass half full type (like me), you’ll think that Oberst meant he believes in love as a long term commitment, something you work for, rather than a short-lived, rare event. Every line in this song is so honest and perfect that I could take up my whole blog dissecting each one, so I'll stop here. In short if there ever was a love song that hit home, a love song that best described REAL love this is it.

This is the first day of my life

Swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain, suddenly everything changed
They're spreading blankets on the beach

Yours was the first face that I saw
I think I was blind before I met you
I don't know where I am, I don't know where I've been
But I know where I want to go

So I thought I'd let you know
That these things take forever, I especially am slow
But I realized how I need you
And I wondered if I could come home

Remember the time you drove all night
Just to meet me in the morning?
And I thought it was strange, you said everything changed
You felt as if you just woke up
And you said

"This is the first day of my life
Glad I didn't die before I met you
Now I don't care, I could go anywhere with you
And I'd probably be happy"

So if you want to be with me
With these things there's no telling
We'll just have to wait and see

But I'd rather be working for a paycheck
Than waiting to win the lottery
Besides, maybe this time is different
I mean, I really think you like me


  1. ew you're a blogger and a rock journalist now? cool.

    bright eyes are pretty good, love cassadaga and there's a good conor oberst solo album too with him in a hammock.


  2. Hey @r/r what's the solo album called?

  3. I actually just stumbled across this song a couple weeks ago and fell in love with everything about it. The simplicity of it, the beauty of the lyrics, and the sincerity vulnerability in the singers voice. So happy I found this blog and someone else who knows good music when they hear it! :)

  4. Thx again Ashley - glad you like! Let me know if you have any song suggestions I'm always looking! If you like this song read my other post about Blind Pilot - Three Rounds and a Sound - reminds me so much of this song!