A Song a Day: ‘One Day I Will’ – Word by Word, Step by Step

‘One Day I Will’ is the most sparse and naked song on the album both instrumentally and lyrically. Gone are the heavy beats and synths, and instead you are left with a beautiful yet heartbreaking jazz piano piece reminiscent of Joy’s early years, listening to the standards of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

The arrangement and lyrical free flow conjure up empty rooms; a singer languidly sitting at a piano pouring out her heart and soul onto the keys; all her hopes and fears utterly spent; just praying to make it through to morning.

Credit: Chuck Willis
Credit: Chuck D Willis

The song is twofold. A self-affirmation of sorts; of looking forward and hoping that good times lay ahead but of also looking back, trying to hold onto, and find the good and happy in past amidst all the hurt. It is also a song to a nameless character, perhaps an old friend or even a lover, in which she sings of being open to forgiveness and rebuilding bridges once burned by each of them, if that person was just to ask.

“And maybe if you asked me to forgive/ One day I will/ One day.”

The track though bare and revealing also reveals nothing at all. Thereby letting the listener to put their own imprint on the story as well as allowing the listener’s imagination to run wild with possibilities as to what the song may or may not be about. A trait The Civil Wars deployed spectacularly and something Joy has gracefully brought with her.

“I won’t feel torn each time I hear your name/ As if I could.”

Of all the lines in the song, this is the one that really sticks to your ribcage and stays there. Is she saying how could she feel torn when she no longer hears their name anymore? Or is she saying, how could she possibly feel torn by them? Smoke and mirrors yet clear-cut glass.

‘One Day I Will’ – written by Joy Williams & Matt Morris

produced by Matt Morris, Daniel James & Charlie Peacock

mixed by Mike “Spike” Stent & mastered Ted Jensen

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