Day by Day (Godspell song)
|"Day by Day"|
|Single by Godspell|
Day by Day is the third song in the show’s score and it is also reprised as the closing number for the 1973 film version. Its refrain follows a prayer ascribed to the 13th-century English bishop Saint Richard of Chichester:
May I know Thee more clearly,
Love Thee more dearly,
Follow Thee more nearly.
The version in Godspell follows more closely the wording in Hymn 429 of the 1940 Hymnal:
Day by day,
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by day.
"Day By Day" was first a hit in Australia, where both Judy Stone and Colleen Hewett released competing versions of the track in late 1971. Hewett's version reached #2 in the Kent Music Report, while Judy Stone's take reached #25.
In 1972, a version of the song from the album Godspell (1971) by the original off-Broadway cast was released as a single in the US, and attributed simply to the group name "Godspell". Robin Lamont was the lead singer, uncredited. "Day By Day" spent 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at the #13 position on July 29, 1972. Billboard ranked it as the No. 90 song for 1972.
- The instrumental cover band Hot Butter released a version on their 1972 album Hot Butter.
- The 5th Dimension's version was recorded for the Living Together, Growing Together album, released in 1973.
- Another instrumental version, in the song's initial key, was used as the theme music for NBC's Today Show in the 1970s.
- Featured in Wet Hot American Summer.
- In March 1972 Holly Sherwood released Day by Day (which also incorporated a medley of two other numbers from the show) as her first single, produced by Tony Orlando for Rocky Road Records. Her version went to #104 on the Billboard Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart, and also charted in the United Kingdom.
- Andy Williams and Ray Conniff and His Singers both released versions in 1972 on albums that were both called Alone Again (Naturally).
- The song was covered by British pop singer Cilla Black who released it on her 1973 album Day by Day with Cilla which was her seventh and last studio album with producer George Martin.
- Christian rap/rock group dc Talk covered the song (with additional lyrics) on their 1995 album Jesus Freak.
- A previously unreleased version by the 1970s British vocal group Design was included on their 2012 CD One Sunny Day: Singles and Rarities 1968–1978.
- Judy Collins released a version on her Amazing Grace LP in 1985.
- Christian rock group House of Heroes covered the song on their 2013 album "The Knock-Down Drag-Outs".
- Homer Simpson sings a version of "Day by Day" in the episode entitled "Pulpit Friction" on the TV series The Simpsons.
In popular culture
- In the 2000 film Meet the Parents, Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) is asked by Jack Byrnes (Robert De Niro) to say Grace before dinner, resulting in Greg reciting the lyrics from "Day by Day."
- In the 2001 film Wet Hot American Summer, summer camp counselors Susie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Bradley Cooper) direct a group of kids to sing and dance “Day by Day” in similar style and costume to the original Godspell Broadway cast, which they perform at the talent show. The audience claps along happily, but after the performance ends with a glowing luminescent cross on the wall, it is met with overwhelming boos. The host comments it is one of his favorite Broadway numbers, but erroneously pronounces it as “Day Bidet.”
- Ian C. Bradley (2005). You've Got to Have a Dream: The Message of the Musical. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 142. ISBN 0-664-22854-2.
- Philip H. Pfatteicher (2008). New Book of Festivals and Commemorations: A Proposed Common Calendar of Saints. Fortress Press. p. 159. ISBN 0-8006-2128-X.
- St. Richard of Chichester, 1197-1253, "Day by Day", in The Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America, 1940, Hymn 429.
- Billboard. July 29, 1972.
- Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1972