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Clearly (Reimagination)

Type: Official
Writers: Grace VanderWaal, Ido Zmishlany, Chloe Angelides, Neil Ormandy, Mike Waters, Johnny Nash
Made famous by: Johnny Nash (1972) (Play)
Times Performed: 91
Play Official Video

Notes

The chorus is a rewrite of the chorus in Johnny Nash's 1972 hit, I Can See Clearly Now. Grace wrote the bridge.

Media relations
"Grace Vanderwaal's New Song 'Clearly' Is One of The Most Uplifting Things We've Heard" (articles.aplus.com Apr. 1, 2018)

"...she does Nash’s original justice. Vanderwaal’s voice brings a raw emotion to the song that helps the lyrics greatly. The lyric changes help her reach out to her younger audience, as she talks about taking on “rainstorms” in life and accepting them". (The Broadcaster April 16, 2018)

Grace on the song and how it came about
“My new single ‘Clearly’ is about hope, and having the courage to face the world which can be pretty tough sometimes,” said Vanderwaal in an interview with Vents magazine. “My favourite lyric from the song is ‘I accept all the things that I cannot change,’” said Vanderwaal, “As much as we try to change ourselves, we will always be the same person deep down. We should embrace what makes us different and love that about ourselves.” [Source]

"I think it's such a cool optimistic song, it's like a huge statement of the seventies. I thought it would be cool to, and this wasn’t only my idea, to kind of add darker lyrics leading up to the super happy chorus… and there’s really only been one version of it, there has been many remakes and covers, but it’s always kind of been the same. [Why hope is such an important message] I think we have all heard about hope from the past generations and looked forward to it and got taught about it, and I think that for some reason, that whole lesson just skipped our generation for some reason, I don’t know why. And I think a lot of people know the world and the definition, but don’t know how it feels or how to do it, so it’s really important to teach gen Z what hope is and how to feel it.” (Grace in Interview on MTV Live April 23, 2018 Performance# 155)

“My favorite line in the song is “I accept all the things that I cannot change” and when I heard that, that’s when I knew I wanted to keep this song and release it as my own, because it is really, really important for younger people, especially younger girls to know that like – it’s just, it’s YOU, and everything about you, whether it’s physical, your personality, who you are, like, you’ll never ever be able to change that, you can do everything in your power, but it will still be you” (Grace in the “Behind the Scenes video” for the “Clearly” music video, released Apr. 11, 2018)

“He [Ido] told me that him and a few buddies were rewriting and adding on to this really famous chorus,” she explains, adding that as soon as she heard the chorus, she ran out to tell her mother about it, who instantly recognised the original song. “So, I ran back in, I was like OK I know that song. I’ll try singing it. I’ll test it out but I can’t promise that I wanna keep it. So, I started singing it, I’m like these words are amazing, oh my gosh they are touching my soul so much. And we took some takes of it and it was actually super cool, and by the end I’m like, ‘Of course I’m keeping this’. This is a masterpiece – [Ido], you’re such a genius.” She also explains that while she loves the sound of choirs on songs, it requires a great deal of work to do so. To accomplish that sound, Zmishlany recorded nearly a dozen different takes of himself singing the part to sound like various different people, while VanderWaal did “like a million” takes, as well. Some were recorded from across the room, and one was intentionally recorded with a “really weird voice” because there’s always that one kind of bad person in the choir, like you gotta mix that in.”(Interview in the “How it went down” Billboard video)

The origins of the idea to reimagine the song
One of the writers Ido was working with on the song explains how the idea was born: "I came up with the idea to reimagine this song at a songwriting camp for Demi Lovato in a big house in California’s wine country. We originally pitched the idea to Demi but she didn’t want to do it, and then Grace heard it and wanted to take a shot at it. I’m glad she did because she absolutely nailed it and I really love her version. It’s a song about depression and breaking through to the other side. The original song doesn’t actually have any verses or pre-choruses, it’s pretty much all chorus, so we wrote verses we wanted to tell more story. Fun fact, I’m singing backing vocals in the hook." (Mike Waters Shares The Stories Behind Five Songs He Has Co-Written, Music Feeds, July 2, 2020)

The original version
I Can See Clearly Now” — which Johnny Nash wrote and produced himself — was a huge success, going gold and providing him a four-week run at No. 1 in the States. It became a hit again in 1993 when Jimmy Cliff recorded it for the soundtrack of “Cool Runnings”; it reached No. 18 and was the Jamaican musician’s highest-charting U.S. song. Others who’ve covered the tune on record include Ray Charles, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Grace VanderWaal, Hothouse Flowers and the punk band Screeching Weasel. It was more recently repopularized in US Bank commercials. It’s arguable whether “I Can See Clearly Now” was a true reggae song, but his interest in the genre was clear and true, and he even covered three songs by his friend Bob Marley on the album that came out under that title — co-writing a fourth with him, “You Poured Sugar on Me.”
(Chris Willman for Variety Oct 7, 2020)



Performances

2018.02.07 9:30 Club Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.09 Cannery Ballroom Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.10 Terminal West Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.12 Warehouse Live Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.13 Trees Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.16 Bluebird Theatre Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.20 Slim's Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.22 Hawthorn Theatre Just the Beginning Tour
2018.02.23 Neumos Just the Beginning Tour Taken from front of stage to the left
2018.03.23 Concert for Dreams (Beacon Theatre)
2018.04.21 MVCC Cultural Series (Mohawk Valley Community College) Just the Beginning Tour
2018.04.23 MTV Live Acoustic (Columbia Records Studios, Lincoln Centre - Rooftop)
2018.04.24 The Late Show with Steven Colbert (The Ed Sullivan Theatre)
2018.05.04 Freddie Porter Scholarship Fund Beefsteak Dinner (Three Saints Orthodox Church Cultural Centre)
2018.05.07 Little Miracles Show Choir (Ramapo High School) Part of (1m) - close to stage
2018.05.25 Elvis Duran Show (Z 100 studios)
2018.06.02 Teen Vogue Summit (Times Square)
2018.06.05 Xfinity Theatre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.06 Xfinity Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.06 NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert (NPR studios)
2018.06.08 Darling's Waterfront Pavillion Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.09 PNC Bank Arts Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.11 St. Josephs's Health Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.13 Budwesier Stage Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.14 Budwesier Stage Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (10s) 
2018.06.16 Hershey Park Stadium Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.17 Blossom Music Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.19 Madison Square Garden Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.21 DT Energy Music Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (15s) 
2018.06.22 Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.24 Century Link Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.26 Denny Sanford Premier Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.27 Summerfest (American Family Insurrance Amphitheater) Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.06.29 Saratoga Performing Arts Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.02 Jiffy Lube Live Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) 360 degree view from far away, you can hear but not see Grace 
2018.07.03 Veterans United Home Loan Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.05 Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creck Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.07 Colonial Life Arena Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) (Documented by video that has since been deleted)
2018.07.08 Brandon Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.10 Bridgestone Arena Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (9s) 
2018.07.11 Hollywood Casino Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.13 Hollywood Casino Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.14 Sprint Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.16 Red Rocks Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.18 Isleta Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragmemt (45s) 
2018.07.21 The Forum Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.22 GRAMMY Spotlight (The GRAMMY Museum LA)
2018.07.22 The Forum Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) High quality, close up
2018.07.24 Concord Pavillion Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.26 Bobcat Stadium Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.28 Loveloud - Concert (Rice-Eccles Stadium) Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.07.30 INTRUST Bank Arena Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (48s) 
2018.08.01 BOK Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (42s) 
2018.08.02 Austin 360 Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2018.08.04 Cynthia Woods Mitchel Pavillion Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Part of (45s) 
2018.08.05 Smoothie King Centre Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Fragment (15s) 
2018.08.07 The Wharf Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Part of (40s) 
2018.08.09 Coral Sky Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons) Part of (45s) 
2018.08.10 MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater Evolve Tour (Imagine Dragons)
2019.02.21 Stray Release Event (The Slipper Room)
2019.05.31 CAL Polytech "Spring Fever" Sunset Concert (California Polytech University, University Union Plaza)
2019.06.05 Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creck High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine) At 2:43 (On Facebook so timestamps don't work) 
2019.06.06 Ameris Bank (formerly Verizon) Amphitheater High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine) The full song at 2:45 (Facebook video, so no timestamps) 
2019.06.08 Amway Centre High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine)
2019.06.09 American Airlines Arena High as Hope Tour (Florence & The Machine)
2019.08.10 Railbird Festival (The grounds of Keeneland Racetrack) Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.11 Orange Peel Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.13 Cannery Ballroom Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.14 Variety Playhouse Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (1m7s) 
2019.08.16 Granada Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.17 Emo's Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.18 Warehouse Live Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (46s) 
2019.08.21 The van Buren Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.22 El Rey Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.25 The Observatory Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.27 El Rey Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour Fragment (18s) 
2019.08.28 El Rey Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.08.29 The Fillmore Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.01 The Depot Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (56s) at 1:21 
2019.09.02 Washington's Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.03 Bluebird Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.06 Varsity Theatre Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.07 Park West Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.09 Saint Andrews Hall Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.11 The Opera House Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.13 Royale Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.14 College Street Music Hall Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.16 Theatre of Living Arts Ur so Beautiful Tour Part of (1:20) from 0:35 (Facebook so no timestamps) 
2019.09.17 Webster Hall Ur so Beautiful Tour
2019.09.19 The National Ur so Beautiful Tour Fragmemt (12s) from 0:10 
2019.11.24 Wonderfront Festival (Uncle Ed's D*mn Good Vodka Stage)

Reviews, Reactions etc.

Type Comment Link
Behind the songHow it went down
Behind the songMike Waters Shares The Stories Behind Five Songs He Has Co-Written
Behind the scenes - videoMusic Video Breakdown
Song reviewVanderwaal’s voice brings a raw emotion to the song that helps the lyrics greatly
Song reviewBold and Empowering, “Clearly” is Grace VanderWaal’s Latest Triumph
Song related contentGrace VanderWaal - Clearly (Live On Tour) (official)
Song related contentClearly Chooir competition entry: Musicality Choir
Song related contentUH Choir Clearly choir contest entry
Use in movies, TV-shows etc, Animated series "Next Gen"
Use in movies, TV-shows etc,Espelho da Vida (TV Series) - No media
Use in movies, TV-shows etc,TheFamilyOf4 (Season 1, Episode 23) - No media

Singles & Albums

Release Date Record Type Track
2018-03-20ClearlySingle1

Lyrics

There’s a world outside my door
I don’t know it anymore
I’m gonna stay here now
I’m gonna stay here now
Close the curtains, cut the lights
Match the darkness in my mind
It’s gonna take me down
It’s gonna take me down

All the roads I’ve been before
Same mistakes always got me shakin’
And all the signs I once ignored
In my denial, I didn’t want to face them

I can see clearly now
The rain has gone
I accept all the things that I cannot change
Gone are the dark clouds
The dawn has come
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

There’s a world outside my door
I forced my feet down to the floor
I’m gonna make it out
I’m gonna make it out
Take a breath and say a prayer
Find the strength in my despair
It’s not gonna take me down
It’s not gonna take me down

All the roads I’ve been before
Same mistakes always got me shakin’
And all the signs I once ignored
In my denial, I didn’t want to face them

I can see clearly now
The rain has gone
I accept all the things that I cannot change
Gone are the dark clouds
The dawn has come
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

All the pain in my sorrow
Won’t change today, only ruin tomorrow
All the pain in my sorrow
Won’t change today, only ruin tomorrow

I can see clearly now
The rain has gone
I accept all the things that I cannot change
Gone are the dark clouds
The dawn has come
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day

Transcription provided by the VanderVault (www.VanderVault.org)
Clearly lyrics © Ultra Tunes, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group © SME (on behalf of Columbia); Sony ATV Publishing
For non-commercial use only.

Covers and Remixes

Type Comment Link