Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)

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It’s not hard to believe that the song “I Can See Clearly Now” has helped anyone who has heard it in the song’s existence for 47 years. This song is the epitome of well-being and the propagation of positive waves. It’s also not surprising that this song was Jonny Nash’s biggest hit, as it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972 when it was released, and stayed there for four weeks. There have been countless covers of the song throughout its half century of existence and we would like to feature some of the best, including the iconic Jimmy Cliff cover.

“I Can See Clearly Now” was a track from the same titled Johnny Nash album released in 1972. Nash’s next big hit “Stir It Up” was also produced from the same album. This album was heavily assisted by reggae icon Bob Marley.

There is a fairly ongoing discussion of the meaning of the song “I Can See Clearly Now”. Some refer to it as the final moment of clarity before someone commits suicide. Most of the others see the song as a positive and motivating track. According to a rare interview with Johnny Nash, he said he composed these lyrics while lying in a hospital bed recovering from an operation. With that in mind, we can only believe that this song is about things that lie ahead in the future.

Listen to “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash

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- Johnny Nash – I Can See Clearly Now (Lyrics Review and Song Meaning)
Cover for the CD “I Can See Clearly Now”. Side B contains “Comment c’est bon”. (Image credits:

Song Review and Meaning of “I Can See Clearly Now”

This song is about a better and better future. Jonny Nash draws a nature-rain scene to draw conclusions about his life. “Rain” generally means troubling, difficult, dark and bad days, and “sun” marks the exact opposite.

In these lyrics we hear Johnny Nash singing about how rainy clouds seem to move away. There are some obstacles in his way, but at least he can see them clearly now so he can navigate with caution. Dark clouds reduce vision, and that’s what they did for Johnny Nash’s mind. He was surrounded by angst, pain and disappointment with everything that was going on in his life at the time. But something has changed now. Dark clouds give way to sunlight.

The sun looks like happy, cheerful and positive vibrations. The sky is generally clear blue when the sun is shining properly. “Clear skies” are the sign of a path to be traveled without obstacles. From the first verse to the chorus, the song has gone from seeing obstacles to removing all obstacles. Maybe obstacles were part of his state of mind, as they usually are.

“I Can See Clearly Now” evolves in three stages. First, the rain clouds part, making the vision a bit clearer. Second, the sun seeps through the dark clouds and forms a rainbow. Third, the sky is clear and Sun shines brilliant. It’s a sign of being free of all the chains that held Nash before the song.

Johnny Nash hadn’t said much about the inspiration behind this song, but it seems to have grown deep within himself.

Jimmy Cliff, another raggae artist from Jamaica, recorded a cover of “I Can See Clearly Now” for the 1993 film “Cool Runnings”. This cover also became a hit, reaching No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100. .

Watch Jimmy Cliff’s cover of “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash

What do you think this song by Johnny Nash means? Let us know in the comments below. If you like this article, please share it with your friends.

Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” Full Lyrics

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