Preacher Josiah K. Alwood spotted a beautiful rainbow against a dense black cloud while traveling home to Michigan from Ohio back in 1879.
He woke up the following morning inspired to write “Unclouded Day,” which is also sometimes known as “Uncloudy Day.”
Thematically, it’s a straightforward gospel song that imagines heaven. Willie Nelson’s version is probably the most famous, but it’s been covered by Johnny Cash, Doc Watson, Don Henley, and pretty much every band with a regular church service gig.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the I-II-V progression wherever it appears, and “Unclouded Day” certainly qualifies.
The song can confuse a jam, because many singers pause for an extra measure at the end of certain lines to catch their breath. It can be tricky to get everyone on the same page, especially when some pickers incorporate that extra measure in their breaks and others don’t. You need to listen carefully if you want to stay together.
Billy Strings’ version below is pure flatpicking goodness. Notice that his chord progression on the last line of each verse and chorus is a slight departure from what I’ve outlined here. His variation is a common one—you go from the I to the vi-minor, then the V and back to the I. The vi-minor is optional. You can stay on the I chord there if you wish.
“Unclouded Day” Lyrics and Chords
Click the button below if you’d like to download a higher quality, printable PDF version of the lyrics and chords for “Unclouded Day”.
Download lyrics and chords for "Unclouded Day"
Send download link to: