From an instrumental standpoint, New Year’s Day is one of the best U2 singles in a career filled with great singles hell, and great abums too!). It’s insistent as all hell. Adam Clayton’s bass bears down on the track and The Edge’s piano gives the song an eerie feel. According to Wikipedia (man, this countdown would not exist if it weren’t for Wikipedia), the song was inspired by the Polish solidarity movement, although Bono initially began to write it as a love letter to his wife. Either way, it’s the centerpiece of U2’s first truly great album (War), and one of the greatest songs from the legendary band’s first decade.

New Year’s Day has always been my personal favorite holiday, because I’m weird of the promise of a clean slate. Amid the insistence of the instrumentation and the emotion of Bono’s vocal, there’s a glimmer of hope for a better tomorrow that peeks through and makes the song extra special.