"Concert for St Stephens" - Various Artists


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Full Track Listing:

  • Introduction – Sook-Yin Lee
  • God Bless the Child – Molly Johnson
  • Spoken Word – Jane Siberry
  • Walk On Water – Jane Siberry
  • Spoken Word – Jane Siberry
  • Anytime – Jane Siberry
  • Generacions – Daniel and Valentina Saavedra
  • Medley – Theatre Gargantua
  • The Rose… – Kurt Swinghammer
  • Kensington Market – Kurt Swinghammer
  • Take Care of Us – Beryl Morrison
  • I Come to the Garden – Lori Anna Reid
  • Thank You – Daniel Lanois ft. Lori Anna Reid and Russ Wilson
  • The Maker – Daniel Lanois ft. Lori Anna Reid and Russ Wilson
  • The Messenger – Daniel Lanois ft. Lori Anna Reid and Russ Wilson
  • Going to the Country – Bruce Cockburn
  • King Kong Goes to Tallahassee – Bruce Cockburn
  • Tried and Tested – Bruce Cockburn

Background Information

“Thank You for The Day” or just “Thank You” is a U2 song that was in development with Daniel Lanois for the album All That You Can’t Leave Behind and later No Line on the Horizon. The song has been performed live by Lanois on a number of occasions, but U2 have never released a version of the song.

Lanois performed the song a number of times throughout the years, including the Silverlake Benefit Concert in 2001 (as an instrumental), and also during a May 2004 ceremony at McMaster University in Hamilton (with vocals). During the graduation ceremony he played three songs, including one called “Thank You”, which he shared, “It’s a song of gratitude, and through it you feel my gratitude here today.” He also performed the song on the “Wall to Wall” Guitar Festival podcast. At the end of that podcast he did an acoustic version of the song and revealed that Bono had co-written the song.

While in Toronto in 2005 Lanois also performed the song at a concert organized by the Friends of St. Stephens, a small church in Toronto, which provides social assistance to the downtown community in need. The church was facing a financial crisis and a small concert was held to organize a concert. Lanois did three songs at this concert with Lori Anna Reid and Russ Wilson, “The Maker”, “The Messenger” and “Thank You”. Bono is credited as co-writing the song with Lanois in the song credits. The night before the concert for St. Stephens Lanois had been present at U2’s show in Toronto, and earlier in the had joined the band on stage during one of their shows.

Although recorded, the performances from the concert for St. Stephens were not released for a number of years, when the album was eventually released on CD on July 12, 2012, seven years after the concert had happened. More recently the album has been made available on streaming services. The CD was released on the True North label, and includes performances from all the artists who took place in the concert.

During a trip to Africa in 2006 Bono told Brian Williams from NBC that he was writing lyrics and had worked on a number of new songs, sharing the lyrics for “Thank You”: “I love this work I do. It’s a privilege to serve the poor, to be servants of noble Africans, but I better belong in the rehearsal room or in the studio with my band. That’s where I want to be and I still wake up in the morning with melodies in my head. I was working on one this morning. I scribble notes on Air India sick bags. Can’t read my own handwriting. It’s called ‘Thank You for the Day.’ [sings] ‘There’s no storm on the seas. You’re just bent over in the breeze. There’s no midnight, please. You’re just on your knees. There’s a harbor and a safe port, but what was is now not. There was no price to pay. Thank you for the day.’ So I don’t know where that comes from, but it keeps coming! It interrupts you when you’re trying to get your job done.”

A song identified as “Thank You For the Day” was among the songs heard coming from Bono’s home in the South of France in the summer of 2006. It is also listed among the photos in the deluxe booklet for No Line on the Horizon among the working titles on a white board, which listed both “No Line on the Horizon” and “Songs of Ascent” as well as “Pilgrim’s Lack of Progress”, “House of Abraham”, “Velvet Home” and “Thank You For the Day”.

Lori Anna Reid who performs the song here with Daniel Lanois is thanked in the liner notes for No Line on the Horizon. Looking for some suggestions for hymns that U2 could record, Reid suggested “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” which U2 worked into “White as Snow”. Lanois shared, “Lori played me a few things that she regarded to be great melodic classics, I recorded a little piano version of it and brought that to the U2 camp. She has so much experience singing classical music that it’s just embedded in her as an artist.”

Liner Notes

Thank You: Written by Daniel Lanois & Bono. (Polygram International Music BV. Except Blue Mountain Music (UK), Mother Music (IRL) / Daniel Lanois Administered by Chrysalis Music (ASCAP / SOCAN Canada Only)

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