The Unclouded Day

And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

—John 1:51

The Unclouded Day
By Josiah Kelley Alwood

O they tell me of a home far beyond the skies,
O they tell me of a home far away;
O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
O they tell me of an unclouded day.

[Refrain]

O the land of cloudless day,
O the land of an unclouded day,
O they tell me of a home where no storm clouds rise,
O they tell me of an unclouded day.

O they tell me of a home where my friends have gone,
O they tell me of that land far away,
Where the tree of life in eternal bloom
Sheds its fragrance through the unclouded day.

[Refrain]

O they tell me of a King in His beauty there,
And they tell me that mine eyes shall behold
Where He sits on the throne that is whiter than snow,
In the city that is made of gold.

[Refrain]

O they tell me that He smiles on His children there,
And His smile drives their sorrows all away;
And they tell me that no tears ever come again
In that lovely land of unclouded day.

 “The Unclouded Day” was written by Josiah Kelley Alwood. (Harrison County, Ohio, July 15, 1828–January 13, 1909, Morenci, Michigan). Ordained by the United Brethren in Christ, he spent many years as a circuit rider, traveling on horseback to his many appointments. He would be gone from his family for weeks at a time while he held revival meetings and lectured on Christian doctrine. Later, he became a presiding elder in the North Ohio Conference and was a delegate to several general conferences of his church. Always a staunch supporter of the original constitution of his denomination, he was a delegate to the general conference at the time of the separation of the church into two groups at York, Pennsylvania, in 1889.

Alwood related a story about the event that inspired the song:

It was a balmy night in August 1879, when returning from a debate in Spring Hill, Ohio, to my home in Morenci, Michigan, about 1:00 a.m. I saw a beautiful rainbow north by northwest against a dense black nimbus cloud. The sky was all perfectly clear except this dark cloud which covered about forty degrees of the horizon and extended about halfway to the zenith. The phenomenon was entirely new to me and my nerves refreshed by the balmy air and the lovely sight. Old Morpheus was playing his sweetest lullaby. Another mile of travel, a few moments of time, a fellow of my size was ensconced in sweet home and wrapped in sweet sleep. A first class know-nothing till rosy-sweet morning was wide over the fields.


To awake and look abroad and remember the night was to be filled with sweet melody. A while at the organ brought forth a piece of music now known as “The Unclouded Day.” A Day and a half was bestowed on the four stanzas.

— A Rainbow at Midnight and A Song With Morning (1896)

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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