2019 / July

Reasons to be cheerful (part 3)

by Ian Dury and the Blockheads

Photo by Reza Rostampisheh on Unsplash

For those of you unfamiliar with the song, don’t worry, you haven’t missed the first two parts! This week we are thinking about Reasons to be Cheerful (Part Three) by Ian Dury and the Blockheads from the album Do It Yourself.

This cult track lists reasons to be cheerful and is said to be inspired by a near-fatal accident of one of the band’s lighting roadies at a gig in Italy. It’s said that the roadie was almost electrocuted when setting up for the gig, hence the line: going on 40 – no electric shocks. Yet we don’t need to have a near death experience to choose to audit the reasons we should be cheerful with life. The song gives us plenty of ideas as to where to look.

The unexpected

Health service glasses.

Perhaps I’m showing my age, but I remember National Health Service prescription glasses from when I was at school. Let’s be honest, they didn’t look great, and they often seemed to break (my lasting memory of them is one of my friends having his taped up across the nose). Yet, change our perspective, and they become a reason to be cheerful. Not just in a retrospective sense, providing us with happy memories, as for Dury they were contemporary objects. These glasses provided a real functional benefit for those who had them and improved their quality of life through improving their ability to see clearly.

The mundane

The juice of the carrot.

Nothing particularly spectacular here. But how much enjoyment do we get from the things which we might take for granted? The things which sustain us and nourish us? If we take the time to be mindful, some of the mundane experiences of life can become sources of joy.

The imagined

The smile of a parrot.

Parrots are one of the few mammals which don’t have facial muscles and so therefore cannot actually smile. Yet, we can still have a sense of if a parrot is happy or not. Our imagination and intuition help us to engage beyond what we see simply with our eyes. Looking beyond this immediate context gives us another reason to be cheerful.


Good golly Miss Molly and boats.

Whether it’s music, boating, or something else, how much pleasure do we get from the hobbies we enjoy. When we simply take these experiences for granted and they become just something we do, we lose the joyful creative fascination and inspiration they can bring to our lives. When was the last time you refreshed your sense of wonder through your hobbies?


Phoning up a buddy.

Finally, the relationships we build. Knowing that there are people there for us who will listen to us. People who share our life journey with us. Our relationships with others can be one of the greatest sources of joy.

So, why not take some time out this week to remember the reasons you may have to be cheerful.

Need some help to find your reasons to be cheerful? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood.


Exploring and co-creating #wellbeing4all and community theology with individuals, businesses and communities. For the many, not the few.