"One Day" (2009) by David Nicholls - The Smiths mentions


I hear that "One Day" has been adapted for TV on Netflix, so I thought I'd share what I mentioned years ago when the novel was popular. I don't know if TIALTNGO features in the Netflix series. Anyone?

The novel "One Day" (from 2009) by David Nicholls (born 1966) which seems to be being read by every third person on the trains into London these days, mentions The Smiths' "There is a Light...." The female character "Em" (aspiring novelist, English teacher, dramatist) compiles a CD of her favourite tracks from the eighties as a present for her newly married friend/love interest/ foppish "Dexter" (non-academic, 'posh', drunken, coke-taking youth TV presenter). We're supposed to believe that in a drunken state he puts this CD on while trying to calm his baby (by another woman, his wife) and sings along to TIALTNGO even though we understand that Dexter never liked The Smiths or that song. SO WHY PLAY IT AND SING ALONG TO IT THEN?? Unreal. :confused:

Anyway, I won't spoil the book for you if you want to read it - though I can't recommend it - but it does appear to me that the tune TIALTNGO is more significant to the plot than anyone in my book group realised.
Last edited:
Here's the list of songs used in the new Netflix adaptation:

Episode 1​

Your Love - Frankie Knuckles
Good Life - Inner City
Theme From S-Express - S’Express
Love in a Car - The House of Love
Love and Affection - Joan Armatrading
Saturday Sun - Nick Drake
Rip It Up - Orange Juice
Temptation - New Order
These Days - Nico
Falling Colour - Vanbur
This is the Day - The The

Episode 2​

Un Bel Di Vedremo Maria Callas - Madama Butterfly, Act II
Madama Butterfly, Act II - Un Bel Dì Vedremo Maria Callas
Here Comes Your Man - Pixies
Last Look - Vanbur
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship
The Whole of the Moon - The Waterboys
Falling Colour - Vanbur

Episode 3​

Back to Life (However You Want Me) - Soul II Soul, Caron Wheeler
Bill is Dead - The Fall
After Hours - The Velvet Underground
Iceblink Luck - Cocteau Twins

Episode 4​

I am the Black Gold of the Sun - Rotary Connection
You’ve Got A Woman - Lion
Something on Your Mind - Karen Dalton
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is - Irma Thomas

Episode 5​

Anthem - N-Joi
Something Goin On - Todd Terry
My Dove to Sleep - Vanbur
Save Me - Joan Armatrading
Northern Sky - Nick Drake

Episode 6​

Jump - Studio Pressure
The Only One I Know - The Charlatans
Step It Up - Stereo MC’s
Fallen - One Dove
Popscene - Blur
Push The Feeling On - Nightcrawlers
Thinking About You - Radiohead

Episode 7​

Rocks - Primal Scream
Glory Box - Portishead
The Wild Ones - Suede

Episode 8​

Connection - Elastica
Lo Boob Oscillator - Stereolab
Dreams - The Cranberries

Episode 9​

The Four Seasons, Spring - Vivaldi
To the End - Blur
On & On - Longpigs

Episode 10​

Brimful of Asha - Cornershop (Norman Cook remix)
Set You Free - N-Trance
A Design For Life - Manic Street Preachers
Candy - Cameo
Show Me Love - Robyn S
Release The Pressure - Leftfield
Sonnet - The Verve

Episode 11

Save Tonight - Eagle-Eye Cherry
Secret Smile - Semisonic
Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying - Belle & Sebastian
Trash - Suede
She Bangs The Drums - The Stone Roses
Protection - Massive Attack with Tracey Thorn
Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks
Rebel Without A Pause - Public Enemy

Episode 12

Obsolète - MC Solaar
The Shining - Badly Drawn Boy
Pitseleh - Elliott Smith
The Book of Love - The Magnetic Fields

Episode 13​

Flowers - Sweet Female Attitude
Up With People - Lambchop
Tijuana Lady - Gomez
Olympian - Gene
Once Around The Block - Badly Drawn Boy
Magic In The Air - Badly Drawn Boy
Weather With You - Crowded House
Asleep In The Back - Elbow
Satellite of Love - Lou Reed
Show - Beth Gibbons, Rustin Man

Episode 14​

Coventry Carol - Kenneth Leighton
Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
Where Were You - Mekons
Where Is My Love - Cat Power
Lilac Wine - Jeff Buckley
Falling Colour - Vanbur
In Cold Light - Vanbur
The 1 relevant paragraph in the book:

"And then it’s The Smiths, ‘There is a Light That Never Goes Out’, and though he never particularly cared for The Smiths he continues to bob around, head down, twenty again, drunk at a student disco. He is singing quite loudly, it’s embarrassing, but he doesn’t care. In the small bedroom of a terraced house, dancing with his daughter to music from a toy train, he suddenly has an intense feeling of contentment. More than contentment – elation. He spins, and steps on a pull-along wooden dog, and stumbles like a street drunk, steadying himself with one hand against the wall. Whoa there, steady boy, he says aloud, then looks down at Jasmine to see she’s okay and she’s fine, she’s laughing, his own beautiful, beautiful daughter. There is a light that never goes out."

Top Bottom