silver linings: does every cloud really have one?

every cloud has a silver lining means in a big negative situation a positive detail can be found. the idea is often shortened to just silver lining.

cloud sliver lining
clouds & silver linings

fun english practice richyrocks english on youtube

there are literally millions of examples of online efforts to feel a little better about the tough (difficult) times we are living this year as a result of the coronavirus. an article by moyuru baba on the nikkei asian review website explains that air pollution in new delhi has reduced as a result of the lockdown ordered by indian prime minister narendra modi. the headline reads…

India’s lockdown carries a silver lining: bluer skies

but not everybody agrees. wade mcgillis, an associate professor of earth and environmental engineering at columbia university in the u.s. sees it differently. in an article on time magazine‘s website he says…

i see it and i don’t think of a silver lining, i see it and i think: those poor people who are not moving around and sheltered in place, and their lives being ruined.

move around means being mobile. sheltered in place means staying at home.


are blue skies in new delhi a silver lining?

in 2013, the silver linings playbook was nominated for 5 academy awards and star jennifer lawrence won for best actress. the title of the movie sounds like a book of strategies to help find positive perspectives in life.

jennifer lawrence silver lining
jennifer lawrence and bradley cooper in silver linings playbook

and check out this playlist of silver lining songs!

first aid kit‘s song my silver lining ends with this line repeated several times

show me my silver lining, i try to keep on keeping on

keep on means continue. keep on keeping on is meant to inspire. it means continue doing what u have been doing., stay strong.

the lyrics to led zeppelin‘s over hills and far away give the idea that many of the dreams that come true are probably nightmares. listen at 2:10 for

many dreams come true and some have silver linings

in the opening verse and again at  2:00 feel the love by cut copy says

all the girls i’ve known are crying
but all the clouds have silver linings
and though my days are counting backwards
i know that u will have the right words

though (not thought or through) is used to contrast ideas, similar to but.  though is more flexible than but as it can appear at the beginning of two contrasting ideas, between them or following them. the idea in the lyrics above can be expressed with but like this: my days are counting backwards but i know that u have the right words.


in r u mine by the arctic monkeys, u can hear a special lady referred to 3 times as a silver lining (at :38, 1:43 & 2:52 )


judy garland’s most famous song was somewhere over the rainbow which she sang as dorothy in the movie the wizard of oz. the song below is searching for another illusion in the sky. garland sings it as actress marilyn miller in the movie till the clouds roll by.  listen for these lyrics at :26

i am sure this point of view will ease the daily grind 
so i’ll keep repeating in my mind
look for the silver lining

ease is the verb equivalent for the adjective easydaily grind means to activities and tasks performed daily that become boring or tedious.

judy garland singing somewhere over the rainbow in the wizard of oz

in the wizard of oz, judy garland looked for and sang about rainbows, not silver linings

apparently a generation loved to hear judy garland sing about silver linings. the idiom also appears in two other songs she sang in movies: on the bumpy road to love and everybody sing.


there is a creative usage of silver lining in the lyrics of meatloaf‘s song u took the words right out of my mouth. meatloaf describes romantic nighttime beach sex and at 1:45 and 3:30 sings

we were lying together in a silver lining

the title of the song is a useful phrase as well. u took the words right out of my mouth means u said what i was going to say. the song ends with these lyrics repeated many times.

oh it must have been while u were kissing me

must have been is a hypothetical example in the past–> third conditional. it means probably, the best explanation is.


at  1:50, willow‘s song boy observes

they say life has a silver lining


in disclosure & sam smith‘s song omen, these lyrics appear twice; at :40 and again at 2:00

caught my baby crying, saw the silver lining

an omen is a mystical indicator of future events. in this case, seeing his baby crying is an omen of the relationship ending.


and fuck a silver lining by panic! at the disco promotes the idea that looking for silver linings is  stupid.

do u agree with the idiom that every cloud has a silver lining?  or is panic! at the disco right? share your opinions under leave a reply


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