Friday, October 19, 2012

That'll Be The Day

This post is early, Pilgrim. It'll have to come back tomorrow at high noon but not after that because then it will be late and people's time is valuable. So it'll be back tomorrow. Will the post be done by then, all prettied up and presented with a bow? Ha! That'll be the day.

Wait. Bright, shiny object.

This phrase was said twice in a 1956 film called The Searchers, (amazingly, the photo-illustrations above are images from the same movie). The first time Mr. Wayne said it was as an answer to, "You wanna quit, Ethan?" And the second time was in response to "I hope you die." To which the Duke (who wasn't officially the Duke yet) said, "That'll be the day." What a great phrase that is. Short, direct, to the point and a little sarcastic when used in the proper manner.

There are so few phrases in the English lexicon that have added as much to the well being of the world. Heck, it stopped WW3 before it started. Trust me. True. And how many a crime or an unwanted baby has not been conceived because of this phrase? Think about various potential messy situations where when the bad guys were on the verge of doing what they did and they had the idea but instead of doing it they considered it but said to themselves, "That'll be the day!" Things like this never make the news. Think of all those suicide bombers. They may not even know English but all they'd have to learn is this one phrase, say it and then they could go home to their families instead of blowing themselves up. What if we were to teach people that the only answer to "Hungry?" or  "Poor?" or "In trouble?" is "That'll be the day." Then maybe the phrase could be put up for the Pulitzer Peace Prize.

So when tomorrow is actually today and I'm waiting for answers to difficult questions; I've decided that waiting for a time when more people answered with this phrase to be well worth waiting a bit longer for. Come back then. We'll have a party.

And won't that be a day?


The Searchers was a favorite of several directors including Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and George Lucas. It was said to be the first Western in which racism and sexuality was explored in a serious and unpretentious way. Buddy Holly was so impressed with the phrase he and Jerry Allison wrote a song about it in June 1956.


  1. Oh, no! Now I have a worm in my ear!!

    * * *

    That'll be the day when you say goodbye Yeah, That'll be the day when you make me cry
    You say you're gonna leave, you know it's a lie That'll be the day-ay-ay when I die

    * * *

    1. Sorry Lynn Marie! At least it's a pretty good worm. :)