According to several newssources Bono has said that Beautiful Day has been inspired by his work with the Jubilee 2000's "Drop the Debt" campaign, aimed at canceling the unpayable debts of the world's poorest countries.
Jonas Steverud (Maintainer of U2MoL) (28:th of December 2000)
According to the promotional material for the song, this is supposed to be about a guy who has lost everything and couldn't be happier.
Eric Jacobsen ejj1geneseo.edu (31:st of December 2000)
This song has at least three references to the Flood in the Bible: "the canyons broken by cloud", "after the flood all the colors came out" and the most obvious "the bird with a leaf in her mouth". In the Bible, God flooded the Earth to kill everyone and everything bad. When it was over, a rainbow (the "colors") appeared as a sign of friendship between God and humanity and with no evil on Earth I'm sure that "it was a beautiful day".
Alejandro Moran moran2interlap.com.ar (19:th of February 2001)
I was showing to my friend the lyrics of the song and she said it reminded her of the biblical character Job. He was living a blameless life, but disaster struck him and left him with nothing. In his deepest sorrow, he began to question God, but later on God humbled him, and He restored Job, blessing him with new found happiness. "Touch me /Take me to that other place /Reach me /I know I'm not a hopeless case" is like Job praying to God for help. This is like a song of hope for the hopeless, who are under trmendous distress.
simeon khew s_khewhotmail.com (10:th of June 2001)
Bono himself said in an Interview on Viva 2 (germany) that it is almost completely explainable with "Zen".
larry_in_spe dominique2gmx.de ( 6:th of September 2001)
Could Bono be thinking about the British Army's withdrawal from Northern Ireland and its involvement around the world. A young man with no prospects in a northern town joins the army. Goes to Kuwait ( Bedouin/ oil fields) Hong Kong ( china right in front of you) See the world in green and blue ( Green for combat/nato and blue for UN peacekeeping, a term used by the military) and flood/ famine relief. Just a thought.
Woody woodyukonet.co.uk (27:th of July 2003)
I was reading the Beautiful Day comments and heard something different in an interview with Bono on 102.1 The Edge (Toronto). He said the song is in regards to: Someone who has lost everything but for some reason feels better than ever before...
Jeff R jeffr08hotmail.com (8th of February 2007)