My hat is off to Jerome Kern, who wrote this song for the musical "Sally" in 1929:
Look for the silver lining
When e'er a cloud appears in the blue.
Remember somewhere the sun is shining,
And so the right thing to do,
Is make it shine for you.
A heart, full of joy and gladness,
Will always banish sadness and strife.
So always look for the silver lining,
And try to find the sunny side of life.
My current stitchery project includes a piece of shiny gray lining fabric, so I can't help but hear Andy Williams or Judy Garland singing Kern's song about the silver lining.
Perhaps the first time I made the big journey to Omaha as a child, we dined in the fancy Silver Lining restaurant at the Omaha Municipal Airport. In that era of sophisticated airline travel one was more likely to dine on scallops or steak than McMuffins while watching planes take off and land.
Jumping ahead twenty years, my optimistic sister-in-law had a fabulous gift for mangling idioms. To her, "every hat had a silver lining." Guess my glass was half-empty on those frigid Nebraska nights, as I paraphrased, "every hat gives me static hair cling."
Every cloud has a silver lining
A poetic sentiment that even the gloomiest outlook contains some hopeful or consoling aspect. Cf. [1634 Milton Comus I. 93] Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
‘Every cloud’, says the proverb, ‘has a silver lining.’[1869 P. T. Barnum Struggles & Triumphs 406]
© 2007 Nancy L. Ruder