Beautiful Day introduces representative songs from 1964 to the present by a range of Irish popular musicians. The book combines written text with photographs to produce an attractive volume that is evocative, informative, and controversial, and that has widespread, cross-demographic appeal. Music has played an important role throughout the island of Ireland since ancient times, and it continues to represent one of the principal cultural avenues for the expression and exploration of contemporary Irish identities. Beautiful Day: Forty Years of Irish Rock tells the story of modern Ireland from the perspective of the music produced across the island during a period of rapid, decisive change. The volume is made up of an introductory essay (4,000 words) followed by short essays (ca. 1,200 words) on forty-one songs (one from each year between 1964 and 2004) interspersed with photographic images relating to individual performers, songs and / or cultural context.
This book will place representative material by a variety of artists - including U2, Enya, The Corrs, Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison, and Sinead O'Connor - in their musical, cultural and historical contexts, while also introducing a range of less well known, but no less interesting, Irish popular musicians from the 1960s down to the present. Although the style is accessible, the research is thorough, and is intended to challenge many received ideas relating to the development of Ireland during this key stage of its political and cultural history. The overall intention is to combine written text with photographs to produce an attractive book that is evocative, informative, and controversial, and that has widespread, cross-demographic appeal.