- 20 Jan 21
The inveterate liar and conman Donald Trump has finally been ousted from the White House. His successor Joe Biden is being inaugurated in Washington D.C. It is surely a day to inspire hope. ‘Cos it’s a brand new day...
The eyes of the world are on Washington D.C. today – as Joe Biden prepares to be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.
The inauguration takes place just two weeks after the violent attack on the US Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump, and as a result, security has been stepped up to an extraordinary level. Trump will not attend the ceremony.
In the midst of a global pandemic that has taken over 400,000 American lives, the inauguration is set to be historic for many reasons. Following the swearing-in ceremony at 11am (4pm Irish time), Kamala Harris will become the first woman vice-president, as well as the first black and South Asian American vice-president.
The departure of Trump from the White House also marks the end of what has been one of the most divisive presidencies in US history. Last week, the House of Representatives voted to impeach him for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol – making him the first US president to be impeached twice.
Earlier today, Biden expressed the hopes of many Americans with the simple tweet: "It's a new day in America."
It’s a new day in America.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 20, 2021
Considering his penchant for quoting Irish writers and poets, its fitting that Biden's statement brings to mind the hopeful sentiment of Van Morrison's 'Brand New Day', from his 1970 album Moondance.
As part of the Hot Press 'Rave On, Van Morrison' series in 2020, acclaimed Limerick artist Emma Langford performed a powerful rendition of the classic song, and reflected on what 'Brand New Day' meant to her.
"The lyrics of ‘Brand New Day’ hit a nerve," she says. "I was strolling within my 2km, browsing his considerable back catalogue, and considering the classics – ‘Days Like This’ and ‘Have I Told You Lately’. Then my ear caught the opening line of ‘Brand New Day’: “When all the dark clouds roll away, and the sun begins to shine, I see my freedom from across the way and it comes right in on time.” I hit repeat and then I hit it again, and I sat in the grass and I breathed deep for the first time that day."
To mark the dawning of what will hopefully be "a new day in America", revisit Emma Langford's performance below: