The title track of Enya's eighth studio album, like her other records it is a collaboration between the singer, her producer and sound engineer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan.
Dark Sky Island was inspired by Ryan's work on a series of poetry books themed around islands. "This album has a theme of journeys," commented Enya. "Journeys to the island; through the length of a lifetime; through history, through emotions; and journeys across great oceans. So although it's not a 'themed' album, as such, we nevertheless have an underlying connection between songs."
This was the first song to be written for the album. It was inspired by Roma's poetry about the island of Sark, one of the Channel Islands, where artificial lights are reduced as much as possible. "It was the first island to be designated as a dark sky area," explained Ryan. "The community decided collectively to adjust their way of living in order to accommodate clear, unspoiled night-views of the heavens. There are no cars on the island and all of the lighting is designed so that it doesn't interfere with the observation of the stars. So many stars can be seen that it can be difficult to pick out familiar constellations."
"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" was written by Nick Lowe in 1974. The original version with his group Brinsley Schwarz was kind of somber, but Elvis Costello made it a classic with his 1978 uptempo take.