Loreena Mckennitt – The Old Ways HD

I spent a most haunting New Year’s Eve in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland some years ago, and was moved by the antiquity of some of the celebrations. Yet I was met by deep reminders that they nay be the remnants of the old world meeting the “new”. – L.M

The thundering waves are calling me home to you
The pounding sea is calling me home to you
On a dark new year’s night
On the west coast of Clare
I heard your voice singing
Your eyes danced the song
Your hands played the tune
T’was a vision before me.

We left the music behind and the dance carried on
As we stole away to the seashore
We smelt the brine, felt the wind in our hair
And with sadness you paused.

Suddenly I knew that you’d have to go
Your world was not mine, your eyes told me so
Yet it was there I felt the crossroads of time
And I wondered why.

As we cast our gaze on the tumbling sea
A vision came o’er me
Of thundering hooves and beating wings
In clouds above.

Turning to go I heard you call my name,
You were like a bird in a cage spreading its wings to fly
“The old ways are lost,” you sang as you flew
And I wondered why.

The thundering waves are calling me home to you
The pounding sea is calling me home unto you
The thundering waves are calling me home to you
The pounding sea is calling me home unto you
The thundering waves are calling me home to you
The pounding sea is calling me home unto you

Loreena Mckennitt – All Souls Night HD

This piece was inspired by the imagery of a Japanese tradition which celebrated the souls of the departed by sending candle-lit lanterns out on waterways leading to the ocean, sometimes in little boats; along with the imagery of the Celtic All Souls Night celebrations, at which time huge bonfires were lit not only to mark the new year, but to warm the souls of the departed. – L.M.


Bonfire dot the rolling hillsides
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the pagan sound.

Somewhere in a hidden memory
Images float before my eyes
Of fragrant nights of straw and of bonfires
And dancing till the next sunrise.

Chorus
I can see the lights in the distance
Trembling in the dark cloak of night
Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing
A waltz on All Souls Night.

Figures of cornstalks bend in the shadows
Held up tall as the flames leap high
The green knight holds the holly bush
To mark where the old year passes by.

Chorus

Bonfires dot the rolling hillsides —
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the pagan sound.

Standing on the bridge that crosses
The river that goes out to the sea
The wind is full of a thousand voices
They pass by the bridge and me.

Chorus – 2x

Loreena Mckennitt – Dante’s Prayer

December 18, 1995, Trans-Siberian Railway:
Dante’s The Devine Comedy keeps running through my mind as I gaze out at the landscape passing before me, thinking of the people who inhabit it and how they share this human condition… Are we helping or hurting each other?… How has the West come to this place of transition? Honourably? What are we bringing them? What are their expectations? Are our lives really what they imagine? We always want to believe there is a place better than our own…

When the dark wood fell before me
And all the paths were overgrown
When the priests of pride say there is no other way
I tilled the sorrows of stone

I did not believe because I could not see
Though you came to me in the night
When the dawn seemed forever lost
You showed me your love in the light of the stars

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Then the mountain rose before me
By the deep well of desire
From the fountain of forgiveness
Beyond the ice and the fire

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me

Though we share this humble path, alone
How fragile is the heart
Oh give these clay feet wings to fly
To touch the face of the stars

Breathe life into this feeble heart
Lift this mortal veil of fear
Take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
We’ll rise above these earthly cares

Cast your eyes on the ocean
Cast your soul to the sea
When the dark night seems endless
Please remember me…

Loreena McKennitt – The Mummer’s Dance

When in the springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair

When owls call the breathless moon
In the blue veil of the night
The shadows of the trees appear
Amidst the lantern light

Chorus:
We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

Who will go down to those shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the springtime of the year

The songs of birds seem to fill the wood
That when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days

Chorus

And so they joined their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone

“A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
It is a sprout well budded out
The work of our Lord’s hand”

Chorus (2x)

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