Loreena McKennitt’s music is widely known and admired, and one of my favourite songs, that appears on the 1997 album, The Book of Secrets, is “Dante’s Prayer”.
The first song of McKennitt’s which I fell in love with, is actually “The Mummer’s Dance” — although I had no idea at the time of who sang it or indeed how her other music sounded. Little did I know just how much I would come to love all her music!
Loreena McKennitt’s music has that strange and ethereal quality that draws you in immediately and calls you away to Faerie.
In her own words:
December 17, 1995, Trans-Siberian Railway: It is now Day 5 on this train journey across wintry Siberia. Travelling alone, it is strange not to be able to have a conversation with anyone, but one learns how much can be conveyed through actions, body language, a look in the eye… I saw some men on the platform today and one resembled my father. He had reddish hair and a long, very Celtic-looking face I would have expected to see in Ireland, not Russia… I am reminded again of the Celtic exhibition in Venice and the suggestion that the Celts may have originated in the Russian steppes. Perhaps the love of horses which began there is the very same that can be seen in County Kildare today.
December 18, 1995, Trans-Siberian Railway: Dante’s The Divine 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…
Here is also “The Mummer’s Dance” —