Enya – “Dark Sky Island”.

And after sharing a song by Maire Brennan for yesterday, for today I chose a song from her younger sister’s most recent album, the opening title track from it. Dark Sky Island takes its title and inspiration from Sark, one of the Channel Islands, which was designated the first dark sky island in the world and where its entire small population has an interesting way of living, adjusted to the sky, for example cars are not allowed there. Enya’s lyricist, Roma Ryan, clearly has a keen interest in all things relating to astronomy, so it’s no wonder that it has become a huge source of inspiration for her, and for Enya as well.

Question of the day.

What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?

My answer:

Village School by Miss Read. I’d been wanting for the longest time to read something from this author, particularly Miss Clare Remembers and No Holly For Miss Quinn, which are two books in her Fairacre series which inspired Enya (one of my faza people) to compose two pieces of music with the same names. Just listening to those songs I always thought that if they have book equivalents, they must be great, and reading their synopses made me think they were right up my alley, but there was no Polish translation, or at least I couldn’t find any, and it’s fairly recently, some two years ago I guess, that I’ve seriously started reading English-language books of all sorts more regularly and casually, that is not solely for learning the language and new vocabulary. GoodReads must have also figured that it would be right up my alley, because recently I’ve found the first book from this series (the aforementioned Village School) in my recommendations on there, and since now I have access to different places where I can get English books and I read them regularly, I figured I really need to give this series a go now. It took me some time to get into it properly, but I really did enjoy this book and I felt really at home in it by the time I finished. It was really sweet and charming and I absolutely loved her way of describing characters, I love authors whose characters I can actually imagine and who seem life-like, her way of describing things in general is amazing, and I liked her sense of humour.

At more or less the same time I happened to learn that a guy I used to follow quite regularly some years ago, who teaches Swedish online and is a Swede himself and generally seems quite crazy about languages, has written a handbook for Swedish learners, called A Lagom Guide To Swedish. I figured I could really use some good Swedish offline resource that I wouldn’t need to scan or anything, so I bought the ebook right away. And while it’s a handbook, so generally not something you’d just read like from cover to cover, that was precisely what I ended up doing, in just a few sittings. 😀 I was quite curious how much of the things in this book I would have already known, so I started just skimming through it, but then got positively surprised that I actually know SO much of the stuff he covered in it, and even more surprised and happy whenever I came across something I didn’t know or realise, that I just didn’t want to put it aside. It really boosted my self-esteem in terms of Swedish, because ever since my English has leapt so much forward, I’ve been feeling less confident about my Swedish than I was before, even despite I managed with it quite well in Stockholm and I can get along with people just fine, I always have an impression that my Swedish, compared with my English, feels kind of clunky and it’s not as easy for me to express everything in it as it is in English, even though there was a time when my Swedish was waay better than my English. So I’m really glad I came across that book, even for this one reason. And it’ll definitely still be useful in different situations.

How about you? 🙂

Enya – “Storms In Africa”.

Hey people! 🙂

The song I’d like to show you today, actually has two parts, which is why this song is also known as Storms in Africa pt. 1. This first part is in Irish Gaelic, and the second one is in English. The inspiration for it has come from Nicky Ryan – Enya’s manager and producer – who came up with the title. He got inspired with the arpeggiator in the Juno 60 synth which Enya uses for a lot of her music and which is one of her favourites. They were playing around with it and he told Enya to compose something that would use this arpeggiator sound. And the lyrics of course come from Roma Ryan. Here’s the translation:

 

How far is it from…

How far is it from…

Walk through the storms.

Go through the storms.

How far is it from

the start of the storm?

How far is it from

the beginning to the end?

Take heart!

Walk through the storms.

Take heart

going through the storms!

A great journey.

Come through the storms.

A long Journey.

Look through the storms.

Enya – “If I Could Be Where You Are”.

Hey people! 🙂

Apparently, this is one of Enya’s favourite songs from her album Amarantine. I think this is also one of her saddest songs ever. Which may be part of why it’s so beautiful and why it is also one of my favourites. I think it captures very well the feeling when you love and care about someone but don’t even know where they are, which must be an awful feeling to experience.

Enya – “Boadicea”.

Hi people! 🙂

This song of Enya’s is one of my most favourites and one of her first songs that I grew to like. I always found it very soothing with all the humming, even though in fact its inspiration is anything but soothing. Boadicea, as you may or may not know, also spelled as Boudicca, was a Celtic queen of the Iceni tribe located in what’s currently known as East Anglia, who led a revolt against Ancient Romans. Despite the meaning of her name (“victorious) she was eventually defeated, but didn’t want to accept being humiliated by her enemies, so she decided to poison herself instead. This track was sampled an infinite amount of times by different artists, including once without her prior permission, so it sounds familiar to many people, even those who aren’t really into Enya as such.

Enya – “Less Than A Pearl”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Today, let’s listen to another song in Loxian. In case you don’t remember, Loxian is the language created by Roma Ryan – Enya’s lyricist – for some of her songs. It’s a visual language, so I don’t really get the idea, and it seems to have rather interesting phonetical system because it’s mostly vowels, but I like the way it sounds. Here is the English translation of the Loxian lyrics:

 

Out of night has come the day.

Out of night, our small earth.

Our words drift away.

Our words journey

to find those who will listen.

We call out into the distance…

We call out into the distance…

We call out into the distance…

We call out into the distance…

Less than a pearl in a sea of stars,

we are a lost island in the shadows.

It may be our words become lost.

It may be our words find nothing, find no-one.

We call out into the distance…

We call out into the distance…

Enya – “The Celts”.

Hi people! 🙂

Some time earlier this year, I shared with you a song by Enya called “March of the Celts” which she composed for the BBC 1986 documentary called The Celts. Today, I’m sharing with you the theme song from this documentary, and also the title song from her album The Celts, which is also the opening track of this album. The lyrics are entirely in Irish Gaelic, and here is their translation.

 

Life of lives,

Beginning to the end.

We are alive

Forever.

Life of lives,

Beginning to the end.

We are alive

Forever.

Enya – “Sumiregusa” (Wild Violet).

Hi people! 🙂

Because I’ve been listening to Enya a lot again (typically Enya time for me is around winter, when I feel like listening to more of her music) I feel like sharing a lot of her music with you and today is yet another song from her.

Enya is known for singing in many languages, not just her native Irish Gaelic and English, and Loxian created by Roma Ryan. The song I want to share with you is in Japanese. According to Roma Ryan, it was inspired by hokku by the Japanese poet Basho, who in turn was inspired by a wild violet. This song was used by Panasonic in Japan for advertising Vera Television.

I had a time as a teen when this song was my go-to piece of music whenever I felt overwhelmed, especially in a sensory way, and I still find it helpful.

What I think is very funny about this song is that there’s no mention of violet, at least in the English translation of it. Instead, we have a wild iris. I don’t know if this is a translation issue, or maybe they’re both the same in Japanese, or something else like that. The line which is supposed to mean “A wild iris” is “Ayameghusa” in Japanese, so maybe it’s a completely different thing… It’s quite confusing, at least if you don’t know Japanese. But it’s weird how the whole thing is about a wild violet, which is even credited as the initial source of inspiration for Basho, yet there’s apparently no mention of it in the actual song. 😀

 

The poignancy of things

A purple flower

The blossoms of spring

And the light snow of winter

How they fall

The beauty of nature

A green leaf and

Autumn colors

The voice of the wind

The song of birds

A sad sea

A joyful sea

Mountains

Pebbles

A wild iris

Enya – “I Could Never Say Goodbye”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Yes, another Enya’s song, and another about goodbyes! I couldn’t possibly say which one I like more. This one, as it’s easy to figure out, is about loss of a loved one. According to what Enya has said about this song it’s mostly about a loss due to death. I think she captured the essence of what it feels like very well in this song.

Enya – “Someone Said Goodbye”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you another Enya song, this time from her album Amarantine. According to her lyricist – Roma Ryan – this song is about that moment of the day, at the end of it, when we start to reflect on our lives and all the saddest times come up in our memory, bringing sad feelings. This is an awful feeling, but I think this is the best song to listen to when it happens to make you realise more clearly that everyone goes through things like this, in some way, and you’re not alone.

Enya – “Hope Has A Place”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you another song from Enya. Roma Ryan (Enya’s lyricist) wrote the lyrics to it in Silent Valley in the Mourne Mountains, , co. Down, for her daughter Ebony, about first love, but also love in general and how it’s not only and not always an amazing feeling like we would all like to believe, but it also often brings a lot of pain, or even loss. But the thing you still have left is hope.

Enya decided that, in order to write just the right melody for these lyrics, she’d also need to go to the same place (I really like that approach and I think it seriously makes sense because places  always have their own spirit). Not only did she write the melody there, but also her producer – Nicky Ryan – decided that they’d record the lead vocal there, outside, which I think gives this piece even more of a soul. I think it’s actually the melody that I love the most about this piece.

Enya – “No Holly For Miss Quinn”.

Hi guys! 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you another solo piano piece by Enya. This one is closely related to her earlier piece, “Miss Clare Remembers”, in that they are both inspired by short stories written by English author Miss Read. Enya enjoyed reading about the countryside life in these stories and found the people in them interesting. I learned about the origins of these two songs relatively recently and, while I still haven’t read these stories, I think I will at some point, because they sound like something that might be right up Bibiel’s alley. The music they inspired is definitely beautiful.

Enya – “Morning Glory”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you another piano-driven piece by Enya. I really love its harmony. As is often the case with Enya’s music, this piece doesn’t have lyrics, but I also couldn’t find anything about its background or the inspiration behind it, so I think we can be free to imagine it being about whatever it makes us think of.

Enya – “Portrait (Out Of The Blue)”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today, let’s listen to a really simple (for Enya’s standards) and quite minimalistic piece – you guessed it – by Enya!

Originally it was really short and sweet and called just Portrait, was something over a minute long, but then later on she recorded an extended version, and this one is called Portrait (Out Of The Blue). While a lot of Enya’s music is heavily based on synthesisers, this piece is very much piano-dominated, since it was the first instrument that Enya was playing.

Enya – “Echoes In Rain”.

Hi guys! 🙂

This is a song from Enya’s most recent album (Dark Sky Island). This was the first (and only so far) album of Enya’s that she released since my faza on her has started, so it was an extremely exciting time for me. She is never in a hurry with releasing new albums, and it always takes a lot of time because with the sort of music she makes, recording an album is a complex and long process and she puts a lot of effort into it. But that also means that every her album is of extremely good quality, which someone who releases something very regularly wouldn’t be able to achieve unless they’re some sort of a genius, in my opinion, and it also means that there is always so much anticipation when you finally get to hear that her new album is going to be out.

This was the first single from this album that came out and one that was of particular interest to more mainstream media so I think the first time I heard it was in some radio station, and I had that wave of excitement and anticipation rushing through my brain, which is why this song always makes me think of anticipating some good things. Also because, as Roma Ryan – Enya’s lyricist – says, this song is meant to be all about anticipation, more specifically about anticipating the end of a journey. The whole album is very much journey-themed and -inspired, like a lot of Enya’s music, and this particular song is all about how you feel when you know you’re heading back home. Myself being a homebody, this is, I think, the part of any journey that I love the most. 😀

Enya – “Miraculum” (Miracle).

Hey people! 🙂

Thought I’d post something wintry from Enya, because I hasn’t shared a lot of her winter music this particular year, and today we’re having a bit of snow so it seems fit. This is a beautiful Latin song from her album “And Winter Came”. Interestingly, she also has an almost identical song only with different lyrics, called “One Toy Soldier” which is a Christmas song and, as you can imagine, has completely different lyrics.

Enya – “The Memory Of Trees”.

I was surprised to see that I haven’t shared this song on here before, because this is seriously one of my favourite instrumental/wordless pieces by Enya. It comes from her album with the same title, and it’s very special to me because there is something so very bittersweet about this whole album that I love. The title of both this song and the album comes, as nearly always, from Enya’s lyricist – Roma Ryan – who was inspired by the druidic tradition of placing great importance on trees in their religion and culture. The Celts considered trees – oaks in particular but all trees really – to be sacred and have each their own powers, even the word druid is supposed to come from the Celtic word for oaktree (druids, in case you don’t know, were very basically like Celtic priests). Enya says this title isn’t meant to be any kind of an ecological statement and it’s up to a listener to imagine whatever comes up in the mind upon seeing the title. As for me, the title The Memory of Trees makes me think of all sorts of memories that trees hold, that they could tell us about if they could, all sorts of things they have witnessed over the years. It sounds fascinating. Does this title make you think of anything in particular? How about this piece?

Enya – “March of the Celts”.

Hey people! 🙂

Today I’d like to share with you this amazing piece from Enya. There is just something so majestic and stunning about it that I love, it gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.

This piece is part of Enya’s album The Celts, which is the soundtrack of BBC TV series of the same title. Apparently the BBC people who stood behind the series had a lot of music to choose from as the soundtrack of the series, but they didn’t like anything of that, so finally they decided to ring Enya, or more exactly her manager Nicky Ryan, and ask if they’d be interested. The way I understand it from what I read, March of the Celts was the first piece that they – Enya and Nicky – sent to them, and ended up being commissioned to write the whole soundtrack. Just who wouldn’t like to have a soundtrack ike this to a series they were making?! 😀

This song is mostly created of mouth sounds, as a lot of Enya’s music, and apparently the only actual (Irish) lyrics that are in there say

Alive forever.

Dead forever.

Enya – “It’s In The Rain”.

Hey guys! 🙂

Today I’d like to share another song by Enya with you. I think if I were to make a ranking of my favourite songs by her, it could get into the top 10 or not far below. I really like the overall, reflective but at the same time light and soothing feel of this piece. Hope you’ll enjoy it too. 🙂

Song of the day (8th December) – Enya – “Ebudae”.

This is a very interesting song by Enya. According to Enya’s lyricist – Roma Ryan – it was inspired by ancient sounds. As I understand it, the lyrics are a combination of mouth sounds, and some Irish and Scottish Gaelic. The song is also inspired by weaving, and the rhythm of it is the same as in weaving, that’s also what the lyrics concern. And as for the title, Ebudae is a pre Celtic name for Hebrides. So this is a very Celtic, very minimalistic piece, and I like this minimalistic feel about it. Here is the translation of the lyrics:

 

Look, women are working each day and into the night,

they sing of the brighter days that were,

the long road, back and forth forever.