Skellig Lyrics - Loreena McKennitt

Review The Song (10)

O light the candle, John
The daylight has almost gone
The birds have sung their last
The bells call all to mass

Sit here by my side
For the night is very long
There's something I must tell
Before I pass along

I joined the brotherhood
My books were all to me
I scribed the words of God
And much of history

Many a year was I
Perched out upon the sea
The waves would wash my tears,
The wind, my memory

I'd hear the ocean breathe
Exhale upon the shore
I knew the tempest's blood
Its wrath I would endure

And so the years went by
Within my rocky cell
With only a mouse or bird
My friend; I loved them well

And so it came to pass
I'd come here to Romani
And many a year it took
Till I arrived here with thee

On dusty roads I walked
And over mountains high
Through rivers running deep
Beneath the endless sky

Beneath these jasmine flowers
Amidst these cypress trees
I give you now my books
And all their mysteries

Now take the hourglass
And turn it on its head
For when the sands are still
'Tis then you'll find me dead

O light the candle, John
The daylight is almost gone
The birds have sung their last
The bells call all to mass

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excellent | Reviewer: meddy | 4/19/14

The monk, a scribe, isolated from humanity nevertheless spends his time scribing the deeds of humanity[its history], and the Words of God, its only hope. His time on earth, contemplating the "mysteries" of humanity and the words of God was long and weary, mixed with tears and wrath from "within a rocky cell"...In this sense, the monk represents humanity, for we, like him, are ourselves isolated and weary, prisoners of our own making, contemplating our own deeds on earth...and like him, facing the Words of God. As time runs out he passes on all he has learned, for he MUST, and faithfully hands over to posterity the books preserving both humanities deeds and the Words of God. And as the world grows dark he asks John to set a LIGHT. A light? Is this a desire?...A longing of his?...As his time draws near he clearly seeks to come out of the darkness into the light...Is it odd John lights the candle in his life, for John is one of the gospels of light he has surely scribed. And finally, as the sands of time run out, he hears the bells,...bells calling,....calling ALL...all who hear God. His was a life of deep meditation, long contemplating the mysteries of life...having found the answers, deeming them important, he passed them on faithfully and in the end, himself found comfort in the light he preached. His final sermon. It is interesting. In the beginning of his journey his books were "all to me" the end it was the light they shed that mattered,...As for the books? Well he must leave them behind.

who is John in this song? | Reviewer: pilgrim777 | 3/19/14

I know Loreena wrote this song in conjunction with her trip to Skellig Michael island, but when I was listening to it, I couldn't help by think of the apostle John exiled to the island of Patmos, where He wrote the book of revelation.. I don't think she was writing about the apostle John in this song, but the reference to John makes me wonder who was this John she was telling us about?

A thin place | Reviewer: larry | 10/6/12

I have been to Great Skellig, or Skellig Michael, and the monastic remains that perch on one of its two great precipices, three times over the past 25 years. It is a magical place indeed. A site the early Irish religious regarded as a "thin place", a place where this world and the one beyond drew very close together. Lorenna's song and beautiful voice evoke the utter isolation and romance of the place which lies 9 miles offshore from the Irish mainland.

Amazing | Reviewer: Atarah | 11/8/11

I only just stumbled upon this song today but I love it. Her voice is beautiful and unique. Her songs often mention parts of my own beliefs. Today I needed to find a song that would help relax me from my anxiety. This song helped.

It makes me think of history. Somehow when I listen to this song I see a young beautiful woman with red hair, in a desolate location. She wears a beautiful dress but is alone. In any case I love this song.

Love the song | Reviewer: Conni | 11/29/10

I've been to the monastery at Skellig Micheal, I think that's the one she means here, and she really got it right. When you stand up on the rocks you really feel very alone out there. It's so isolated, it's just a rock in the ocean.

Haunting and melancholic. | Reviewer: Searleit | 6/18/10

This song reminds me of old times, when world was big and full of mysteries, countries and places of far away, full of ancient traditions.
It reminds me of times, when people lived all their lives in one place and everything that stretched beyond those places they knew was unknown to them, half-legendary, strange.
And somehow it bringes back that strange yet beautiful feeling I get, whenever my feet cary me to my hometown's taverns.

something beautiful | Reviewer: Patrik | 4/5/10

Really beautiful song...When I read these lyrics, especially in that passage with an hourglass, I have to ask myself: "Why am I here? What is the most important in my life?" Who knows, what did Loreena exactly mean with this text (I may be wrong).
Still, this is very beautiful and very mystical song...

Just beautiful..... | Reviewer: Joana | 11/25/09

I really, really adore Loreena!
She is like an Angel, send from God.
Her Voice is so clear and pure, but still so warm. Her Songs are haunting, breathtaking and also mysterious.
All of her Songs give me a very special feeling...I don't know how to explain it, but it's sure special.

Loreena, i want to thank you for your amazing pieces of Art you give us. I adore you!

Joana ~

Beautiful song | Reviewer: Jen | 10/30/07

I just heard this for the first time last night, and it's so beautiful, haunting, and pure that it made me want to cry. Loreena McKennnitt is awesome, and she has such a clear, pretty voice.

Skelling is my love | Reviewer: Michal | 10/26/07

People, there is so much good in this song that every time I hear it it makes me to think about all the bad things I have done. I am bad when I do hear this song that I have to cry. It's the sadiest but the most nice song I have ever heard.

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------ Performed by Loreena McKennitt

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------ 11/25/2014

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