Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"The bells call all to Mass ..."

About a year before Liz died, she heard Loreena McKennitt singing her song Skellig, and she was deeply moved by it, for it seemed to say so much that she was feeling about the life of solitude and prayer that she had lived and the sadness she felt about how little time she had left.

McKennitt sings the song she wrote exquisitely, and Liz and I played the song often and danced to it many times until Liz was no longer able to do so. If you have a chance to hear the Lorenna McKennit recording, don't miss the opportunity. In the spirit of Holy Week, here are the lyrics. Please consider them a personal message from Liz, which is precisely how she asked me to think of them.

Skellig by Lorenna McKennitt

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 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
It’s wrath I would endure
And so the years went by
Within my rocky cell
With only a mouse or bird
My Friends; 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.
Have a holy Holy Week.


Porthos said...

I believe that this is the song and artist in question, on You Tube, but I can't be held accountable for the accompanying clips from "Supernatural," some movie or tv show:

Porthos said...

I apologize again for the visual content. Blech! I was just trying to find the audio (THAT was worth it). I suggest readers just get it going and then open a new window, and have it there as background music.