December 9, 2016


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

Another song from Loreena McKennitt I enjoy listening lately, probably because of the gloomy weather, is Skelling, a track included on the 1997 album The Book of Secrets. In Skelling, a dying Irish monk from the Great Skelling tells the story of his life to his trusted disciple who attends him on his last day. The monk asks his disciple to light a candle and to keep him company because he is running out of time and he senses that death is near through symbols like the sunset or The bells call all to mass.

The monk briefly narrates the story of his life through Loreena McKennitt’s plaintive voice that makes your heart break. His journey through life revolved around deep devotion, love of books and knowledge he passed on to his disciple, humbleness, solitude and suffering because he wandered from place to place until he came to Rome. Now time was scarce and the hourglass the disciple will turn upside-down will count the time left until the monk departs from this world.

The Celtic tune gives me a feeling of tranquility which seems less sad than the lyrics of the song, while Loreena McKennitt’s soft singing sounds like a strangely beautiful and soothing lullaby, one each of us will probably hear in the presence of death. Thank you for reading! Until next time!

by Alina Andreea Cătărău

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