Over 20 years ago a close friend introduced me to a Canadian musician – Loreena McKennitt – who has been a dear favourite of mine ever since. From the first time I heard her singing and harp playing, I was entranced and enthralled and only wanted to hear more of her songs. She is also known as a composer, accordionist, and pianist who writes, records and performs world music with Celtic and Middle Eastern themes.
Luckily, I have had the utmost pleasure in getting to see her giving a live performance at a music festival in Ottawa a few years back – at an open air festival – and even though it rained heavily that day, all of her staunch and keen fans endured the wet in order to see her show. I was in that audience! A cherished experience for me.
Even though in addition to her harp playing, I saw her play the keyboard and accordion, equally well, I primarily think of her as “The Lady with the Harp.”
Here is a youtube link to one of her well-known songs, The Lady of Shalott. It’s a poignant tale within a song, taking place during the time of Camelot.
In some of her songs her singing adds a haunting quality to the lyrics. As also in this next one, called “The Bonny Swans.”
As I was looking through more youtube links featuring her songs, I also came across this one – “Greensleeves” – which is a particular favourite of mine; firstly, because of her beautiful version of it, and secondly, it was the first full-sized classical song I learned to play on my guitar in my pre-teen years. It’s a lovely old-English song, and here’s the link below….