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Christmas with Enya

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Why not listen to some of Enya’s Christmas classics? Check out this list!

new-age-music-enya-the-christmas-epThere are a few Enya Christmas releases available. The Christmas EP is Enya’s cherished take on the classic Chrristmas carol “Silent Night” sung in Gaelic under the title of “Oiche Chiun”. Accompanying the gentle melody here are four other essential recordings: the title track to her 1987 debut solo album ‘The Celts’, plus “Ebudae” from her best-selling 1991 outing ‘Shepherd Moons’ and the hard to find B-sides “‘S Fagaim Mo Bhaile” & “As Baile” (a Gaelic-sung version of the standout track “Exile” from her breakthrough 1988 album ‘Watermark’). Spotify users can listen to this EP (and some other Enya Christmas favorites) here:

 

Enya’s present to the world for the Christmas of 2008 was neither surprising nor original, but still a welcome gift to her millions of fans. Christmas is after all about tradition, and Enya would hardly do something totally different and new. It would be out of character, and probably a disappointment to many. And Winter Came is nothing more and nothing less than another nice Enya release. The warm colors of Amarantine were all gone. On this album she was dressed in snow white.

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On the first track it is like a big white canvas is brought into the studio. With the first hum, Enya paints herself in a snow covered landscape. The el piano and the rich pads fill the rest. It reminds of previous slow songs like Deora Ar Mo Chroi on A Day Without Rain. A fine intro.

White Is The Winter Night, is a happy and fast winter song. It is a good example of Enya’s unique use of powerful synth strings, which fill the soundscape. Some layers of vocal pads are added here and there, plus of course Enya’s singing, but the synth strings are in a way everything. And that’s ok because it is simple and elegant.

When listening to White Is The Winter Night you can feel the Christmas atmosphere: Green is in the mistletoe and red is in the holly/Silver in the stars above that shine on everybody. The song ends with: Have you heard that bells are ringing, ringing out their story, Have you heard the choir singing, Glory, Glory Glory. Like a winter wonderland, no doubt about that.

Enya’s version of the popular Christian hymn O come, O come, Emmanuel is beautiful. This slow song is almost like an anticlimax after the fast White Is The Winter Night. The first single from the album, Trains and Winter Rains, is track no. 5. Here the perspective is different from the good old Christmas theme on the previous tracks. Listen to the lyrics: Neon signs in the night/Red and blue city lights/Cargo trains rolling by/Once again someone cries/Trains and winter rains. The music video to this song shows a city skyline at night, with people waiting for a train and few snowflakes are drifting in the air. Waiting for transportation is also a part of the modern Christmas experience, right?

The most interesting track on the album is One Toy Soldier, Enya’s very own Little Drummer Boy (but without the pa rum pum pum pum, I might add). The toy soldier plays his drum to keep the time, but the drum is suddenly broken. Then Someone has come to mend his drum/Now his heart lights up with pride. It is a symbol of a child’s imagination. The toy soldier is alive, and has feelings. The classical Christmas bells in the end are beautiful together with the Happy Christmas Day to you!

My! My! Times Flies! is a rock inspired Enya song, with guitar and a funny selection of historical references: A man underneath a tree/ An apple falls on his head (Presumably Newton). A man wrote a symphony/It’s 1812 (Tchaikovsky). And: Four guys across Abbey Road/One forgot to wear shoes (Paul McCartney). Cool and a little surprising, don’t you think?

Another Enya Christmas release is:

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Sounds of the Season: The Enya Holiday Collection. 2006. Sounds of the Season: Songs:”Adeste Fideles” (a.k.a. “O Come All Ye Faithful”) “The Magic of The Night” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” “Christmas Secrets” “Amid the Falling Snow”* “Oíche Chiúin (Silent Night)”

From where we have this live performance:

 

 

But the above mentioned songs are not the only ones that have an atmosphere that is perfect for the Christmas season. To me The Memory of Trees (1995) has that warm and cozy feeling we all want for Christmas. Songs like Anywhere Is and Hope has a Place are great in any Christmas playlist.