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The Old Ways Lyrics

Artist: Loreena McKennitt
Album: The Visit

The sea is calling me home, home to you.
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.

On a dark new year's night
on the west coast of Clare
I heard your voice singing.
Your eyes danced the song,
your hands played the tune.
T'was a vision before me.

We left the music behind and the dance carried on
as we stole away to the seashore
and smelt the brine, felt the wind in our hair
and with sadness you paused.

Suddenly, I knew that you'd have to go.
Your world was not mine, your eyes told me so.
Yet it was there I felt the crossroads of time
and I wondered why.

As we cast our gaze on the tumbling sea,
a vision came o'er me,
of thundering hooves and beating wings
in the clouds above.

As you turned to go, I heard you call my name.
You were like a bird in a cage, spreading its
wings to fly.
'The old ways are lost', you sang as you flew
and I wondered why.

The thundering waves are calling me home, home to you.
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.

The pounding waves are calling me home, home to you.
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.

The pounding waves are calling me home, home to you.
The pounding sea is calling me home, home to you.
Comments/Interpretations
by robertt david on 5/24/2008 12:47pm
clearly my favorite, the music tells the story of my life... and ultimately my death. Beautiful.
by Circus Girl on 7/8/2008 8:09am
I agree with Robert. Amazingly perfect and powerful song.
by m p on 7/24/2008 7:36am
it does not need comment it is so perfect
by Oghirdor on 7/28/2008 11:21pm
my eyes get wet each time i hear this song... simply perfect
by joel letau young mabon on 8/25/2008 3:01am
i belive it talks about the impact of all of us who share da faith and the old ways leave and we gaze to seek it for it is our lifes at least thats how i see it as i hear the song
by Patricia on 9/18/2008 11:58am
Yes, tears, as these words speak of my beloved who came to me shortly after his passing, both knowing that life will never be the same. He did turn away as it was not my time to join him.
by Lotesse on 11/26/2008 7:47am
My Favourite song ever, I listen to "Old ways" every day for 5 years and i cannot get bored.
by Malik Ferdinand / Angola on 2/17/2009 3:18pm
Its just amazing the way this womam touches our hearts. I just appreciate it
by John Martínez on 3/20/2009 9:28pm
Loreena is the best female singer and songwriter I've ever heard in my life. My question is, does this song talk about a breaking up or the death of the beloved one? if anybody knows I'd appreciate it.
by love....... on 4/3/2009 2:58pm
excellent... the first time i listened the song i burnt into tears... now i my eyes get wet and my soul finds what just needs by reading these amazing, georgeous lyrics...
by Katie on 4/6/2009 8:36am
It's a fairy song. Is this traditional Irish? The lyrics sound like it could be. It's beautiful.
by Adrian on 8/9/2009 7:14pm
Some of the lyrics are slightly wrong; the correct two lines are:

"Turning to go as you called out my name/Like a bird in a cage spreading its wings to fly"
by Ahmed on 2/15/2010 5:37pm
This is why Loreena is Canada's weapon of choice to conquour the world :-)
by bob on 3/5/2010 1:57pm
you guys are all fags
by ------- on 4/23/2010 4:16pm
don't be rude
by Anonymous Doner on 4/30/2010 3:55pm
It's a beautiful song, one of my favorites
by Eagle-Eye on 11/9/2010 12:30pm
Her fiancé drowned in the sea.
by Herman on 2/19/2011 11:40am
Beautiful lyrics and music. Especially because of Loreena's own loss of her fiance years ago.
by E on 6/21/2011 7:55pm
joel letau young mabon - when you say faith? Your name Mabon makes me think Pagan. Well, it is a name of one of the Pagan festivities and I believe is derived from Maponos. But indeed people who are believers of any afterlife.

I enjoy the lyrics even though I don't believe in an afterlife.
It is evocative in more ways than sadness especially if you hear it on the Nights from the Alhambra.

The chorus or eighth (thundering waves) is very strong and uplifting.

It can be interpreted even more difficultly (even though it is quite obvious in being about her fiance for people who know Loreena's story). I'm using it within a RP which involves a couple of a fantasy humanoid species and and human.
So they come from different worlds, and in one of the partner's eyes he sees the other one in superior splendor, above him so pictures him flying.
by RR on 8/21/2012 5:30am
The lyrics have so much meaning and the tune is magical. I'm 13 and I love her and her songs so so much :D
by Roxann on 9/16/2012 1:22pm
RR I think you have an old head on young shoulders if there where more like you around on this mixed up planet i would be a better place to live your tast in music shows us all what sort of person you are bless you for being you .
by Queen Mab on 10/5/2012 3:04pm
Her brother, fiancée and friend drowned at sea. This song is about them.
by Martien on 3/7/2014 8:22am
@ Queen Mab.
The song is NOT about her brother, fiancee and friend, even though it can be interpreted that way. The Old ways first appeared on the album The Visit in 1991, whereas the boating accident only happened in 1998...


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