Enya’s Winter Night

Enya’s new album, And Winter Came, contains several tracks that rank among her best work (with her collaborators, the Ryans.) It’s a great Christmas album, and obviously marketed for that, but it’s a great album period.

Listening to one of the online mini-documentaries, I learned that Enya writes the music first, then Roma Ryan works up the lyrics. The lyrics read by themselves don’t always seem especially impressive. “Have you seen the mistletoe? / It fills the night with kisses.” But, from the same song, these lines, though equally obvious, seem poignant:

Green is in the mistletoe
and red is in the holly…
Gold is in the candlelight and
crimson in the embers.
White is in the winter night…

But when Enya sings it, everything seems lovely and meaningful. Of course it fills the night with kisses!

I think the entire album is worth your collection. However, if you’re picking out tracks from iTunes, here are my recommendations, in the order they appear on the album:

1. “White Is In the Winter Night” — The lyrics above are from this song. As Roma Ryan suggests, you could sing this one around the fire with your family.
2. “Trains and Winter Rains” — This song, set in winter but not about the holidays, is musically the most interesting of the album, I think. You can watch the video on Enya’s web page.
3. “Last Time By Moonlight” — A lovely and lyrical piece.
4. “One Toy Soldier” — As we might expect, the song has a great rhythm. It’s about Christmas, but more deeply it’s about the worry of disappointing oneself and others, then overcoming that by finding the right beat.
5. “My! My! Time Flies” — This is Enya’s swingingest song, and playful, and I quite like it. Be sure to read the fun lyrics. It’s a song about reflection, and moving forward.

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