Loreena McKennitt performs “The Lady of Shalott” at the Canadian Juno Awards in 1992. The song is the fourth track on the 1991 album, The Visit.
The song is based on the 1842 poem, of 19 stanzas, of the same name by English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson [1809–1892]. The poem also inspired a painting, in 1888, by English painter John William Waterhouse [1849–1917], also called The Lady of Shalott, which hangs in the Tate Gallery in London, England.
When I first heard this song and the ethereal voice of Loreena McKenitt, which was shortly after it came out, I was both touched and shaken to my core; I immediately bought the CD. The song, especially the way McKennitt sings it, brings you in your mind’s eye, however briefly, to another place, otherworldly, an unearthly heavenly one.
And moving thro’ a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.