Loreena McKennitt - Ages Past, Ages Hence

Ancient castles on climbing cliffs
Summoned by the sea
Windswept shores and crashing waves
Rages furiously
Twisting trees old and true
Stand huddled watchingly
Oh, ages past, ages hence, pages turned carefully
Ages past, ages hence, pages turned carefully

What pagan smile has touched your lips
What melody so sweet
Soothed your breast your beating heart
The underworld gone to sleep
Twisting trees old and true
Stand huddled watchingly
Oh, ages past, ages hence, pages turned carefully
Ages past, ages hence, pages turned carefully

Into the clutches of night
I can see the torch lights shine bright
The gates are drawn, the hounds sit still
There's laughter that bubbles within
Down bend the trees quietly witnessing
Man's journey into himself

Ever turning ever churning
Clutching the waves of his wealth
Yearning, a thirst never quenched
Tumble the thoughts until they like petals on the ground
Gathered by winds stretched through the tree
Like a whispering sigh

Ancient castles on climbing cliffs
Summoned by the sea
Windswept shores and crashing waves
Rages furiously
Twisting trees old and true
Stand huddled watchingly
Oh, ages past, ages hence, pages turned carefully
Ages past, ages hence, pages turned carefully
Ages past, ages hence, pages turned carefully
Ages past, ages hence, pages turned carefully


music: Loreena McKennitt
lyrics: Loreena McKennitt
From: Lost Souls (2018).

Source of the lyrics
The Quinlan Road website
with some minor corrections by me:
- commas added around "ages past" and "ages hence" to improve readability
- repetition of the "Ages past, ..." line inserted
- 2nd stanza, line 6: "witchingly" corrected to "watchingly"

Song Notes by Loreena

Ancient peoples, be they the Norse or the Celts, instinctively knew their lives were closely interwoven with the company of trees. Not only did they provide and protect the necessities of life by way of air and water, they were also the habitat for other living creatures. The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben, suggests that trees have a rich inner life of their own, while Ronald Wright's A Short History of Progress, argues that the damage done to the earth's forests may historically be one of our greatest sins.
 
Copied from the Quinlan Road website

Loreena's explanation at the concert

At the Lost Souls Tour concerts Loreena gave the following background
info on the origin of the song [with thanks to Peter Barfuss]:
?One of the characteristics of the Celts is that they had a deep love or passion for trees; as many indigenous people they believed quite strongly that their destiny and their survival may be tied up in those trees in some way. I was reading a book by an anthropologist a few years ago, who argued that one of our first acts of progress was to denude or take down many of the trees across the landscapes that we as a species have lived. I was thinking about this, the theme of trees, when I wrote this next piece; this was actually around 1989 or 1990 and I was living in a farmhouse in Southern Ontario in Canada where I still live, and my writing desk looked out over a wonderful grove of trees, and every time I looked out I'd be feeling that they were like silent witnesses to my own human folly. So this is a piece that came from those ruminations; it's called Ages Past, Ages Hence".

 
<=== The Loreena McKennitt main page  /  CD index  /  lyrics index

 
Jos van Geffen -- Home  |  Site Map  |  Contact Me

created: 9 June 2018
last modified: 9 August 2019