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.


Lyrics submitted by ruben

The Old Ways song meanings
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13 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis song takes me to Ireland and it makes me happy and sad at the same time.
    It reminds me of faery minstrels and selkies and changelings who, like myself, so often don't seem to fit into this world.
    Gherilainon October 06, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI always pictured her falling in love with a Selkie. It explains (to me anyways) all the references to water, besides the fact that they're obviously on the coast on an island. The lines that put this meaning in my head was "Suddenly, I knew that you'd have to go./Your world was not mine, your eyes told me so" because a Selkie was not capable of living out of the water for long periods of time. The sea always called them home.
    Shadowedsidheon April 28, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhen i first heard this song i thought it was a song about her late fiancee who died at sea. I realize that it wasn't the case since this was written before that. Still, i can't help but wonder if her thoughts doesn't wander to him when performing this piece.

    Anyway, it's one of my favourite songs by her and seeing it live gave me goosebumps
    Eydenon September 04, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionAs the composer of this beautiful and haunting song, this is what Loreena herself says about 'The Old Ways": "I spent a most haunting New Year's Eve in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland some years ago, and was moved by the antiquity of some of the celebrations. Yet I was met by deep reminders that they may be the remnants of the old world meeting the "new". - L.M.

    In an attempt to find full meaning in this lyric, it helps much to know that in Irish culture, the term 'the old ways' holds special meaning - to the very proud Irish people, the old ways refers to a rich and vanished history and culture, including the language, religion, writing, myth, and cultures as well.

    Therefore, while the lyrics suggest the memory of a lost love, on a deeper plane, they reflect the memory of the vanishing culture of a proud people - and if you have Irish blood -as I'm sure Loreena does- the concept of 'the old ways' contains an imperative that the memory buried deep within every Irish soul must, like the caged bird of Loreena's lyrics, seek release and recall.
    drfugaweon March 03, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow no one's commented on such a great and beautiful song yet... I imagine its about someone running into a Fae Bard and both knowing that it couldnt last because the past is gone forever and the Faery have become redundant to this world. water references might be sounds haunting her, reminding her of the night in Clare with the sea pounding, when she met her love. Even though it wasnt meant to be, she still sees him as home
    titania098on February 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"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."
    God, how beautiful is that? That reminds me of my favorite movie of all time, when (to make a long story short, I won't go into detail) someone the main character loved very deeply could no longer be with them for many reasons. Anyways, at the end of that movie, that person dies, and the main character found herself crying and mourning for him anyways. Everytime I watch that movie, it makes me think of that set of lyrics in that song. Awesome movie, awesome song.
    strybook23on March 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentenkainami, I would like to know what movie you're talking about.
    Personally, I've always felt this is a sort of longing for the balance and reverence found in ancient religions. The old ways recognized the feminine and natural aspects of life, something I think is missing in modern times.
    morleigh13on July 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen i first heard this song i thought it was a song about her late fiancee who died at sea. I realize that it wasn't the case since this was written before that. Still, i can't help but wonder if her thoughts doesn't wander to him when performing this piece.

    Anyway, it's one of my favourite songs by her and seeing it live gave me goosebumps
    Eydenon September 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe way I've interpreted it is that she met someone and fell in love, but soon finds out that they cannot be together because their lives are too different. When her love leaves her, they are like a caged bird being freed, because they were being held back by their differences. The line about feeling the crossroads of time and that her love tells her 'the Old Ways are lost' as they leave her, makes me think maybe they couldn't be together because she lived in the past so to speak. Or maybe I just read it that way because I myself feel like I don't fit into this time and have had a few relationships end because of it. :)
    xrowanbraexon March 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningInteresting about this idea of separation of two people who love each other.
    I wonder whether "The Old Ways" could refer to the old earth-based pagan spirituality and ways of life before christianity?
    earthfriendon April 19, 2010   Link

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