In which I share my secret stress reliever.

 It's a crazy time of year for a lot of people.  Some of us are working long hours, some of us are planning huge family gatherings, most of us are worried about money, and all of us are tired.

So I'm sending you, my wonderful readers, a blog present.  This is THE most relaxing song I know.  Listen to it once, then listen to it again with your eyes closed.  I promise, your stress will fade.

 The Lady of Shalott
by Alfred Lord Tennyson,
adapted by Loreena McKennitt

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
To many-tower'd Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
He rode between the barley sheaves,
The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,
And flamed upon the brazen greaves
Of bold Sir Lancelot.
A red-cross knight forever kneel'd
To a lady in his shield,
That sparkled on the yellow field,
Beside remote Shalott.

His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;
On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow'd
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
From the bank and from the river
He flashed into the crystal mirror,
"Tirra lirra," by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces through the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.

In the stormy east-wind straining,
The pale yellow woods were waning,
The broad stream in his banks complaining.
Heavily the low sky raining
Over tower'd Camelot;
Down she came and found a boat
Beneath a willow left afloat,
And around about the prow she wrote
The Lady of Shalott.

And down the river's dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance --
With a glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.

Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
Till her blood was frozen slowly,
And her eyes were darkened wholly,
Turn'd to tower'd Camelot.
For ere she reach'd upon the tide
The first house by the water-side,
Singing in her song she died,
The Lady of Shalott.

Under tower and balcony,
By garden-wall and gallery,
A gleaming shape she floated by,
Dead-pale between the houses high,
Silent into Camelot.
Out upon the wharfs they came,
Knight and Burgher, Lord and Dame,
And round the prow they read her name,
The Lady of Shalott.

Who is this? And what is here?
And in the lighted palace near
Died the sound of royal cheer;
And they crossed themselves for fear,
All the Knights at Camelot;
Lancelot mused a little space
He said, "She has a lovely face;
God in his mercy lend her grace,
The Lady of Shalott."

(This is actually the short version of the song.  The whole song is about ten minutes long and contains even more beautiful language.  I strongly suggest that if you like this, you look it up.)

I wish you all a happy and relaxing holiday.  See you Saturday!


  1. Makes me think of Anne Shirley every time. That and the John William Waterhouse painting.

  2. Ooooh, this is one of my all-time favorite songs! I totally forgot how much I loved this album--my copy disappeared years ago. You might have inspired a music purchase!

    (PS: Happy Christmas!!!!!)

  3. Music has such a way of reaching us all ... Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, Miriam, and all best for the New Year!

  4. Jodie- I know! I'm glad I'm not the only one. But I get the book and the movie all jumbled together in my head, so it's hard to remember which part is which. :)

    Winnie- Yah! You should buy it again, it's such a great de-stresser. Happy Christmas to you too!

    Joanne- Aw, thanks! Merry Christmas, Joanne.

    Terry- Merry Christmas right back! :)

  5. Hmmm I wonder how you discoverd Loreena McKennitt? Oh wait I know. :-)

  6. I'm with you and Jodie. So much love for Anne Shirley.


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