THE MUMMERS’ DANCE by Loreena McKennitt

November 11, 2022

“The Mummers’ Dance” is a composition by Loreena McKennit. It’s a Canadian Celtic song that celebrates The Mummers’ event, an annual social event held in North America. It borrows most of its ideas from the Mummer festival and is not sophisticated. It is said to be directly linked with Mumming, a celebration of nature.

Fun Facts:

  • “The Mummers’ Dance’s singer Loreena McKennit is a multi-instrument artist renowned for her refined cultural performances.
  • The term mummers refers to actors that entertain their audience using an itinerary of musical instruments. These actors travel from venue to venue for their performances.
  • The earliest version of “The Mummers’ Dance” dates back to the 14th-century Mummer’s festival.
  • “The Mummers’ Dance” reached the #3 spot on the Adult top 40 charts.
  • The song also reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100. 
  • It is considered the most popular song by Loreena McKennit. She learned about Mumming in a book in 1984, and the apparent fascination led her to compose “The Mummers’ Dance.”
  • The song was the theme song for the Brazilian soap opera Corpo Dourado.
  • It was also featured in Drew Berrymore’s film Ever After. 

Lyrics 

When in the springtime of the year

When the trees are crowned with leaves

When the ash and oak and the birch and yew

Are dressed in ribbons fair

When owls call the breathless moon

In the blue veil of the night

The shadows of the trees appear

Amidst the lantern light

We’ve been rambling all the night

And some time of this day

Now returning back again

We bring a garland gay

Who will go down to those shady groves

And summon the shadows there

And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms

In the springtime of the year

The songs of birds seem to fill the wood

That when the fiddler plays

All their voices can be heard

Long past their woodland days

We’ve been rambling all the night

And some time of this day

And now returning back again

We bring a garland gay

And so they linked their hands and danced

Round in circles and in rows

And so the journey of the night descends

When all the shades are gone

A garland gay we bring you here

And at your door we stand

It is a sprout well budded out

The work of our Lord’s hand

We’ve been rambling all the night

And some time of this day

And now returning back again

We bring a garland gay

We’ve been rambling all the night

And some time of this day

And now returning back again

We bring a garland gay

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