May It Be

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"May It Be"
May it be.jpg
Single by Enya
from the album The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Released2002
FormatCD single
StudioAigle Studios, Dublin
GenreNew-age[1]
Length4:19
LabelWEA
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Nicky Ryan
Enya singles chronology
"Wild Child"
(2001)
"May It Be"
(2002)
"I Don't Wanna Know"
(2004)

"May It Be" is a song by Irish recording artist Enya. It was composed by Enya and Roma Ryan for Peter Jackson's 2001 film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.[2] The song entered the German Singles Chart at number one in 2002 and was performed by Enya at the 74th Academy Awards. "May It Be" was acclaimed from music critics and received nominations for Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, Academy Award for Best Original Song and Grammy Award nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

Composition[edit]

Director Peter Jackson approached Enya (under the suggestion of Howard Shore), asking if she would be interested in writing a song for The Lord of the Rings.[3] Thrilled at the prospect, Enya headed to New Zealand to see the preliminary edits of the film.[3]

Enya worked on the song with Nicky Ryan, her producer, and Roma Ryan, her lyricist. Nicky produced Enya's vocals and arranged the music while Roma wrote the lyrics. They recorded the song through Enya's contract with Warner Music[4] in the Ryans' Dublin studio, Aigle Studio.[5] The vocals were recorded in "Aigle Studios", Enya's Studio near Dublin and the orchestration was recorded in London, directed by Howard Shore and performed by the London Voices and London Philharmonic Orchestra.[6] Compositionally, the piece is simple, featuring a backdrop of choir and strings. As Doug Adams commented, Enya's contributions "coexist so neatly," with Shore's score, that "neither Enya song is relegated to its own track." Shore stated, "I wanted Enya’s voice [...] She wrote and I orchestrated, so it’s a seamless sound. Her singing grows right out of the choral music and the orchestra."

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics of this theme song include English words, as well as words in the fictional Elvish language, Quenya, created by J.R.R. Tolkien.[5] While Enya wrote music, Roma Ryan studied the languages and wrote the lyrics in English and Quenya.[7] There are two lines with phrases written in Quenya. The first, Mornië utúlië, translates to "Darkness has come."[5] Mornië alantië translates as "Darkness has fallen."[5] Each line repeats twice in the song, with the remaining song lyrics written in English. They are intermingled with the Quenya lyrics, as in the second stanza; "Mornië utúlië, believe and you will find your way; Mornië alantië, a promise lives within you now."[5] Enya also performed another song '"Aníron" for The Lord of the Rings, which is sung in another of Tolkien's Elvish languages, Sindarin.[5]

Critical reception and awards[edit]

"May It Be" received universal acclaim from music critics.[citation needed] It was nominated for the 2002 Academy Award for Best Original Song, but lost to Randy Newman's "If I Didn't Have You" from Monsters, Inc., sung by John Goodman and Billy Crystal.[8] It won the Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Song and the 2002 Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Song.[9][10][11] It was also nominated for the 2002 Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, but lost to "Until" from Kate & Leopold.[12] The song also received a 2003 Grammy Award nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

Enya performed her song at the Academy Awards on 24 March 2002.[8] She was "absolutely" excited about the performance.[3] For her it was the "first time to be nominated, and to get to perform, it's just wonderful, absolutely wonderful."[3]

Release[edit]

Enya's "May It Be" has been featured on various albums. On 20 November 2001 it was released on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack, along with composer Howard Shore's original score "The Road Goes Ever On (Part 2)".[13] It also came out as a single in 2002 along with two other of Enya's songs; "Isobella" and "The First of Autumn".[5] "May It Be" entered the German Singles Chart at number one. It was Enya's second consecutive single to do so, following her song "Only Time".[14] In 2005, it was released as part of the compilation The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: The Complete Recordings. This time, the version of the song was identical as featured in the movie's ending titles. Enya also included the song on her 2009 album, The Very Best of Enya.[15]

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Peter Nydrle. It features clips from the film as well as Enya singing the song. The video runs for 3 minutes and 32 seconds.[16]

Cover versions and samples[edit]

Many other artists have covered the song since Enya's original recording. Tara Scammell did so on 2004 album Music from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by the Prague Symphony Orchestra, which consists of songs from all three movies.[17] Celtic Woman performed "May It Be" on their 2005 self-titled album.[18] Lisa Kelly of Celtic Woman included it on her 2006 album, Lisa.[19] Hayley Westenra recorded it in 2005 on her second international album, Odyssey.[20] It was also covered in 2006 by Lex van Someren for Christmas Every Day[21] and Angelis for their self-titled album.[22] It was sung on Cecelia’s 2007 album, Amazing Grace.[23] Sofia Källgren featured it on her 2008 album, Cinema Paradiso.[24] Other artists who have covered it include Uruk-hai,[25] Hayley Griffiths on Celtic Rose and Kiri Te Kanawa.[26] It was performed on 14 January 2012 by Faroese artist Eivør Pálsdóttir as part of the celebration of Margrethe II's 40th anniversary as Queen of Denmark.[27] Jackie Evancho covered "May It Be" on her 2017 album Two Hearts. Voces8 covered "May It Be" in their album Enchanted Isle in 2018.

Additionally, "May It Be" was also sampled by Swiss DJ Dinka in his 2010 track "The Celtic of Scotland".

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ May It Be at AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  2. ^ "Albums". Enya. Aigle Music. Archived from the original on 2010-12-16. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  3. ^ a b c d Enya Fan Studio. Enya Fan Studio, 2005. Web. 22 Oct. 2010.
  4. ^ "Enya". Enya. Aigle Music. Archived from the original on 2014-03-29. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "May it Be". The Enya Discography. Enya.com. 1997–2006. Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  6. ^ Booklet of the collection THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS published in 2005»
  7. ^ Adams, Doug (2005). The Fellowship of the Ring (PDF). The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films. The annotated Score. 1. p. 23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  8. ^ a b "Academy Awards, USA". The Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com, Inc. 1990–2010. Archived from the original on 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  9. ^ "The 7th Critics' Choice Awards Winners and Nominees". The BFCA Critics' Choice Awards. Broadcast Film Critics Association. 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-06-23. Retrieved 2011-08-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards". The Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com, Inc. 1990–2010. Archived from the original on 2011-08-04. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  12. ^ "The 59th annual Golden Globe Awards". Golden Globes. Hollywood Foreign Press Association. 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-05-09. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  13. ^ The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Original Motion Picture Soundtrack at AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  14. ^ "Enya". Artistopia. iCubator Labs, LLC. 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  15. ^ The very Best of Enya at AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  16. ^ "May it Be, 2002. Directed by Peter Peter Nydrle". EnyaOne. Felipe Dario. 2007–2009. Archived from the original on 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  17. ^ Tara Scammell at AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  18. ^ Celtic Woman at AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  19. ^ "Lisa". amazon.com. Archived from the original on 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  20. ^ Odyssey (Germany CD/DVD) at AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  21. ^ "Christmas - every day". Lex van Someren. AYAM Visionary Art Productions. Archived from the original on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  22. ^ Angelis at AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  23. ^ "Amazing Grace". Cecilia. Amazing Grace. Cecilia. 2000–2010. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  24. ^ Cinema Paradiso at AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  25. ^ "Uruk-Hai - Lothlórien". discogs. Zink Media, Inc. 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-11-11. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  26. ^ "Dame Kiri and Friends--The Gala Concert". Marbecks. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
  27. ^ "Concert celebrating Queen Margrethe". Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
  28. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Enya – May It Be" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Ultratop.be – Enya – May It Be" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  30. ^ "Ultratop.be – Enya – May It Be" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  31. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Enya – May It Be". Tracklisten. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  32. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 20 no. 6. 2 February 2002. p. 9. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  33. ^ "Enya: May It Be" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  34. ^ "Lescharts.com – Enya – May It Be" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  35. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Enya – May It Be". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  36. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – May It Be". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  37. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Enya – May It Be". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  38. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Enya – May It Be" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  39. ^ "Polish Airplay Charts – Lista krajowa 16/2002". PiF PaF Production. Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  40. ^ "Arhiva romanian top 100 – Editia 19, saptamina 13.05–19.05, 2002" (in Romanian). Romanian Top 100. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  41. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  42. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Enya – May It Be". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
  43. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Enya – May It Be". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 25 May 2015.
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  45. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 2002". Austriancharts.com. Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 30 November 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
  46. ^ "Year in Review – Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 2002" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 21 no. 2–3. 11 January 2003. p. 14. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  47. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 2002". Offiziellecharts.de. Archived from the original on 19 November 2015. Retrieved 22 November 2015.

External links[edit]