Roma Ryan

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Roma Ryan
Birth nameRoma Shane Ryan
Born20 January
Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
GenresNew-age, Celtic, world
Occupation(s)Lyricist, poet, writer
Years active1982–present
LabelsWEA, Warner Music UK, Warner Bros. Records UK, Reprise, Geffen
Associated actsEnya

Roma Shane Ryan (born 20 January in Belfast) is a Northern Irish writer, poet, and lyricist, currently living in Artane, Ireland, with her husband Nicky.

Ryan is the primary lyricist for the singer Enya, who has stated that the importance of Roma's and Nicky's contributions are such that without them, "Enya" would not exist.[1]

Biography and work with Enya[edit]

Roma and Nicky Ryan met Enya in 1978; Nicky was managing Enya's family's band Clannad. Enya had just finished secondary school when Nicky Ryan rang her, asking if she would become a member of the group. The Ryans and Enya left Clannad several years later to focus on their own musical careers. Enya originally wrote instrumental melodies. Roma found these melodies "very visual" and suited to film work; she began to write lyrics to them.[2]

Ryan's lyrics for Enya have won Grammy Awards; the song "May It Be" for The Lord of the Rings film The Fellowship of the Ring was nominated for an Oscar.

Her lyrics can be heard in films such as The Frog Prince (1984), Green Card (1990), L.A. Story (1991), Toys (1992), Cry, the Beloved Country (1995), and Calmi Cuori Appassionati (2001), all of which feature Enya's music.

Loxian language and solo work: Water Shows the Hidden Heart; Islands No 2 & 3: Dark Sky Islands And Little Histories; The Messenger's Origin[edit]

In 2005, Ryan created a new language known as Loxian, inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's Elvish language, for Enya's album Amarantine. This language can be heard on three tracks from "Amarantine": "Less Than a Pearl", "The River Sings" and "Water Shows the Hidden Heart". Enya has mentioned in interviews that Roma developed Loxian while writing lyrics for the track "Water Shows the Hidden Heart"; she and Enya had attempted to write lyrics for the track in Latin, Gaelic and English and been disappointed with the results.[3] The first Loxian phrase created by Roma—"Syoombraaya"—is the title of that track ("Water Shows the Hidden Heart").

Loxian language was used again in Enya's eighth studio album, Dark Sky Island, released on 20 November 2015, on the songs 'The Forge Of Angels' and 'The Loxian Gates'. These songs in particular focus on the otherworldly and futuristic tales Roma Ryan uses Loxian for, along with the non-Loxian Astra et Luna.[4]

She has undertaken several projects without Enya, including a book describing the Loxian language called Water Shows the Hidden Heart. The book also contains poetry and stories written by Ryan. "Water Shows the Hidden Heart" was released in two editions: the first edition as a standalone item, shortly after the release of Amarantine in 2005.[5] The first edition features a short introduction by Enya. The second edition was included on the Deluxe Collector's Edition of Amarantine boxed set in early 2006.[6] It omitted Enya's introduction and added colour images, as well as containing a different selection of Ryan's poetry. Neither version is in print.

On September 1, 2017, Ryan will release two books, "Islands No 2&3: Dark Sky Islands and Little Histories" and "The Messenger's Origin." The first, "Islands No 2&3," will focus on the poetry Ryan wrote for the Enya album, "Dark Sky Island." However, the contents of "The Messenger's Origin" remains unknown. As of August 21, 2017, several winners of the Loxian Games have received their books and posted photos of the autographed copies on Unity - Enya's official forum. Enya, Roma, and her husband, Enya-producer Nicky Ryan, all autographed the books presented to the winners.

The books are being published by Valley-dwellers Publishing.

The Loxian Games and the Unity forum[edit]

Roma Ryan has been the coordinator of two on-line competitions at Enya's official website,—the First and Second Loxian Games, which have both been completed. Ryan announced the games on the official website in August 2008; the first Games began on 1 September 2008 and the second Games in September of the following year. Ryan says of the games: "The Games are a series of treasure hunts and you can tell by the name that they're based on the Loxian language you heard on Amarantine. They are games of riddles and clues and of you, looking for answers. As with most treasure hunts – there are prizes to be won. As with most treasure hunts you do not know what prize you may have won!"[7] The winners for both Games have been announced on the official forum, Roma provides the majority of Aigle's contact with fans on the official website and also communicates periodically on the Unity forum.

Personal life[edit]

Roma and Nicky have two daughters, Ebony and Persia, who also contributed artwork and layout to Amarantine.



  1. ^ "Roma Ryan biography". The Oscar Site. Archived from the original on 21 October 2004. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  2. ^ "Enya, the Invisible Star". Enya Book of Days. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Enya Expands Lyrical Language". Enya Book of Days. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  4. ^ "Enya Official Biography" (pdf). Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  5. ^ "Official Discography". Archived from the original on 3 November 2007. Retrieved 2010-10-01.
  6. ^ "Amarantine release information". Be Independent. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  7. ^ "New Loxian Site and Competitions". Northern Skyline. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 2 October 2010.

External links[edit]