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The Visit (Loreena McKennitt album)

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The Visit
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 27, 1991 (1991-09-27)
GenreFolk, world, new-age
LabelQuinlan Road, Warner Bros.
ProducerLoreena McKennitt
Loreena McKennitt chronology
Parallel Dreams
The Visit
The Mask and Mirror
Professional ratings
Review scores
Calgary HeraldA[2]

The Visit is the fourth studio album by Loreena McKennitt. Released on September 27, 1991, the album has been certified four times Platinum in Canada and Gold in the United States. It was produced by McKennitt and Brian Hughes.[3]

The album was a cowinner, with the compilation album Saturday Night Blues, of the 1992 Juno Award for Best Roots and Traditional Album of the Year.[4]

The album was released as a limited edition, numbered, 180 gram vinyl in 2016.

A 30th anniversary edition of the album titled "The Visit - The Definitive Edition" was released on September 24, 2021.

Track listing[edit]

1."All Souls Night"  5:09
2."Bonny Portmore"traditionaltraditional, arr. McKennitt4:21
3."Between the Shadows"  3:42
4."The Lady of Shalott"Alfred, Lord Tennyson (adapted by McKennitt) 11:34
5."Greensleeves"traditionaltraditional, arr. McKennitt4:26
6."Tango to Evora"  4:10
7."Courtyard Lullaby"  4:57
8."The Old Ways"  5:44
9."Cymbeline"William Shakespeare 5:07
Total length:49:10

Song information[edit]

  • "All Souls Night" derives from McKennitt's merging of the traditions, mythology, and culture of Japan with old Celtic Samhain rituals. The "bonfires" and "figures dancing" are European, the "candles and lanterns" are from Japanese traditions.
  • "Bonny Portmore" is a traditional Celtic folk song about oak forest deforestation. It was featured in the soundtrack of Highlander III: The Sorcerer (as well as "Cé Hé Mise le Ulaingt?" and "The Two Trees" from the album "The Mask and Mirror").
  • "The Lady of Shalott" is based on the poem The Lady of Shalott by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. However, some poem lines in the original poem were removed in McKennitt's version, such as in Part III of the poem, the part "The gemmy bridle glitter'd free...Moves over still Shalott."
  • Contrary to the album notes, "Greensleeves" was not actually written by Henry VIII; though this is a long-held belief and legend.[5]
  • "Tango to Evora" was used in the National Film Board of Canada documentary The Burning Times. A cover to the song has been recorded by one of Greece's most popular and respected singers, Haris Alexiou, titled "Nefeli's Tango", with lyrics written by herself. Another cover to the song has been recorded by Turkish singer, Nilüfer, titled "Çok Uzaklarda". Evora is a historical city in Portugal. There is also a Finnish cover, titled "Katkennut Helminauha" by Finnish singer, Anneli Saaristo and a German cover by Bettina Wegner under the title "Alles was ich wünsche". The Kurdish cover was by Homar Dizayî, under the title "Xozga". There is an Albanian cover, too, titled "Rrugës i trishtuar" (known also with the title "Sonata"), by the Albanian popular singer Eli Fara. A Romanian cover of the song, named “Tango pentru Evora” (Romanian translation of ”Tango to Evora”) was sung during the show “Dansez pentru tine” by Mălina Olinescu. The lyrics were written by Florin Busuioc.
  • "Cymbeline" is taken from a song in the William Shakespeare play Cymbeline.
  • Lyrics from "The Old Ways" are featured in the letter that Rachel Green writes to Ross Geller in the Friends fourth-season premier episode The One with the Jellyfish. While the contents of the letter are not displayed on screen, the letter is on exhibit in the touring The Friends Experience exhibition.


Other personnel[edit]

  • Jeff Wolpert – engineer, mixing, assistant producer


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[6] Gold 35,000^
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[7] Gold 100,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[8] 4× Platinum 400,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[9] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[11] Gold 646,000[10]
Worldwide 1,400,000[12]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Zimmerman, Kate (October 6, 1991). "Recent Releases". Calgary Herald.
  3. ^ "RIAA certification for "The Visit" Album". The Recording Industry Association of America. June 16, 1997. Retrieved February 20, 2012.
  4. ^ "Here's who took top music prizes". Vancouver Sun, March 31, 1992.
  5. ^ e.g., see https://earlymusicmuse.com/greensleeves1of3mythology/
  6. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1997 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – Loreena McKennitt – The Visit" (in Portuguese). Pro-Música Brasil. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  8. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Loreena McKennitt – The Visit". Music Canada. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  9. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. p. 950. ISBN 8480486392.
  10. ^ "World's greatest". Billboard. 16 June 2007. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  11. ^ "American album certifications – Loreena Mc Kennitt – The Visit". Recording Industry Association of America.
  12. ^ "McKennnit to unleash 'Book of Secrets'". Billboard. 23 August 1997. Retrieved 12 April 2018.