To Drive the Cold Winter Away

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To Drive the Cold Winter Away
Album Cover-To Drive the Cold Winter Away.jpg
Studio album by
LabelQuinlan Road
ProducerLoreena McKennitt
Loreena McKennitt chronology
To Drive the Cold Winter Away
Parallel Dreams
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[1]

To Drive the Cold Winter Away is Loreena McKennitt's second album, released in 1987. It pays homage to her childhood memories of music for the winter season, the most vivid of which "came from songs and carols recorded in churches or great halls, rich with their own unique ambience and tradition."[2]

To capture that remembered ambiance, McKennitt kept the arrangements sparse, celebrating the beauty of simplicity. She also chose to leave the found sounds of life in the performances, which were recorded on location in churches and great halls:[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "In Praise of Christmas" (traditional) – 6:06
  2. "The Seasons" (traditional) – 4:55
  3. "The King" (traditional) – 2:04
  4. "Banquet Hall" (McKennitt) – 3:53
  5. "Snow" (Archibald Lampman, McKennitt) – 5:35
  6. "Balulalow" (traditional) – 3:09
  7. "Let Us the Infant Greet" (traditional) – 3:46
  8. "The Wexford Carol" (traditional) – 6:07
  9. "The Stockford Carol" (McKennitt) – 3:02
  10. "Let All That Are to Mirth Inclined" (traditional) – 6:52

Song information[edit]

  • "The King" features vocals by Cedric Smith. Shannon Purves-Smith plays Viols on two other tracks. Everything else was done by McKennitt.
  • "Snow" uses the words of the poem of the same name by Archibald Lampman. It was included on a Windham Hill Records album titled Celtic Christmas (1995).


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Worldwide (IFPI) N/A 84,000[4]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ To Drive the Winter Cold Away, n.d., retrieved 2008-09-27
  3. ^ Quinlan Road Ltd. (2006) [1987], To Drive the Winter Cold Away Liner Notes (PDF), retrieved 2008-09-27
  4. ^ "McKennnit to unleash 'Book of Secrets'". Billboard. 23 August 1997. Retrieved 12 April 2018.