Oh, the always ethereal enigmatic Enya! You had so many questions yet so few answers… or at least until this overgrown FAQ section was born. The term FAQ is used very loosely as some of those question are less than frequent to say the least. Like no-one wants to know why ‘Eclipse’ makes no sense but everyone wants to know who’s Enya’s boyfriend and if she’s married. I am not judging, just saying. Google Analytics has betrayed you, people.
- Is Enya her real or just artistic name?
- What was Enya’s big break?
- Does Enya tour?
- How many records has Enya sold?
- Who is The trio? Who are Nicky and Roma Ryan?
- What is Aigle?
- Does Enya really live in a castle?
- Is Enya involved in charity projects?
- I love Enya’s clothes – who designs them?
- Is Enya married? Does she have a boyfriend?
- Does Enya have children?
- Is it true that Enya had a stalker?
- When will the new Enya album come out?
- Does Enya compose all her songs herself?
- Who are the people singing on Enya’s recordings? Does she use samples?
- Does Enya use guest musicians?
- Did Enya dedicate any of her songs to somebody?
- What do the Irish dedications in the album booklets mean?
- Did Enya compose music for Titanic?
- Was Enya involved in The Last of the Mohicans?
- Why can’t I find the Gladiator theme on any of Enya’s cds? Nor Adiemus?
- Has Enya composed any movie music?
- What is this rap/hip-hop song with Enya?
- Has Enya appeared on any other artists’ records?
- Is there any difference between Only If You Want To and Only If?
- What’s the difference between the albums Enya and The Celts?
- Why do Exile and As Baile sound similar?
- Why do Eclipse and Deireadh An Tuath sound similar?
As pillow words are weaving
- What language does Enya sing in?
- Is the song Orinoco Flow named after the river Orinoco?
- Who are Rob Dickins and Ross mentioned in the lyrics of Orinoco Flow?
- Where are all these strange places mentioned in Orinoco Flow?
- What are Shepherd Moons?
- Who are Miss Clare and Miss Quinn?
- Who is The Sandman?
- What is Aldebaran?
- What is written on the wall behind Enya on The Celts cover?
- What does this word or phrase mentioned in the lyrics mean?
- What are these funny characters in the Amarantine booklet? What is Loxian?
- Where can I see Enya in concert?
- Is there an official Enya fanclub I can join?
- Is Enya on Twitter, Facebook or MySpace?
- How can I write to Enya?
- How can I meet Enya?
- I want to collect Enyabilia, where should I start?
- How can I buy Enya music videos? Is there an Enya dvd or blu-ray?
- How can I buy Roma Ryan’s book Water Shows The Hidden Heart?
- What are the rarest Enya collectibles?
Enya’s first name is spelled Eithne and pronounced "ehn-ya". She chose to adapt the spelling because it was difficult to pronounce for non-Gaelic speakers. The shortened version appeared for the first time in the closing credits of The Frog Prince where Enya was credited as Enya Ni Bhraonain. Listen to Enya pronouncing her full name.
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Enya became famous with the 1988 release of the single Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) which suprisingly climbed to No. 1 in the UK chart. Enya considers the song to be very important as it introduced her worldwide. It was the last song written for Watermark which wasn’t planned to have any singles at all.
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No, she doesn’t have to. Since Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) became a major hit, her sales have been so high that there was no need to further promote the albums. Another reason is the complexity of Enya’s sound: it’d be very difficult and expensive to reproduce her songs live.
"I didn’t know about the longevity of my career, so we weren’t thinking about hiring a full orchestra and choir to play all the different parts. So I just dedicated myself to making music in the studio." -Enya, 2001
Enya is the most successful Irish solo artist ever, she has sold more than 75 million albums, in average over 10,000 discs per day. Her best-selling album to date is A Day Without Rain with more than 15 million units sold worldwide. Amarantine sold over 4 million discs in its first year of sale.
The trio refers to Enya, Roma and Nicky. Roma Ryan is Enya’s lyricist, Nicky Ryan is her sound engineer/producer. Eithne herself stated that without them "Enya" wouldn’t exist. Nicky and Roma are a married couple and have two daughters together.
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Aigle is the name of Enya’s recording studio.
Aigle means eagle in French and this is how you pronounce it. However, Aigle can also refer to one of the goddesses of the evening and golden light of sunset in Greek mythology. Roma mentions her in the Willows on the Water liner notes, so she must be familiar with the myth: Aigle was one of the Hesperides, who were guardians to the tree that bore apples of gold. When the Minyans approached them, imploring them to reveal a river so that they could quench their thirst, the Hesperides metamorphosed into trees, Aigle becoming a willow. She was the one to show the Minyans where to find water.
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Back in 1997, Enya bought a small Victorian castle near Dublin and moved to live there after a major reconstruction. She named the castle Manderley after Maxim de Winter’s house in the Daphne du Maurier’s book Rebecca.
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Yes, Temple Street Children’s Hospital in Dublin and the New York City Uniformed Firefighters Association’s Widows and Children Fund are just two examples of organisations that have benefited from her generosity. In 2008, she autographed and donated two hundred copies of her album And Winter Came… to United Way Taiwan.
Enya Donates Royalties
April 23, 2003 – Her Only Time single became the September 11th healing theme song for many people and now Enya is giving back. She’s donating the earnings from the sale of that single to the Uniform Firefighters Association’s Widows’ and Children’s Fund. That’s a total of just over $461,000. Enya says she hopes that in some small way those funds can help the families of fire fighters in the aftermath of 9/11. The money is set aside for survivors of firefighters killed in the line of duty, including those who responded to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. She also donated $100,000 to the New York Fire Department after the 9/11 attacks.
"My hope is that, in some small way, these funds can help to alleviate the concerns facing the families in the aftermath of 9-11, and other families of fire fighters who have been affected by a tragic loss of life. My thanks go out to the UFA for all their efforts in helping these families." -Enya
Enya hits right notes for Santa
December 23, 2002 – Donegal singing superstar Enya has ensured that a group of terminally-ill children will fly to Lapland today to visit Santa. The former member of Clannad was moved by the children’s plight while she listened to a late-night show on a Dublin radio station. Con Murphy of the Children to Lapland Appeal said that the project was in danger because of a cash shortage. Enya contacted her managers, Nicky and Roma Ryan and Nicky rang the radio station to say that they would give 20,000 euro to the charity.
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Back in 1992, Enya said "I like the drama of clothes. If I had the time I’d change my clothes three times a day." When asked about her favourite fashion designers, she mentioned Jasper Conrad, John Galliano and Maria Grachvogel. She’s also know to have worn pieces by Louise Kennedy, Elizabeth Emanuel, Claire Garvey, Tyrrell and Brennan (the red dress Enya wore to the Oscars in 2002), Ciaran Sweeney (the celtic dress Enya wore to WMA in 2006), John Rocha and Jen Kelly. You can often see her wearing Baccarat and Lalique crystal pendants in various colours too.
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Enya is not married. People sometimes get confused by the wedding band and Claddagh ring she wears. They both belonged to her grandmother who passed away.
"In my lifestyle it is difficult to have a relationship. Who will want to share a woman with music? Three years ago I was unsure about myself if I have set my priorities correctly or not. But as I heard this positive music (A Day Without Rain), I just knew: I feel good." -Enya, 2000
"This album (A Day Without Rain) is positive because that’s where I’m at in my life. Three years ago, I was asking whether I should take time out to have a family. I was putting pressure on myself and it was a terrible thing to do. Then I decided I wasn’t going to pressurise myself and I’ve gone the route I wanted to go. I wouldn’t change anything I’ve done over the past few years. That I’m not married and don’t have children has been my choice. I don’t feel I’ve missed out in any way. At school other girls talked about getting married, but it was never on my list of things to do. I was looking at something else. Actually what I went through wasn’t as traumatic as I’m making out. I didn’t think that much about it. I had to stop putting the pressure on myself, because of relationships coming and going, but if relationships aren’t working that means they’re not right. That’s what the single Only Time is about."-Enya, 2000
"After a bad day in the studio I’m dark and difficult to be with, I want and need to be on my own. I ask you, what sort of man would be able to adapt to someone like me?… Relationships have always clashed with my lifestyle. It suits me to live alone because I’m not someone who can break off from writing a song, go away for a weekend, then come back. When I’m working I have no sense of humour: I’m serious, a worrier Falling madly in love and getting married would be the most horrific thing that could happen. My first love and my present love is music. My affairs are with melody and words and beautiful sounds. If finding Mr. Right happens, then it happens; if it doesn’t happen, then it doesn’t happen. No problem."-Enya, 1992
"Not at the moment. It doesn’t go with my work. It’s very difficult to find someone who understands my engagement for the music. (..) In some periods of my life, I had partners. But I find long relationships…well, how can I say it without appearing strange? I’m too much devoted to my music. I know that some people think that it sounds sad, but believe me, I’m happy." -Enya, 2005
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No, Enya doesn’t have children. However, she is godmother to one of her nieces.
"I have never come close to being married or engaged. I was with someone eight years ago when I questioned whether I wanted the pressure of being married or having children. I always felt that if pregnancy was to happen, it would happen; if it didn’t, it didn’t…I have security, I don’t need a man in my life." -Enya, 2006
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Unfortunately yes. Since the success of Watermark, Enya had to deal with numerous stalking incidents. In October 2005, a stalker broke into her house, tied up a maid, and spent two hours combing the castle for Enya. A week earlier, another man broke into a separate six-bedroom abode.
"Somehow, they get an obsession with either the music or with me, and that’s something that started, day one, with ‘Watermark.’ So you just have to be wary of this. But I don’t give it a lot of space. The next day I was right back in the studio. I don’t sit there, not living my life because of it." -Enya, 2005
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"I’m a slow writer and success hasn’t changed that."
There are quite long gaps between albums (from 2 to 5 years) and no one can predict when the next cd will be relased.
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Yes, most of them. Enya’s done only several arrangements of traditional songs: Marble Halls is originally a piece from Balfe’s opera The Bohemian Girl, How Can I Keep from Singing? is a traditional Shaker’s hymn, Oíche chiúin, Adeste Fideles, We wish you a Merry Christmas and O Come, O Come Emmanuel are Christmas carols.
There is no choir, all you hear is Enya. The typical trademark sound or choir of oneis created by layering Enya’s voice up to hundreds of times. Enya does not sample her voice, she records all the layers separately.
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Enya usually performs all the music instruments herself but sometimes she uses guest musicians. "My main instrument is the piano, that’s what I compose on, and then I play a little strings, and that would be blended in with synthesisers, and then percussion." -Enya, 1995
Electric Guitar by Arty McGlynn
Uillean Pipes by Liam O’Flionn
Violin by Patrick Halling
Clarinet by Neil Buckley
Low Whistle & Uilleann Pipes by Davy Spillane
Percussion & Drums by Chris Hughes
Clarinet by Roy Jewitt
Percussion by Andy Duncan
Cornet by Steve Sidwell
Uillean Pipes by Liam O’Flionn
A Day without Rain:
Additional strings by Wired Strings
And Winter Came…:
Guitars by Pat Farrell
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Aldebaran is dedicated to a movie director Ridley Scott because Roma Ryan is a fan of his movie Blade Runner. Smaointe and Na Laetha Geal M’Óige are dedicated to Enya’s grandparents. The Amarantine album is dedicated to the memory of Tony McAuley, producer of The Celts BBC series. Journey of the Angels is dedicated to Tim Royes and My! My! Time Flies! is dedicated to the late Jimmy Faulkner.
Ta muid fiorbhuioch do Rob Dickins ar son an chuidiu agus an mhisneach a thug se duinn.
We are truly grateful to Rob Dickins for the help and courage he gave us.
Ar mbuiochas do Rob Dickins a d’fhan, “ag an stiuir”.
Our thanks to Rob Dickins who “stayed at the helm”.
The Memory Of Trees
Ba dheacair duinne an t-album seo a shamhlu gan focla spreagtha sin Rob Dickins.
It would be difficult for us to imagine this album without those inspiring/encouraging words of Rob Dickins.
Paint The Sky With Stars
Mar as gnath… mbuiochas do Rob Dickins
As always… our thanks to Rob Dickins
No, she was just one of the shortlisted composers considered for the task. The soundtrack was composed by James Horner and is often described as Enya-like. The wordless vocals were performed by the Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebo.
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No. But hes sister Máire (Moya) Brennan appears on the soundtrack singing the great song titled I Will Find You. The authors of the score are Randy Edelman and Trevor Jones.
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Because she didn’t perform them. Another common mistake is crediting songs as Enya & Yanni/Mike Oldfield/Sarah Brightman/whoever you want collaborations even though that isn’t the case. So far she has never performed a duet or collaborated with another artist if we don’t count her brief stay with Clannad and a few guest appearances in her early career.
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Yes, she composed the soundtracks for The Frog Prince (1983) and The Celts (1986). The first version of Book of Days, sung in Gaelic, was re-recorded in English for Far & Away. Another songs composed for a movie were Aníron (Theme for Aragorn and Arwen) and May It Be, both used in The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). All other songs which appeared in movies were borrowed from the albums.
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Enya isn’t the one rapping, she’s just humming in a very Enya-like way. The song that keeps on being sampled by rap and hip-hop bands over and over again is Boadicea. I have no idea why but they all seem to go crazy for it. First, The Fugees sampled the song without Enya’s prior permission on the track Ready or Not featured on their album The Score and were sued by WEA. To settle the case their label Sony agreed to pay Enya and add a sticker to all existing copies of The Score with the words: "We are very grateful to Enya for her kindness and consideration in allowing us of her track ‘Boadicea,’ from her album The Celts, which appears on the title ‘Ready or Not,’ which was used initially without her permission." Mario Winans’ hit single I Don’t Wanna Know from the album Hurt No More(2004) features Boadicea, too, but Enya was properly credited. The Pirates sampled Mario’s song, (therefore also Boadicea) on their response to I Don’t Wanna Knowtitled You Should Really Know. Now you know the story.
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She appeared on two Clannad albums and several other recordings. All her known collaborations with further details are listed in the discography.
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Only If You Want To is an early promo version of Only If…, the most notable difference is that it doesn’t contain the French lyrics. It was released only on a very limited number of Japanese The Best of Enya promo discs. You can imagine that those discs are rather pricey and not easy ot get now.
The Celts (1992) is a remastered version of ENYA(1987). Besides the covers and booklets, the only difference is in the 11th track. The Celts contains a longer version titled Portrait (Out of the Blue) (3:15) instead of Portrait (1:23) featured on ENYA.
As Baile is a vocalised version of Exile. It was recorded first but Rob Dickins suggested that the piece should have lyrics in style of Wilfred Owens’s poetry rather than the mouth music which Enya began with.
That’s because Eclipse is Deireadh An Tuathplayed backwards!
As pillow words are weaving…
Besides most-used English, there are songs in different languages, mainly in Enya’s mother tongue Irish Gaelic. Both Sindarin and Quenya are fictional languages created by J.R.R. Tolkien for his books. Loxian is a fictional language created by
Irish Gaelic: March of the Celts, The Celts, Aldebaran, Deireadh An Tuath, Triad (St. Patrick, Cú Chulainn, Oisin), Storms In Africa, The Longships, Na Laetha Geal M’Óige, Oiche Chiun, Ebudae, Book of Days, Smaointe…, Athair Ar Neamh, ‘S Fagaim Mo Bhaile, As Baile, Deora Ar Mo Chroí
French: part of Only If
Latin: Cursum Perficio, Afer Ventus, Pax Deorum, Tempus Vernum, Adeste Fideles, O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Miraculum
Spanish: La Soñadora
Welsh: Dan y Dwr
Quenya: part of May It Be
Loxian: Less Than A Pearl, The River Sings, Water Shows The Hidden Heart
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It’s a play on words as Watermark was recorded in Orinoco Studios, 36 Leroy Street, London.
Built in the mid-80s, Orinoco Studios quickly made its mark by producing Enya’s groundbreaking album Watermark. In 1997 Orinoco produced more Number One albums than any other studio in Britain apart from the legendary EMI Abbey Road. What’s The Story Morning Glory by Oasis was partly recorded and entirely mixed at Orinoco, and has since become the second highest selling album ever in the UK. In recent years the studio has become a second home to The Chemical Brothers who have made all their records here. Now it’s run by the Miloco empire of cutting edge recording studios and called The Pool.
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"we can sail, we can sail
we can steer, we can near with Rob Dickins at the wheel,
we can sigh, say Goodbye Ross and his dependencies
we can sail, we can sail"
Rob Dickins was the head of WEA UK, who signed Enya, and also the executive producer of Watermark. For more info, see Biography.
Ross Cullum was the album’s engineer, and also its co-producer. In fact, ‘The Ross Dependencies’ is also a geographic place.
Locations referenced in Orinoco Flow in order of mention:
- Orinoco River, Venezuela
- Tripoli, Libya
- Yellow Sea, Between Korea and China
- Bissau, Guinea-Bissau
- Palau, islands near the Philippines
- Avalon, British Isles
- Fiji, Fiji islands
- Tiree, Scotland
- Isles of Ebony, England
- Peru, Peru
- Cebu, Philippines
- Babylon, Iraq
- Bali, Indonesia
- Cali, a city in Colombia
- Coral Sea, Australia
- Ebudae, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
- Khartoum, Sudan
- Sea of Clouds, the Moon
- Island of the Moon, Madagascar
- Ross Dependency, a part of Antarctica
Pandora and Prometheus – two moons numbered 1980S26 and 1980S27, orbiting the outer ring of Saturn. They are called shepherd moons because they keep them particles of the planet’s ring together. They orbit near the outer edges of rings or within gaps in the rings. Their gravity serves to maintain a sharply defined edge to the ring; material that drifts closer to the shepherd moon’s orbit is either deflected back into the body of the ring, ejected from the system, or accreted onto the moon itself.
Characters from the books ‘No Holly for Miss Quinn’ (1976) and ‘Miss Clare Remembers’ (1962) by Mrs. Dora Saint, also known as Miss Read.
The Sandman is a folktale figure, he brings sleep and sprinkles gold sand in children’s eyes, so that they wake with grit in the corners of their eyes.
Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus and one of the brightest stars in the nighttime sky. The name Aldebaran is derived from Arabic signifying "the follower", as it appears to follow the Pleiades, Seven Sisters in the sky. Because of its location in the head of Taurus, it’s often called the Bull’s Eye.
The memory of the just is blessed:
but the name of the wicked shall rot.
Three songs on Amarantine are sung in a fictional language Loxian created by Enya’s lyricist Roma Ryan. The idea arose after Roma wrote lyrics in Elvish for The Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring movie. The main influence is from the sounds that Enya sings while the songs don’t have actual lyrics yet. The first piece recorded in Loxian was Water shows the hidden heart after it didn’t work in English, Gaelic and Latin. At the time, the language was called Errakan, what in Gaelic means more-less "the people that come from the Moon" but Roma and Enya found the name Loxian more appealing.
"The Loxians, are much like us. They’re in space, somewhere in the night. They’re looking out, they’re mapping the stars, and wondering if there is anyone else out there. It’s to do with that concept: are we alone in the universe?" -Enya
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If there is a word you don’t understand, look it up in the lyrics guide.
You can’t since Enya doesn’t tour. She toured with her former band Clannad for 2 years in the late 80s and performed live on some TV shows (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Academy Awards) but she has never done a solo concert.
Enya’s been asked about bringing her music to stage every time a new album was released since Watermark in 1988. She has never said that she didn’t want to do concerts, she just never did any. The usual replies go along the lines of "I find performing live is something I truly miss. When you go on a stage the feedback is tremendous and you really get a sense of how you’re affecting people." or "We’re always talking about how exciting it would be to do a live performance of this music. But it has to be the right moment."
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No, there is no official Enya fanclub. You can however join Enya’s official forum Unity to get in touch with other fans around the world.
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The only online presence controlled directly by Enya, Roma and Nicky is enya.com and associated websites.
The official Facebook account, YouTube channel, DailyMotion channel and MySpace profile are managed by Warner Music, Enya’s recording company. Enya is not involved in any of these sites.
Any other websites and accounts are unofficial.
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There is no direct way for fans to send letters to Enya. On particular occassions, members of the official forum can send an online greeting or a postcard to Enya, Roma and Nicky. Please note that these messages are limited in length and controlled before being handed over.
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Most fans that had the chance to meet Enya in person did so at a cd signing event or when she performed on a tv show. However, there are no more than one or two signings per album release, so your chances are slim if you are not prepared to travel.
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The best source of information is the official Enya discography. It features the most comprehensive list of Enya’s promotional and commercial releases worldwide together with pictures, catalog numbers and tracklists. Once you’ve done your research and prepared your wallet I suggest shopping at eBay, EIL, GEMM, MusicStack and Discogs.
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The best way to get Enya’s videos is to purchase the 2009 cd/dvd The Very Best of Enya
(region 0) that includes 13 music videos and 3 documentaries. The pre-Watermark videos are available on The Celts – Rich Traditions & Ancient Myths dvd (region 1).
If you want to get the original 2001 Enya: The Video Collection (NTSC Region 2 or PAL Region 2/3/4/5/6) that contains Exile, How Can I Keep from Singing? and a performance of Book of Days not included on the new dvd, you should be very careful. There was only a limited number of copies released and the dvd was soon withdrawn from the market. Soon afterwards, as the official copies quickly sold out and there was no region 1 release, a great number of bootleg pressings appeared.
So before buying the dvd, make sure it is an original version. Here are some hints that might help you spot a genuine release: the official dvd is black and housed in a clear plastic or cardboard box with a green round sticker on the front. There is a picture booklet included. If you see a copy in a black plastic box, containing a picture disc and no booklet, it definitely is a bootleg.
So far, none of Enya’s videos have been released in the blu-ray format.
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The book was first published on 5 December 2005 in a limited quantity and was quite difficult to get. In November 2006, Reprise included an updated version of the book in the special limited edition of Amarantine. The second printing contains more pictures and new poems but the foreword by Enya was left out.
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There are many Enya items that are considered rare and are very hard to find. They would be especially the limited presentation boxes and promo items given out at the album launches (e.g. Paint the Sky with Stars promotional cd+cassette in a metal tin full of paper stars and And Winter Came… promo sampler with a Waterford crystal snowflake). Some releases are rare because they contain otherwise unavailable tracks (e.g. Best of Enya Japanese promo including Only If You Want To, Touch Travel cassette including The Solar Wind or Someone said goodbye USA promo including the remix of the song). There are also many rare promo releases from all over the world, your best bet would be to look through the promotional and miscellanious section of the official Enya discography.