Album version 3:54 English 1991

Liner notes

photo by Simon FowlerAn operatic piece originally scored by the Irish composer and baritone, Michael William Balfe (1808-1870). ‘Marble Halls’, or ‘The Dream’ as it is also known, is from his 1843 opera The Bohemian Girl, which enjoyed great success during his lifetime. Balfe was once complimented by Strauss as being the Master of Melody. The Bohemian Girl, and in particular this song, is a favourite of both Enya and her mother.

notes by Roma Ryan
Shepherd Moons music book, 1991

Quotes about the song

Enya: "I recorded two non-original songs. One of them is ‘Marble Halls’ and it’s written by an Irish composer called William Balfe and it’s from an opera called Bohemian Girl and a hundred years old, this song. And I felt it was a challenge to sing it, as it had only been sung by an opera singer."
3LO Radio Interview, 1991

Enya: My mother actually sang ‘Marble Halls’ in her boarding school at a concert, and I wasn’t aware of this but I think she was singing it around the house and I must have picked up the melody because when I heard it for the first time I was drawn to it immediately, and it was only recently, when I mentioned to her I was going to record ‘Marble Halls’ that she said “but I did this song so many years ago”, then I thought, well, that’s the connection, you know, I would have heard it a long time ago; but it’s a piece of music from an opera called The Bohemian Girl, and it’s by an Irish composer, Balfe.
Music From The Bridge, London Weekend Television, 1992,

Nicky Ryan: There’s a song called “Marble Halls”, for example, which in its very essence it suggests reverb to me — the fact that you are in the marble halls. You must have it.
Enya Celtic Choirs, NPR, 1991

Balfe’s Bohemian Girl

The opera tells a story of Arline who is in love with a Polish nobleman and political exile Thaddeus. As a child she had been kidnapped from her wealthy father by gypsies and was raised by them, so she had only the vaguest recollection of her former life (hence ‘I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls…’). Accused of stealing a jewel in the city of Pressburg, she is arrested, but then is recognized by her father Count Arnheim who is the governor of the city. Overjoyed at finding his long-lost daughter, he gives her in marriage to Thaddeus.


single cover

01 Marble Halls
02 ‘S Fagaim mo Bhaile
03 Book of Days [English]
04 As Baile


Venue Date Details
The Kenny Show (Ireland) Nov 15, 1997 Lip-synced


I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls
with vassals and serfs at my side,
and of all who assembled within those walls
that I was the hope and the pride.
I had riches all too great to count
and a high ancestral name.
But I also dreamt which pleased me most
that you loved me still the same,
that you loved me
you loved me still the same,
that you loved me
you loved me still the same.

I dreamt that suitors sought my hand,
that knights upon bended knee
and with vows no maiden’s heart could withstand,
they pledged their faith to me.
And I dreamt that one of that noble host
came forth my hand to claim.
But I also dreamt which charmed me most
that you loved me still the same
that you loved me
you loved me still the same,
that you loved me
you loved me still the same.

lyrics by Alfred Bunn, 1843