From the mythologies of our origins to the dreams of Borges and beyond. From probable to the abstract, from the one to the many, from the dreamer to the bedreamed.
In Irish Mythology there is often mention of the Druid; The Druid was regarded as a man of knowledge and power. He held the knowledge in dreams and signs an interpretation. He knew the lie of lands and the way of the winds. He understood the elements. His was the knowledge of words. One Druid in particular inspired the seed to this lyric; Amergin, who came from the shores of Iberia, modern-day Spain, with the Son of Mil.
And so the Dreamer dreams.
notes by Roma Ryan
The Memory of Trees promotional box, 1995
Quotes about the song
Enya: There’s a link between Ireland and Spain history-wise, and also in mythology, and not a lot of people know about the mythology side. So the lyrics are actually
based on that, and to get back to sort of the Spanish, they have actually traced back in my family tree, and there is some Spanish connection, in the family tree.
So I thought it was nice to use the Spanish in this way. The first Druid came from Spain – his name was Amergin – and at the time in Ireland, we had the gods, and
Amergin came to Ireland. And, on landing on the shores of Ireland, he recited a poem, and the lyrics are based on that actual poem.
All Things Considered, NPR, 1996
Enya: With ‘La Soñadora,’ Roma suggested we use Spanish. She told me there was a connection between Ireland and Spain in history, with the Spanish Armada and
so forth. A lot of Spanish people settled in the West, hence a lot of dark-haired people in Ireland. Then Roma found a connection between Spain and Ireland in
mythology. The first Druid, Amergin, came from Spain and the shores of Iberia. Upon landing on the coast of Ireland he recited a poem. She based the lyric of
‘La Soñadora,’ translated ‘The Dreamer,’ on his poem. “I am autumn / I am winter / I am the echo.”
Enya & The Memory of Trees, Gavin, 1996
The lyrics of the song were inspired by ‘The Song of Amergin’. Acording to legend, Amergin was one of the leaders of the Men of Míl who battled the Faery Clan for possession of Ireland. Amergin invoked the powers of the Land upon first stepping ashore. He joined himself with the spirit that controlled the elements of the Cosmos. The wind died down and the Gaels claimed sovereignty on Ireland. There are more versions of the song, this is the most popular one:
I am a stag of seven tines,
I am a wide flood on a plain,
I am a wind on the deep waters,
I am a shining tear of the sun,
I am a hawk on a cliff,
I am fair among flowers,
I am a god who sets the head afire with smoke.
I am a battle waging spear,
I am a salmon in the pool,
I am a hill of poetry,
I am a ruthless boar,
I am a threatening noise of the sea,
I am a wave of the sea,
Who but I knows the secrets of the unhewn dolmen?
Yo; el otono
Yo; el véspero
He sido un eco
Seré una ola
Seré la luna
He sido todo, soy yo
Yo; el verano
Yo; el ébano
Soy la sonadora
I; the autumn
I; the evening star
I have been an echo
I shall be a wave
I shall be the moon
I have been everything, I am myself
I; the summer
I; the ebony
I am the dreamer
lyrics by Roma Ryan
EMI Music Publishing Ltd, 1995