Album version 4:00 English 1988

Liner notes

Artwork by Brody NeuenschwanderI remember
…the shore.
The plain of…
…the shelter
notes by Roma Ryan
A Box of Dreams, 1997

No matter how far we are in the journey of our lives, no matter how many days and nights have fallen by us, with all their happenings, the child we were is always within us.
notes by Roma Ryan
Only Time: The Collection, 2002

Quotes about the song

from a 1989 Japanese magazine, edited by"The one with the clarinet," Enya says referring to an elegaic song named ‘On Your Shore’, "is about a beach at home and it’s really close to me." She laughs shyly, betraying a reluctance to expose herself except through music. "It’s really beautiful."
Watermark press release, Geffen Records, 1989

>Enya: "This is Machaire De Fhothain – to translate that, it would have meant "The Sheltered Plain". Well, this was, like in the summertime, we used to come down here early in the morning and spend all day here, the family, and we’d leave here about seven o’clock, eight o’clock in the evening, it was just exploring all around here. It was just great fun.

The Machaire De Fhothain graveyard is just right beside here and in the line of the song the "loss of comfort gone before" is referring to them, because the beach attracts me to it, I love it, it makes me very happy, but now with my grandparents resting there, there’s an element of sadness involved with being so happy to be back here. This is really special for me because, I mean, this is what the song is about, it’s about Machaire De Fhothain, standing on this beach."
Homeward Bound TV Interview, BBC 1, 1989

Enya: "With On Your Shore, we did loads of vocal experiments but they just didn’t suit with the track. So we had to say, ‘well this piece of music wants to be one lead vocal with a synthesiser’. That’s it."

Enya: "Sometimes it can work the other way like with ‘On Your Shore.’ That was originally an instrumental but we tried lyrics with it and it worked.

Nicky Ryan: "It’s very interesting sometimes… like with ‘On Your Shore,’ it never occurred to us that because of the clarinet solo and the title it would be compared with Acker Bilk’s ‘Stranger On The Shore.’ The only reason clarinet was put on that track was because Enya, as she always does, sang the solo on the demo. The way she sang it, had to be clarinet."
Watermark Recording Process, Sonics, 1989


Venue Date Details
Homeward Bound (UK) May 18, 1989 Lip-synced



Strange how my heart beats
to find myself upon your shore.
Strange how I still feel
my loss of comfort gone before.

Cool waves wash over
and drift away with dreams of youth,
so time is stolen,
I cannot hold you long enough.

And so
this is where I should be now,
days and nights falling by,
days and nights falling by me.
I know
of a dream I should be holding,
days and nights falling by,
days and nights falling by me.

Soft blue horizons
reach far into my childhood days
as you are rising
to bring me my forgotten ways.

Strange how I falter
to find I’m standing in deep water.
Strange how my heart beats
to find I’m standing on your shore.

lyrics by Roma Ryan
EMI Music Publishing Ltd, 1988