Loreena McKennitt has released a single, ‘Breaking of the Sword’, for Remembrance Day 2017. Honourary Colonel of the Royal Canadian Air Force, McKennitt was inspired by her participation in April at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial for the 100th anniversary of the historic Battle of Vimy Ridge.
As of Friday November 3, 2017, the song has been exclusively available digitally, via iTunes, Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music and more. Proceeds from digital sales in Canada will be donated to the Canadian Armed Forces’ Support Our Troops Fund, which provides financial support and assistance to members of the Forces, veterans and their respective families.
The song is about sacrifice and ‘transcends borders and cultures and time itself’. It is McKennitt’s first original track in 11 years.
The track was recorded with both The Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces and the 90-voice Stratford Concert Choir located in McKennitt’s home base of Stratford, Canada and led by director Ian Sadler. Their contributions to the piece symbolize the collective feelings of the community when it loses a citizen.
“I realize there are at least three kinds of families experiencing loss in times of war—the immediate family, the military family, and the communities where the fallen have lived,” says McKennitt. “I have tried to represent each of them in my arrangement.”
“In the contemporary sense, families of those who serve continue to make huge compromises and sacrifices to support their loved ones, regardless of their mission or task – from combat to humanitarian and search-and-rescue missions, to the demands of daily training and operations. We, as citizens, owe those who serve, as well as their families, our immense gratitude and at the very least, the act of remembrance.”
The title of the song is borrowed from a group of statues on the Vimy Memorial called the Defenders, particularly those known as the Breaking of the Sword. The Canadian National Vimy Memorial consists of 20 symbolic statues, the largest of which is known as Canada Bereft. Sometimes called Mother Canada, it personifies a young nation mourning its dead.
To listen to a clip or buy the song, visit McKennitt’s website: http://loreenamckennitt.com/