Mum first heard Enya on the radio on her way to work one morning. She wrote down the name of the artist as she sang 'Sail Away' (Orinoco Flow). Things being what they are, obviously Mum lost the piece of paper she'd written Ela/Ella/Anya on. She walked up to the music counter at Woolworth's in Salisbury and said, 'I want the album by the woman who sings it all herself, plays all the instruments herself and it's something about sailing.'
Things being what they are, the shop assistant frowned and asked for his supervisor and after a bit of humming along they established who Mum meant and she left clutching her new record.
She played it non-stop in her car's tape player for months. She made her own tape so she could listen to it on journeys. I suppose that's why I'm into Enya too maybe!
I once made my own Now That's What I Very Enya mix tape, before she'd actually done a best of album – carefully taping songs from her various albums. It was perfect driving music.
Enya's music has been with me through other bands passing fads (Atomic Kitten/ A1 / The Vengaboys), through school (when everyone else was listening to Oasis and Blur I was listening to ABBA and Enya), university (deeply un-trendy), at Dad's funeral we played Paint The Sky With Stars – which seem
ed apt since he died in a light aircraft crash, but it was genuinely doing what he'd wanted to do all his life, fly.
I've written my essays and dissertation at uni to Enya. One of her albums is called A Day Without Rain and I used to fill my student house with it while working on my laptop Dad made me. My housemate, Lee once walked into my bedroom and said, 'Can we have a day without Enya, just the one, do you think?'
I said, 'It helps me think, write, be.'
Lee replied, 'It's driving me up f**king the wall, all this whale music new age crap, it's all I ever hear. Bring back The Sound Of Music, all is forgiven!'
I simply smiled and turned the volume down and continued listening to my Enya's albums on repeat during all writing.
I've cried over ex-boyfriends to Enya, but I won't go into more about that here. I've even opened presents one Christmas day morning to Enya.
And now, alongside Chicane, she is my writing music of choice. If I'm writing in public I only have to put my earphones in, click to Enya shuffle and I'm there, with the Celts, or the Orinoco Flow, or storms in Africa, or singing about marble halls and Shepherd Moons.
It. Is. Beautiful.
Enya's music divides opinion, you either love it or hate it, people rarely say it's meh. 'It's all the same!' people cry. 'It's like listening to whales giving birth!' they add. That's as maybe, but for me, the familiarity, the very Enya-ness of listening to a new album is what makes it such a comforting constant in my life since her first album all those years ago. And for that, I'm grateful and will continue buying her music as long as she makes it. Earlier this week, I listened to her new album, Dark Sky Island, in the car and it brought me to tears. Yes, I know I'm a bit of a tart like that, but it wasn't sad tears, it was tears of how beautiful and soothing and also moving the music is. And any music that can do that on a dark and rainy drive to Stevenage is worth my money any day.
Oh, and she lives in a castle next door to Bono, avoids emails and technology, wears velvet dresses and clasps her hands ethereally on her lap while contemplating her response to questions. So all that eccentricity makes me love her even more too. She doesn't tour either, but apparently that may be about to change.
How do you feel about Enya's music?
Because I love it so much I even put Enya in a book! The Guardian Angel, Richard's best friend, Amy is into new age music and is known to put on an all songs Enya shuffle when she's in extremis to give her a helping hand.
Buy links for The Guardian Angel are below:
All Romance eBooks
Liam Livings xx