Song about sacrifice ‘transcends borders and cultures and time itself’.

Loreena is pleased to release a brand-new song – her first original track in 11 years.

“Breaking of the Sword” is a song about love, loss and family sacrifice and has been released for Remembrance Day (Armistice Day), November 11th. It’s her first original track since the 2006 album An Ancient Muse.

As of Friday November 3, the song will be 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 single, entitled “Breaking of the Sword”, was inspired during Loreena’s participation in April at The Canadian National Vimy Memorial for the 100th anniversary of the historic Battle of Vimy Ridge. During the ceremony however, she performed “Dante’s Prayer” from her 1997 album The Book of Secrets.

Loreena has written the song in the first person from a mother’s perspective. It describes the sunny April morning when the child is born and how he grows up to work in the fields and stables alongside her. The war then calls him away where he is killed in battle.

“When you lose a child, that unimaginable loss and longing is felt the world over. It transcends borders and cultures and time itself,” says Loreena.“I would like to feel the sentiment of this song is both timeless and universal,” adds Loreena, who brings to the song both her abilities as an artist and her insights as Honorary Colonel of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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 Loreena. “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.


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