“May It Be” Lyrics Meaning [Explained]

Enya’s “May It Be” is a captivating song that she co-wrote with Roma Ryan for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring in 2001. The song has since been recognized by music lovers and critics alike, earning Enya nominations for the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Grammy Award.

One of the most remarkable things about the song is how it manages to capture the essence of Middle Earth’s mystical and enchanting world. Enya’s ethereal voice and the haunting melody blend perfectly to create a mood that’s both otherworldly and deeply moving.

This analysis examines the meaning of “May It Be” and how it captures the essence of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

Lyrics Interpretation

Before we delve into the story behind this song, let’s take a closer look at each verse of the lyrics.

Verse 1: Guiding Stars and Lonely Roads

May it be an evening star

Shines down upon you

May it be when darkness falls

Your heart will be true

You walk a lonely road

Oh! How far you are from home

The first verse introduces the motif of light and darkness, with the evening star shining down upon the listener. This celestial symbol represents guidance, hope, and a sense of direction in times of darkness or uncertainty. The evening star illuminates the path for those who are far from home, both literally and metaphorically, suggesting a return to a place of comfort and familiarity.

The lyrics also acknowledge the struggles and challenges one might face, as they walk a lonely road. This imagery conveys a sense of isolation and longing, yet the assurance that “your heart will be true” when darkness falls suggests a steadfastness and inner strength that will guide the listener through difficult times.

Chorus: The Promise of a New Beginning

Mornië utúlië (Darkness has come)

Believe and you will find your way

Mornië alantië (Darkness has fallen)

A promise lives within you now

The chorus, sung in both English and Quenya, a fictional language created by J.R.R. Tolkien for his legendarium, further emphasizes the themes of darkness and light. The repetition of the phrase “darkness has come/fallen” acknowledges the presence of adversity and hardship, yet it is countered by the message of belief and finding one’s way.

The key phrase, “A promise lives within you now,” serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and strength that lies within each individual. This promise is a metaphor for hope and the potential for new beginnings, even in the darkest moments of life. The chorus is an uplifting refrain that encourages listeners to believe in themselves and trust their inner guidance.

Verse 2: Journeying Towards the Light

May it be the shadow’s call

Will fly away

May it be you journey on

To light the day

When the night is overcome

You may rise to find the sun

In the second verse, the shadow’s call represents the difficulties and challenges that can weigh heavily on a person’s spirit. The lyrics express the hope that these shadows will eventually “fly away,” allowing the listener to move forward on their journey.

The focus on journeying “to light the day” signifies a transition from darkness to light, metaphorically representing the personal growth and transformation that often arises from overcoming obstacles. The triumphant image of rising to find the sun after the night is overcome symbolizes the dawn of a new day, filled with renewed hope and strength.

True Meaning Behind “May It Be”

Roma Ryan, Enya’s lyricist, had the challenging task of creating lyrics that would match the magic of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. She incorporated words from Tolkien’s fictional language, Quenya, to create a mystical effect.

With the lines “Mornië utúlië” (Darkness has come) and “Mornië alantië” (Darkness has fallen) repeated twice in the song, the intermingling of English and Quenya transports the listener to Middle Earth.

The English lyrics in “May It Be” echo the themes of hope and perseverance central to The Lord of the Rings. Lines like “Believe and you will find your way, a promise lives within you now” resonate with the story’s underlying message.

Enya’s ethereal voice, combined with the orchestration by Howard Shore and the London Voices and London Philharmonic Orchestra, creates the perfect backdrop for these enchanting lyrics.

Enya’s contributions to The Lord of the Rings soundtrack extend beyond “May It Be.” She also performed “Aníron,” sung in Sindarin, another of Tolkien’s fictional languages.

Her willingness to embrace these languages and incorporate them into her music adds a layer of authenticity to the movie’s world-building.

Various Releases

Enya’s ethereal ballad “May It Be” has taken on a life of its own since its release in 2001. Originally featured on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack, alongside composer Howard Shore’s stunning original score “The Road Goes Ever On (Part 2),” the song has been featured on various albums and compilations over the years.

Following the movie’s release, “May It Be” was released as a single in Europe on December 10, 2001, and in the United Kingdom on January 21, 2002. It didn’t take long for the song to make its mark, as it entered the German Singles Chart at number one, becoming Enya’s second consecutive single to do so after “Only Time.”

The song’s success continued, and in 2005 it was included in the compilation The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: The Complete Recordings. This time, the version of the song was identical to the one featured in the movie’s ending titles. Enya also included the song on her 2009 album, The Very Best of Enya, cementing “May It Be” as one of her most beloved tracks.


Enya’s “May It Be” is an enchanting and timeless song that captures the essence of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The combination of Enya’s haunting melody, the use of Tolkien’s fictional language Quenya, and the themes of hope and perseverance make “May It Be” a treasure for both fans of the films and music enthusiasts alike.

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