Award-winning Canadian recording artist Loreena McKennitt debuts a new song today— her first original music since the 2006 album An Ancient Muse. “Breaking of the Sword” is about love, loss and family sacrifice and has been released for Canada’s Remembrance Day, November 11th.

Proceeds from digital sales in Canada will be donated to the Support Our Troops Fund, which provides financial support and assistance to Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans and their respective families.

“Breaking of the Sword” refers to a group of statues on The Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France called “the Defenders”. Written in the first person from a mother’s perspective, the song 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.

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

“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. I have tried to represent each of them in my arrangement.

“From a personal standpoint, the closest I have come to witnessing this loss from the immediate family’s experience has been when I attended two repatriation ceremonies,” reflects McKennitt. “The last time the families had seen their loved ones was when they were departing from home. Now, they were coming back in a casket. Witnessing the spouses and children during their moments of dealing with this reality is something I will never forget. We, as citizens, owe those who serve, as well as their families, our immense gratitude and at the very least, the act of remembrance.”

As of Friday November 3rd, “Breaking of the Sword” will be exclusively available digitally, via iTunes, Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music and more.

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, Ontario and led by director Ian Sadler. Their contributionsto the piece symbolize the collective feelings of the community when it loses a citizen.

McKennitt’s eclectic Celtic blend of pop, folk and world music has sold over 14 million albums worldwide. Her recordings have achieved Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum status in 15 countries on four continents. She has twice been nominated for a Grammy Award and has won two Juno Awards, as well as a Billboard International Achievement Award.

In 2013, McKennitt was appointed to the rank of Knight of the National Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France. She is also a member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Manitoba. In 2002 and 2012 she was the recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals. She has performed in some of the world’s most-respected and historic concert venues, from Carnegie Hall to the famous Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain and for dignitaries including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and numerous heads of state.

For more information, please contact Krista Williams or Carla Sacks at Sacks & Co., 212.741.1000.