Enya – Orinoco flow
From Bissau to Palau, in the shade of Avalon,
From Fiji to Tiree and the Isles of Ebony,
From Peru to Cebu hear the power of Babylon,
From Bali to Cali, far beneath the Coral Sea
No doubt “Orinoco flow” is one of the most famous songs of the late 80s. Many dinosaurs like us remember perfectly the face of the girl who sang it in October 1988. And we remember even her name, Enya. Before releasing this song she was not so famous outside of her Ireland.
Impossible to remember her complete name, Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin. So she did like some oriental people do when they make business with the western natives. She adopted an English name, and anglicised her name into Enya Patricia Brennan.
This is just the first of the peculiarities about this fantastic song and this wonderful artist. Enya found an incredible success. “Orinoco flow” climbed the charts in so many countries, and spread through the world an amazing feeling for traveling. In some sense, it was an ideal prosecution of the success that Desireless had two years before with “Voyage voyage“. As it says, it’s about sailing away.
Actually Enya had really important previous experiences. For some years she had been part of Clannad. They were a famous Irish group composed of three of her siblings and two uncles. Outside of Ireland, Clannad are famous mainly for their song “In a lifetime” which they sang together with Bono. Actually at those times Enya had already parted from the group.
Enya found an incredible success, we said. She was and still is an extremely sophisticated artist who makes a really high level music. To give an idea, Enya during her career sang in Irish and English, of course, but also in Latin, Spanish, Welsh, French and Japanese. And even in two fictional languages created by J.R.R. Tolkien, the Quenya and the Sindarin, two Elvish languages! And finally, she sang a song in Loxian, a language with no structure invented by her favorite composer, Roma Ryan.
Enya is the most successful Irish solo artist of all times. And she would easily be the most successful Irish artist overall, of only Bono and U2 were born, for example, in San Marino! But they were born in Ireland too! And in all of this success, Enya never performed in a concert or a tour as a solo artist, and she firmly excludes to do it sooner or later – she just took part in a tour in the years she joined Clannad! Actually she took part to one single concert, with other artists. The concert was in Vatican City, in front of Pope John Paul II.
Finally, back to the wonderful song, Enya composed it as a kind of joke to celebrate her move to a new music production company. In fact she recorded her songs at the Orinoco Studios, under the supervision of two executives whom she explicitly mentioned in the lyrics, even if one is disguised as a geographical name!
Enya on Wikipedia