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Enya — Orinoco Flow
Album: Watermark
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2523









Released: 1989
Length: 4:23
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Let me sail, let me sail,
let the orinoco flow,
Let me reach, let me beach
On the shores of Tripoli.
Let me sail, let me sail,
Let me crash upon your shore,
Let me reach, let me beach
Far beyond the Yellow Sea.

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.

From the North to the South,
Ebudc into Khartoum,
From the deep sea of Clouds
To the island of the moon,
Carry me on the waves
To the lands I've never been,
Carry me on the waves
To the lands I've never seen.

We can sail, we can sail...
We can steer, we can near
With Rob Dickins at the wheel,
We can sigh, say goodbye
Ross and his dependencies
We can sail, we can sail...
Comments (250)add comment
good comment Bill
At their commercial best! Deliberate, Captivating. Involved. Complex. Sweet. Enjoyable. Syncopated. Engaged. Pushy. Relaxed. Blessed and Powerful.
Still music to my ears
Maturity means no longer being embarrassed that you like Enya
Wonderful song!
But for French-speaking listeners, it contains a number of pretty funny Mondegreens 
The most famous is the way she says "Sail away". For untrained ears, it really sounds like she's saying "It's Christmas!" in French. And there is a PG13 one that I won't write here 
I first heard this song while attending college orientation. My orientation group had been outside touring parts of campus all day in the early August summer humidity North Carolina is known for. As we walked into the ballroom for the final ceremony and official welcoming by the University President, this song was playing. The parents were already seated in the back, we walk into the ballroom and could immediately feel the cold air rushing out of the vents with this song playing. I will never forget that moment - I was a first generation college student and for some reason this song and the cold air-condition brought it all together in anticipation of hearing the University president. This moment is ingrained into my brain. I immediately return to that moment each time I hear this song. It is a 10 for me! Thanks Bill and Rebecca.
Columbia House FTW!
An irritating earworm that I hate to like and can't get rid of -so it is a success! 
I always wonder if Orinoco Flo is a sister of Eskimo Nell...
I remember the first time that I heard this song. It was in one of those computer parts bodegas that sprung up in malls between late dos and early windows period. I think I was trying to upgrade my 1200 baud modem...

This song came on as I walked around the store and I went to the desk and asked "what the hell is that, its awesome" he popped out a disk from a computer "gasp!" and showed it to me. I walked out without the upgrade modem, but with a CD-ROM drive and went directly to Licorice Pizza in the same mall and bought the CD.
 Biorix wrote:
"C'EST NOËL ! C'EST NOËL ! C'EST NOËL !"
 
Damn you. {#Lol}
Yep mates she’s a 10/10 for sure! 🏹
Heard this yesterday on the Main Mix in the car, following Sail on Sailor, a great Beach Boys song. Nice segue but this afternoon, listening to the Main Mix at home via Apple TV/home stereo, it's played again. Is there a different Main Mix feed for mobile vice TV? Regardless, wouldn't mind not hearing it again for a few months. Danke.
huh?

 
jukes1 wrote:
I’m fairly sure I own this album because of Columbia House.
 

Must say I think this song has aged pretty well.  Nice.  
 dc_zee wrote:
 
Ross Cullum was listed as the album's engineer, and also its co-producer with Nicky Ryan and Enya. (A reader has noted that Mr. Cullum was actually out sick the day of the recording.)

"The Ross Dependencies" is a geographic reference, only one of many in the song. It seems likely that Roma simply couldn't resist making a little joke based on Ross's name.
Difficult three fixtures for Enya Rugby Football Club:
Sale (a)
Sale (a)
Sale (a)

... I'll get my coat!
 WonderLizard wrote:
The bridge concludes with a low B note which clocks in somewhere around 25Hz—not the lowest note in the universe, but pretty durn close. I've long used it as one of my tests for LF accuracy, especially in subwoofers. A good subwoofer will resolve the note, give it dimension, maybe even rumble your room. 
 

Yawn
 haresfur wrote:

Love your wife or Enya?
 

And He said...."Yes".
I have actually been in Sibu Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.
"C'EST NOËL ! C'EST NOËL ! C'EST NOËL !"
Let's give a hand to all the effort throughout the world involved in finding a vaccine for this virus.
The song is a real time machine, whenever I listen to this I come back to 90s, this song brings back memories like no other.
Yikes! Time has not been kind to this song!
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
I just noticed the lyrics, "With Rob Dickins at the Wheel" and thought that has to be a mistake.

Nope! Here's the story.

The words "We can steer, we can near, with Rob Dickens at the wheel" refer to Rob Dickins, the head of her record label WEA. Dickins is listed as a producer on the album. In an article published December 13, 2008, Dickins said: "When I signed Enya, her manager/producer Nicky Ryan said, 'You're not going to push us for singles, are you?' It wasn't that kind of music. After we'd made the Watermark album, I said as a joke, 'Nicky, where's the single?' A week later Nicky rang up and said, 'We've got it!' Got what? 'We've got the single!'

He sent over what became 'Orinoco Flow.' There was no middle eight, and 'Sail away' was after every line - it drove me crazy, but there was something there that could be worked on. Orinoco was the name of the studio and I think they saw me as the captain of the ship. The whole thing was a metaphor for a journey for all of us.

I was in charge of the record company for the UK and Ireland, but we never had any Irish music. Someone said, 'You like Clannad, you'd like this soundtrack album this ex-Clannad member has done.' She'd done the music for the BBC series The Celts. I loved it and played it every night. We met at an Irish awards ceremony and I said, 'You must do a vocal record.' The record company thought I was mad, but I said what became a famous quote - 'Sometimes you sign acts to make money and sometimes you sign acts to make music.' In the week of release, Tower Records phoned up to say that when they played the album in the shop they sold 45 copies - almost everyone in the shop had bought the record. It was unheard of. It went from 29 to five, then to #1 and we sold bucketloads of albums. It was totally rags to riches.
It's one of the things I'm most proud of. Funnily enough, I hadn't even noticed the lyric until they printed the album. It was embarrassing. But when it went to #1 I thought, 'I'm in the lyric of a number one song, how fabulous.' All these years later, if I hear that line 'Rob Dickins at the wheel' I can't help smiling."
 

Interesting! Who is "Ross" then?
If there’s ever a song that hits 10 It’s this one !
Now that IS "something completely different" . It's been awhile since I heard Enya here. Thank you, Bill!
AIDA😀
sounds do not get any prettier than this song
Loved it from the first day it came out out. Still do. Great album. 
 cely wrote:
Was expecting to hear more negative assessments of this song, but it's just musically lovely, soothing and satisfying.  Not a minor chord or a seventh or any angst in evidence.  But so what?  I actually feel sorry for the people who are too far up into one kind of music or another to be able to enjoy this.
 
It sounds like there's at least one minor chord in each of the bridges, but neither minor nor seventh chords are automatically expressions of angst.  Anyhow, it is an enjoyable song.
I’m fairly sure I own this album because of Columbia House.
I like it, very very cool.
For those wondering about the “Rob Dickens” and “Ross” mentioned at the end... https://stason.org/TULARC/music-bands/enya/3-3-Who-are-Rob-Dickins-and-Ross-mentioned-in-Orinoco-Flow.html
I'm glad I didn't like this back in the day.  I enjoy it very much now...and it's fresh to me since I didn't burn out on it.  I guess I was just too into R&R back then.  Now I'm old and sentimental.
Reminds me a lot of Abba, and that should be enough to pan this song, BUT, like millions around the world, I actually liked Abba (although I would never have admitted it to my friends).  What I love about RP is that even pop songs get played in the mix - and you have to admit, even if you don't like the arrangement, the lady has a dynamite voice!
Enya. Ugh. Elevator/shopping mall muzak.
Enya is frigging wonderful and truly one of a kind.  Her voice and arrangements are truly magical. ahhhhhh.........….sail away, sail away, sail away........................….
 haresfur wrote:

Love your wife or Enya?
 

I'm trying to figure out the cause/consequence here
Another bump on this great post....and enough to take my (already reduced) rating  from a 6 back to a 7.  I'll try liking it even more next time!  Long Live RP!!

 
ScottFromWyoming wrote:
I just noticed the lyrics, "With Rob Dickins at the Wheel" and thought that has to be a mistake.

Nope! Here's the story.

primarily due to its heavy rotation on terrestrial radio .. and that saying "Enya" immediately brings up thoughts of this song .. and I end up lowering the rating another notch.

Due respect, Enya thrust Celtic and Gaelic music into main stream, but since, there have been so many better songs and musical talent of the genre.  Lower rotation and hopefully more diverse recordings than just "Sail away" would help not lower the ratings ..
Enya has occupied a special place in my musical library ever since my dad played this song for my 2-year-old daughter and the improvised dancing commenced.
 DocStrangelove wrote:
my wife hates Enya
I love her
 
Love your wife or Enya?
SAIL AWAY! SAIL AWAY! SAIL WAY!!!!

-BRING BACK THE RADIO PARADISE ROCK STATION!
 andy_pomus wrote:

Funny story. Thanks for sharing. {#Daisy}
 

Never would have checked the lyrics if it hadn't been for SFW's post. Who the heck is "Ross and his dependencies", though?
I think another poster on another song of hers described her songs pretty well, something to the effect that this is music that sounds like it would play in the waiting room outside of heaven. i like it.
Loved this song from day 1, still do.
Ever wonder what this song would sound like mashed up with Santana's Smooth?

Of course you haven't, but you might actually like it!
I didn't like this in the 90's, and I think it's gotten even worse over time.
The definition of a musical guilty pleasure. If its good enough for Alan Partridge then it's good enough for me
 ckcotton wrote:
Still just as annoying as ...
 
...your constant negativity?
"How can you hate Enya? It's just silence, coloured in. It's like being mad at a waterfall" ~Steve Hughes
Was expecting to hear more negative assessments of this song, but it's just musically lovely, soothing and satisfying.  Not a minor chord or a seventh or any angst in evidence.  But so what?  I actually feel sorry for the people who are too far up into one kind of music or another to be able to enjoy this.
 ckcotton wrote:

Of all the spectacular and eclectic music that is played here...you choose THIS to motivate your support.... huh....
 
While it may not have my reason to become a regular supporter, even though I go long periods of time without listening, you're right on target for me. It's the eclectic music that keeps me coming back when I get tired of my Pandora playlists.

Oh, and I just bumped it to a 10!!!


 tfioreze wrote:
This song has made me to finally become a regular RP supporter. Thank you, Enya!
 
Of all the spectacular and eclectic music that is played here...you choose THIS to motivate your support.... huh....
Still just as annoying as it was all those years ago
Get on yer boat & go!
 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
I just noticed the lyrics, "With Rob Dickins at the Wheel" and thought that has to be a mistake.

Nope! Here's the story.

The words "We can steer, we can near, with Rob Dickens at the wheel" refer to Rob Dickins, the head of her record label WEA. Dickins is listed as a producer on the album. In an article published December 13, 2008, Dickins said: "When I signed Enya, her manager/producer Nicky Ryan said, 'You're not going to push us for singles, are you?' It wasn't that kind of music. After we'd made the Watermark album, I said as a joke, 'Nicky, where's the single?' A week later Nicky rang up and said, 'We've got it!' Got what? 'We've got the single!'

He sent over what became 'Orinoco Flow.' There was no middle eight, and 'Sail away' was after every line - it drove me crazy, but there was something there that could be worked on. Orinoco was the name of the studio and I think they saw me as the captain of the ship. The whole thing was a metaphor for a journey for all of us.

I was in charge of the record company for the UK and Ireland, but we never had any Irish music. Someone said, 'You like Clannad, you'd like this soundtrack album this ex-Clannad member has done.' She'd done the music for the BBC series The Celts. I loved it and played it every night. We met at an Irish awards ceremony and I said, 'You must do a vocal record.' The record company thought I was mad, but I said what became a famous quote - 'Sometimes you sign acts to make money and sometimes you sign acts to make music.' In the week of release, Tower Records phoned up to say that when they played the album in the shop they sold 45 copies - almost everyone in the shop had bought the record. It was unheard of. It went from 29 to five, then to #1 and we sold bucketloads of albums. It was totally rags to riches.
It's one of the things I'm most proud of. Funnily enough, I hadn't even noticed the lyric until they printed the album. It was embarrassing. But when it went to #1 I thought, 'I'm in the lyric of a number one song, how fabulous.' All these years later, if I hear that line 'Rob Dickins at the wheel' I can't help smiling."
 
Funny story. Thanks for sharing. {#Daisy}
This song has made me to finally become a regular RP supporter. Thank you, Enya!
I can appreciate all the work that goes into making a song sound like this, but as Eno said about contemporary New Age: "not enough malice."
This is another album which got my whippersnapper through years of serious illness, I can't thank her enough...
my wife hates Enya
I love her
This song has always uplifted me. {#Bounce}
A favorite on the soundtrack of crystal shoppes in touristy hippie towns and happy ending massage parlours. So, I'm told. 
 ScottFromWyoming wrote: 
Excellent back story.  Thanks for sharing.  Tower Records... yonder be memories.

I was living in Long Beach when this track hit the airwaves.  It was clear that commercial music broadcasters didn't quite know what to do with it, i.e. what kind of music was it "supposed" to be?  It fit no mold.  They were playing it on the short-lived New Age station (KTWV, The Wave), which maybe made the most sense, but for a while you could also hear it on rock stations, pop stations, and alt-whatever others.
I just noticed the lyrics, "With Rob Dickins at the Wheel" and thought that has to be a mistake.

Nope! Here's the story.

The words "We can steer, we can near, with Rob Dickens at the wheel" refer to Rob Dickins, the head of her record label WEA. Dickins is listed as a producer on the album. In an article published December 13, 2008, Dickins said: "When I signed Enya, her manager/producer Nicky Ryan said, 'You're not going to push us for singles, are you?' It wasn't that kind of music. After we'd made the Watermark album, I said as a joke, 'Nicky, where's the single?' A week later Nicky rang up and said, 'We've got it!' Got what? 'We've got the single!'

He sent over what became 'Orinoco Flow.' There was no middle eight, and 'Sail away' was after every line - it drove me crazy, but there was something there that could be worked on. Orinoco was the name of the studio and I think they saw me as the captain of the ship. The whole thing was a metaphor for a journey for all of us.

I was in charge of the record company for the UK and Ireland, but we never had any Irish music. Someone said, 'You like Clannad, you'd like this soundtrack album this ex-Clannad member has done.' She'd done the music for the BBC series The Celts. I loved it and played it every night. We met at an Irish awards ceremony and I said, 'You must do a vocal record.' The record company thought I was mad, but I said what became a famous quote - 'Sometimes you sign acts to make money and sometimes you sign acts to make music.' In the week of release, Tower Records phoned up to say that when they played the album in the shop they sold 45 copies - almost everyone in the shop had bought the record. It was unheard of. It went from 29 to five, then to #1 and we sold bucketloads of albums. It was totally rags to riches.
It's one of the things I'm most proud of. Funnily enough, I hadn't even noticed the lyric until they printed the album. It was embarrassing. But when it went to #1 I thought, 'I'm in the lyric of a number one song, how fabulous.' All these years later, if I hear that line 'Rob Dickins at the wheel' I can't help smiling."
Fine music, and fine spirits here enjoying it  : )     thanks Imkirok and passsion8
 Imkirok wrote:
In the fall of 1989, my girlfriend and I went up to the Finger Lakes area in northern NY to stay at a friends home.  It was an idyllic setting - a cabin-like home high up on a high overlooking the lakes.  It was very quaint and heated by a small wood stove.  On the Sunday morning, we were getting out of bed and our host made a big pot of delicious coffee and put some beautiful music on that I had never heard before.  I asked him what it was, and he said Enya.  Ever since then, I have always had a soundtrack (back then a mix tape) of songs that I play on Sunday mornings to relax and refresh my mind, and this song is on every one of them.  Funny how one song can trigger such memories.

 
Kudos to the Sunday morning aural cleanse/refresh!
The bridge concludes with a low B note which clocks in somewhere around 25Hz—not the lowest note in the universe, but pretty durn close. I've long used it as one of my tests for LF accuracy, especially in subwoofers. A good subwoofer will resolve the note, give it dimension, maybe even rumble your room. 
Brings back memories for me. 
This makes me think of coffee brewing, I don't know why.  Pleasant enough, but I hear the percolator going in my head.    
 Hannio wrote:
Any song about sailing or dogs gets a 10 from me.  

 
I respect that to the fullest sir.
 christopherwoods wrote:
...
Plus, listening objectively, it's a really bad song.
... 


If you were listening objectively, you wouldn't have an opinion as to whether the song was good or bad.
I bought it at the time and don't understand the hate.  Still very original in terms of production value.    A 3 chord wonder on timpani drum.
8https://goo.gl/b2VdAX
 christopherwoods wrote:
(snobby sidenote: I'm a big fan of genuine ambient, experimental, drone, new age, 0bpm, etc)

 
seeing your upper notes - you are not!
 nikki54 wrote:
I think Caribbean Blue is much better. This used to be a new genre back in the 90's; kind of started by Enigma maybe? It sure started the electronic/techno scene.

 
Enya was like mum-friendly 'new age' music. Just on the right side of muzak to be radio friendly yet claimable by those wanting to declare it as NA.

I feel Enigma's more truthful take on new age definitely gives you more pause for thought, and I think their music's fared better since first airing. Google thinks it's also Worldbeat, which amuses me somewhat, because I think of ACSS as Worldbeat. I suppose Return to Innocence is the one everyone remembers...

The stuff Enya did when she was part of Clannad was (comparatively) more palatable, though I can't claim to own any of their CDs. My parents did though!

(snobby sidenote: I'm a big fan of genuine ambient, experimental, drone, new age, 0bpm, etc)
 MrsTom wrote:
You have to filter this through the amazing impact it made at the time - there was nothing like it
 
And fortunately, aside from a "Pure Moods" compilations, nothing else again ;-)
You have to filter this through the amazing impact it made at the time - there was nothing like it
I used to think the lyric was "Save the whale, save the whale, save the whale..."
Sail away, sail away, sail away - right out of playlist rotation. My ears were forcefed this through repeated listening in a car when I was younger, and as a result now have a Pavlovian response. It makes my skin crawl. I imagine this is the stuff they blast at Guantanamo detainees at 100 dB.

Plus, listening objectively, it's a really bad song.

This must be Bill's toilet break selection... 
Any song about sailing or dogs gets a 10 from me.  
Nope...
In the fall of 1989, my girlfriend and I went up to the Finger Lakes area in northern NY to stay at a friends home.  It was an idyllic setting - a cabin-like home high up on a high overlooking the lakes.  It was very quaint and heated by a small wood stove.  On the Sunday morning, we were getting out of bed and our host made a big pot of delicious coffee and put some beautiful music on that I had never heard before.  I asked him what it was, and he said Enya.  Ever since then, I have always had a soundtrack (back then a mix tape) of songs that I play on Sunday mornings to relax and refresh my mind, and this song is on every one of them.  Funny how one song can trigger such memories.
Just makes me smile - this song has somehow become a parody of itself.
Pls play this anytime.. {#Clap}
Should never be heard by any civilization ever. Seriously, I can't even take Enya seriously. Especially now. Please never play this again. 
Guilty pleasure
Lovely many thanks!
takes me back... all the way back to the backseats of an Air Canada DC-9 ... wide-eyed, naive, 14 years old and flying to the land of poutine and sophisticated girls...
This always makes me feel the same way I did the first time I heard it, like I was some place far from here. A heady, exotic feeling, like flying.
This refers to a time way back, before mass tourism took over all those once exotic places.
I really like this song.  There, I've said it!  Don't think I've ever heard compliments about Enya, or New Age music in general.  This song is nice, melodic and epic in a unicorn way!  Caribbean Blue is nice too.  {#Cool}
it works at all the required levels.  Love it.
 Andy_B wrote:
Regardless of it's heavy commercial radio overplay, the haunting melody endures with superb phrasing.  Get's a 9 from me.

 
OK so this is one of those songs that's always playing on the radio or at someone's house or in a store or elevator or in a commercial or something, and I've never been impressed enough to check it out and now that I know what it is and who composed it I'm none the better for it.  But my congrats to those of you who like it and I guess I'll listen to it when it shows up again in the rotation.  Happy Thanksgiving to all.
I think Caribbean Blue is much better. This used to be a new genre back in the 90's; kind of started by Enigma maybe? It sure started the electronic/techno scene.
 Bleyfusz wrote:

What?
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbx2PsTUQh8 :)

Stan: Uh, I guess. (Grampa starts the tape, which plays a bit of Muzak that evokes Enya's 'Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)') Okay, you, you can let me out now.
Grampa: Not just yet. (turns up the volume)
Stan: Let me out grampa! (tries to open the door) I can't take it anymore, this music is terrible, it's, it's cheesy, but lame and eerily soothing at the same time. ('Gonna fly, gonna fly, gonna fly. Gonna fly, gonna fly, gonna fly. ')
Grampa: That's it, now you know what it feels like to be grampa. (Stan falls out of the room, looking very haggard. 'Gonna fly, gonna fly, gonna fly' Grampa turns off the radio and follows.)
Stan: Eh, grampa, I had no idea how bad it was for you. Now I understand. 
delightfully delicious.. {#Music}
 nicknt wrote:
One of the most overrated songs of all time.

  
And what qualifies it as "overrated"?  I just don't like it.  
One of the most overrated songs of all time.
Very emotive music...  sophisticated lyrics...  beautifully written and produced...  everybody in my homeless camp loves this wonderful song...
Just adjusted the sub-woofer system and the main salon is a'rockin.  Still a great song.
What an amazing album!  I first heard it driving through Death Valley with some good friends, as the sun broke through heavy clouds, in the Artist's Palette section.  It's always evoked great memories for me.
great song!
Regardless of it's heavy commercial radio overplay, the haunting melody endures with superb phrasing.  Get's a 9 from me.
 Randomax wrote:
   Ñ

Always thought she should have made that how she spelled the name!

 
Can see it now...

LIVE IN CONCERT:  Ñ &
Yeah, it's overplayed, but still a nice song if you don't hear it that often.
it's not a bad song but it has been abused by commerce. When I first heard it I was a teenager in Indonesia, my girlfriend liked it, I have fond memories of driving in the pouring tropical rain with this song playing on cassette.
 
Good pop
and the crowd goes wild!{#Dancingbanana_2}{#Dancingbanana}
Brave one, Bill! I don't object. (Once in a while. . .)
Well, I'm in my fifties, and I still love this song. It's not her best - rather commercial - but I love the strings and the flow. I read an interview with her, and she confessed that she'd never been to the places about which she sings in this song, which sort of soured it for me. I guess I've mellowed with my very, very, very, very old age (to those of you under fifty) - I enjoy listening to Enya. Her sister sings lead for Clannad, and before Enya went solo, she sang with Clannad. Just a little trivia there - amaze your friends, dazzle your critics, baffle your enemies...
aaaaarrggh This Is the worst ever please Bill no more  aaaargghh !  I'm not seventy yet
 Bocephus wrote:
Enya? Really? {#Stop}
 
Fully agree: please skip this kind of muzak. Boring! Annoying!

 Randomax wrote:
   Ñ

Always thought she should have made that how she spelled the name!


 
I don't think so - she's from Gaelic, not Hispanic, heritage, and Gaelic has its own, softer 'nyuh' sound, for instance in the woman's name Gràinne (pron gron-ye).


   Ñ

Always thought she should have made that how she spelled the name!


This always makes me think of an easy listening compilation CD that was constantly advertised on TV in the early 90s.  I only know the song because of that, so I haven't really heard or enjoyed it on its own.  Not entirely sure that I can.
This song is an occasional guilty pleasure for me.   I guess this wasn't one of those occasions.  I'm somehow left with the guilt, but none of the pleasure. 
Yea, this song should only be allowed in commercials, elevators and comedy satire. Everything in its proper place.{#Yes}
Enya? Really? {#Stop}
 Ando wrote:

Can't listen to this without thinking of South Park.
 
What?

 Ando wrote:

Can't listen to this without thinking of South Park.
 
I just can't listen to this. Too much like New Age elevator Muzak.