top of page
Orinoco Flow
Song

Orinoco Flow

Enya
Album:
Watermark

Song Meaning and Background to Orinoco Flow by Enya


Rob Dickins, who oversaw the production of Watermark, signed Enya to WEA, and the song's phrase "with Rob Dickins at the wheel" is a tribute to him. In the song, co-producer Ross Cullum is alluded to with the pun "Ross Dependency": "We can sigh, say goodbye / Ross and his dependencies".

The lyrics, which reference a variety of places as in a "global geography lesson," have been compared to "an itinerary for the most expensive gap year of all time." The song makes reference of Fiji, Tiree, Peru, Bali, and Cebu, among other places.

The song's title makes reference to both the Orinoco River and the recording studio where it was done, Orinoco Studios (now Miloco Studios). Its pizzicato chords, produced by modifying the "Pizzagogo" patch on the Roland D-50 synthesiser, are instantly recognisable as a new-age sound.


The song garnered two Grammy Award nominations for Best Music Video and Best New Age Performance at the 32nd Annual Grammy Awards, peaking at number one on the UK Singles Chart for three weeks. The song's top position on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US was number 24 in April 1989.


Lyrics of Orinoco Flow by Enya


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

De, De, De, De, De, De, De, De, De, De

 

Sail away, sail away, sail away [x4]

 

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

 

De, De, De, De, De, De, De, De, De, De

Turn it up, Turn it up, Turn it up, up, Adieu, Ohhhh

Turn it up, Turn it up, Turn it up, up, Adieu, Ohhhh

Turn it up, Turn it up, Turn it up, up, Adieu, Ohhhh

 

Sail away, sail away, sail away [x4]

 

From the North to the South

Ebudae 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

With the orinoco flow

We can sail, we can sail...(Sail away, Sail away, Sail away)

We can steer, we can near

With Rob Dickins at the wheel

We can sigh, say goodbye

Ross and his dependency

We can sail, we can sail...(Sail away, Sail away, Sail away)

Release Date

1988

Songwriter/s

Enya, Roma Ryan

Producer/s

Nicky Ryan

Label/s

WEA (Europe), Geffen (US)

Other Songs

bottom of page