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5 Songs I Never Need to Hear Again – No.2

2 – Orinocho Flow, Enya

From the country that delivered U2, Boomtown Rats, The Pogues; the same nation that gifted us wordsmiths such as James Joyce and Roddy Doyle, now and then comes a curve ball. 

They’re usually aimed at the youth or the elderly and so we tolerate them. 
The River Dance craze was tolerable within it’s short shelf life. Boyzone were inoffensive even in their omnipresence. We had the haunting melodies of Clanad and, while it’s not my cup of tea, I can see how people liked it.

Then came Enya and Orinocho Flow. 

First of all I thought a I was listening to a woman who was trying to sing and swim at the same time.

When I caught the lyrics, I found a list of place names – we can all read an atlas Enya.

The only time the lyrics veer away from the list is here :

“We can steer, we can near
With Rob Dickens at the wheel.
We can sigh, say goodbye
Ross and it’s dependency.”

Who the friggin in the riggin is Rob Dickens? And Ross? At least give us a first name as a clue – not that it would help as they’re probably a couple of bloke who work in Enya’s local library.

Who would want to listen to this? Who would buy it? So they could listen to it again? Out of choice?! I looked for reviews to what the attraction could be. 

One Enya-ist wrote that Orinoco Flow is a ‘catchy, toe-tapping new age song’. You couldn’t tap your toes to that without getting cramp in your calf.

Another review claims, 
‘It evokes unfurling the mast,the shifting tides. “Orinoco Flow” has the rousing chorus “sail away,sail away.” the only thing it evokes is a feeling similar to sea-sickness. And ‘rousing’? What else roused this reviewer? The sound of the fridge!

I closed my eyes (partly because I felt a bit sick) and I could picture these people who bought that record. They were the ones who are first to kneel down and stand up in church. They’re the ones who pop your ball when you accidentally kick it over their fence. They’re the ones who stand in the supermarket doorway for a chat and won’t move until you’ve used the impeccablest manners to beg them. 

Good people of Ireland, there must still be a few guns knocking about. Next time she pipes up, or you see anyone encouraging her by buying her records, do us all a favour will you!


5 songs I never need to hear again – no. 1

1 – Shiny Happy People, REM

The late 80s was my time. My parents’ had bloomed under the organic nourishment from  Mersey Beat and The Rolling Stones. My generation were in danger of being genetically modified by Stock, Aitken and Waterman until The Smiths and Factory Records’ saved us. Now we had edge and content. We had people who knew our pain and spoke on our behalf.

Then from the radio came another toxin – American pop/folk/rock. It began benignly posing no obvious threat. This lulled us into a false sense of security however, and now came the onslaught. At first, I thought we had Screech from ‘Saved by the Bell’ in the back of the car and he was having contractions. But the sound came from the speakers. I lunged at the ‘off’ button and my mate and me looked the look of two people who’d narrowly avoided stepping on a Claymore. 

But when I got home, there it was again. That sound. The singing equivalent of finger nails on a blackboard. The telly told me it was REM, American rock band. I heard my mother humming it in the kitchen. Then it was everywhere. On telly this gangly scarecrow was windmilling round the stage in faux ecstasy while he scratched out his vacuous message through his narrow nostrils – “Shiny, Happy People.” And people loved it! It went to number 6. Some people who I’d respected, considered friends, looked up to even, said they … they said they liked it! Had the world gone insane?

And what had happened to my generation? We weren’t supposed to be shiny and happy. Had nobody been listening to Morissey for the last 6 years? Life was hard and we needed people to be grubby and miserable because we were going to change it all. This was our time and no American folk-rock-pop band was going to stand between us and our destiny. 

I felt like a pariah. Was it safe to say it? “I hate that song”, I whispered in the confines of my own bedroom just to hear how it would sound. It sounded as though it made sense. But would the music cops bang me up if I uttered it out loud? Would I be pelted to death with rocks and rolls. There must be allies somewhere.

That night I heard the battle cry. We had a new leader. A new voice. He was dishevelled. He was pissed off. He was Denis Leary,  
“Hey, hey, hey! Pull this bus over to the side of the pretentiousness turnpike! I want everybody out, I want the shiny people over here and the happy people over here! I represent angry, gun-toting, meat-eating f***ing people! …Sit down and shut the f*** up, Michael.”

Thank you Denis.

Hello world!


I’m a travelling EFL teacher with aspirations of becoming a writer.

I’ve always loved swapping stories and now and then I write them down.

I thought I’d use a blog to reach a wider audience and here it is.

Some of these stories are my own and others are others’.

Some are true but perhaps with arms and legs on, some are completely fabricated and some, well I’m not quite sure anymore.

As well as just telling stories, I suppose I want to use this blog as a platform to launch a career as a writer.

I’d appreciate hearing your honest comments about what you thought about the work. Which bits you liked and which bits you didn’t.

And if you’re a high powered movie producer, I’d like you to make me a generous offer to buy one of my stories or scripts and turn it into a Hollywood blockbuster!

Thanks in advance for taking time to read them and please feel free to share your thoughts and your stories.