And everything is going to the beat…

For nigh on a year, I’ve been plagued by a repeated loop of musical magic running through my head: Passion Pit’s Sleepyhead – or more specifically, that otherworldly sample that forms its core. Somehow I never managed to figure out where it came from and now I know why. The sample is from the Gaelic recording Oro Mo Bhaidin by Mary O’Hara, a fairly famous Irish harpist whose pinnacle of musical output was in the 50s and 60s. Perhaps it’s just my soft spot for Gaelic tunesmithery due to family vacations in Nova Scotia and overexposure to The Rankins as a child, but the original recording seems almost as magical as the Kanye-fied chipmunk soul loop Michael Angelakos sings over top of in Sleepyhead.

Unfortunately, while Gaelic is on the list of languages-to-learn, right after Arabic, Yiddish and Hindi, I haven’t gotten around to it yet, and thus have no idea what Ms. O’Hara is going on about. Anyone care to take a crack at it?

Oro Mo Bhaidin – Mary O’Hara


One response to “And everything is going to the beat…

  1. The ‘Currach’ is a light, canvas-skinned, canoe favoured by the fishermen of the rugged Aran Islands on the western Atlantic coast of Ireland. Oro Mo Bhaidin is a traditional Gaelic song in praise of ‘my little boat’. – the refrain ‘Hail to Thee My Little Boat’ is repeated at the end of every line as a chorus. The currach has anything from 4 to 8 oars and the rowers sang to the rhythm of their oars as they negotiated the tall Atlantic waves.

    I will set sail and go to the west, Oro mo churaichin o, Oro mo bhaidin.
    Until St John’s Eve I’ll not take any rest, Oro…
    How handsome my boat floating free in the bay, Oro
    And rhythmic the oars as we pull her away, Oro…
    See her leap the high waves, as we make for the land, Oro…
    How light to carry o’er the soft silver strand, Oro…

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