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?