|Single by Enya|
|from the album Watermark|
|Released||15 October 1988(UK) 10 January 1989 (US)|
|Recorded||Orinoco Studios, London|
|Enya singles chronology|
The song was released as the lead single from Enya's second studio album, Watermark, in October 1988. It became a global success, reaching #1 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, where it stayed at the top of the music charts for three weeks. In the United States, the song peaked at #24 in the spring of 1989. The song was also highly popular in the early 1990s and was featured on many pop music compilations.
In 1994, the song was licensed to Virgin Records for the best-selling new-age music compilation album Pure Moods, and in 1998 a special-edition 10th-anniversary remix single was released. Part of its name is derived from Orinoco Studios (now Miloco Studios), where it was recorded, and its altered use of the Roland D-50 synthesizer's "Pizzagogo"/"Fantasia" patches are highly recognizable. Signed to WEA by Rob Dickins, who served as executive producer of Watermark, "Orinoco Flow" was inspired by the Venezuelan river, and it paid homage to Dickins in the line "with Rob Dickins at the wheel." 
Locations and people referenced
- Orinoco River, Venezuela and Colombia
- Tripoli, Libya
- Yellow Sea
- Isles of Ebony
- Cebu, Philippines
- Coral Sea
- Ebudae (also the title of another Enya song)
- The Sea of Clouds (possibly Mount Huangshan, China)
- Island of the Moon (Madagascar; also an island in Lake Titicaca or Isle Maree)
- Rob Dickins, head of Warner Music UK at the time of recording and executive producer of the source album, Watermark
- Ross Dependency
Uses in popular culture
Samples of the backing track are used in Rebel MC's hit single "Tribal Bass" (1991).
A version of the song is performed by the main character of Moone Boy when he and his friend are sailing on a homemade raft.
- Celtic Woman – Celtic Woman and Celtic Woman: A New Journey
- Libera – New Dawn
- Sarah McCaldwin – Destiny
"Desire" by U2
|Irish IRMA number-one single
16 October 1988 – 12 November 1988 (4 weeks)
"Stand Up for Your Love Rights" by Yazz
"One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston
|UK number-one single
23 October 1988 – 12 November 1988 (3 weeks)
"The First Time" by Robin Beck
"Teardrops" by Womack & Womack
|Dutch number-one single
3 December 1988 – 17 December 1988 (3 weeks)
"Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson
"A Groovy Kind of Love" by Phil Collins
|Swiss number-one single
11 December 1988 – 8 January 1989 (5 weeks)
"Bring Me Edelweiss" by Edelweiss
- "Enya – Orinoco Flow". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-12-10.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 494. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Paolo Di Nicolantonio. "Famous Sounds". Synth Mania. Paolo Di Nicolantonio. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- Philip Coppens. "Feature Articles - The sacred island of the Moon". Philip Coppens. Philip Coppens. Retrieved 9 June 2012.
- Orinoco Flow, at WorldIris.com; published 2004; retrieved 30 September 2012
- "Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) (12" single at Discogs)". Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- "Orinoco Flow", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved 10 April 2008)
- "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 48, 1988". Retrieved 2008-03-26.
- German Singles Chart Charts-surfer.de (Retrieved 10 April 2008)
- Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved 10 April 2008)
- UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved 10 April 2008)
- Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved 5 September 2008)
- "British single certifications – Enya – Orinoco Flow". British Phonographic Industry. Enter Orinoco Flow in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Silver in the field By Award. Click Search
- 1989 Australian Singles Chart aria.com (Retrieved 5 September 2008)
- 1989 Swiss Singles Chart Hitparade.ch (Retrieved 3 September 2008)