The album that started it all. ‘Watermark,’ first released on 19 September 1988, sold millions of copies and introduced Enya worldwide.
Its lead single ‘Orinoco Flow,’ also known as ‘Sail Away,’ went on to become a UK number one hit.


01 Watermark 2:26 Instrumental
02 Cursum Perficio 4:09 Latin
03 On Your Shore 4:00 English
04 Storms in Africa 4:04 Gaelic
05 Exile 4:21 English
06 Miss Clare Remembers 1:59 Instrumental
07 Orinoco Flow 4:26 English
08 Evening Falls… 3:49 English
09 River 3:11 Instrumental
10 The Longships 3:39 Gaelic/Vocalisation
11 Na Laetha Geal M’Óige 3:56 Gaelic


Looking back on Watermark, the words are those of loss, of reflection, of exile — not necessarily from one’s country, but from those whom the heart loves. It has in its theme searching, longing, of reaching out for an answer. The ocean is a central image. It is the symbolism of a great journey, which is the way I would describe this album.Enya, B&N, 2000

A lot of themes ended up as home themes. Journeys. That was a word that came up a lot.Enya, Geffen Records, 1989


Album artwork

The cover of the album is a picture of Enya with layers of imagery hand-painted on it. The black and white booklet is very simplistic and contains no liner notes or translations of the Gaelic and Latin songs.


The cover image was done by David Hiscook, additional photography was shot by Russel Yamy.


Lyrics in the booklet were hand-lettered by Lawrence Dunmore who also created what would become the “enya” logo.

Music videos

Michael Geoghegan directed all the videos produced to promote the album. ‘Orinoco Flow’ is full of lavish hand-painted imagery,
‘Evening Falls…’ reflects the ghost story that inspired the song, ‘Storms in Africa’ includes pictures of African savanna,
and ‘Exile’ features scenes from the ‘L.A. Story’ movie.



Enya promoted the album extensively for more than a year in Europe, America, Australia and Asia.

Album launch

The album was officiallly launched on 14 September 1988 at the Serpentine Gallery in London.


Venue Song Date Details
Homeward Bound (UK) Na Laetha Geal M’Óige
On Your Shore
May 18, 1989 Lip-synced
Terry Wogan’s Show (UK) Storms in Africa (Part II) May 1989 Lip-synced
Rockopop (Spain) Storms in Africa (Part II) May 1989 Lip-synced
World Music Awards (Monaco) Storms in Africa (Part II) May 10, 1989 Lip-synced
Unknown TV Show (Japan) Orinoco Flow March 1989 Lip-synced
Unknown TV Show (France) Orinoco Flow 1989 Live
ITV (UK) Oíche Chiúin (Silent Night) Dec 1988 Lip-synced
Late Late Show (Ireland) Orinoco Flow Oct-Nov 1988 Lip-synced
Top of the Pops (UK) Orinoco Flow Oct 20, 1988 Lip-synced
Late Late Show (Ireland) Evening Falls Oct 1988 Lip-synced





Watermark – Cursum Perficio – On Your Shore
Storms in Africa – Exile – Miss Clare Remembers
Orinoco Flow – Evening Falls… – River
The Longships – Na Laetha Geal M’Óige


Some countries, notably the US, include ‘Storms in Africa (Part II)’ as the twelfth track.


single cover

1988 Orinoco Flow
01 Orinoco Flow
02 Smaoitím…
03 Out of the Blue


single cover

1988 Evening Falls…
01 Evening Falls…
02 Oíche Chiúin
03 Morning Glory


single cover

1989 Storms in Africa
01 Storms in Africa (Part II)
02 The Celts
03 Aldebaran
04 Storms in Africa


single cover

1991 Exile01 Exile
02 On Your Shore
03 Watermark
04 River



produced by Nicky Ryan
co-produced by Enya and Ross Cullum
executive producer Rob Dickins
Engineered and mixed by
Ross Cullum*
cover photography David Hiscook
additional photography Russel Yamy
design Lawrence Dunmore

Recorded at Orinoco Studios
mixed at Wessex Studios
*except ‘Orinoco Flow’ mixed by
Jimbo Barton and
‘Storms in Africa’ (Part II)
mixed by Pete Schweir

all vocals and instrumentation by

other than:
Davy Spillane : Uillean Pipes on
‘Na laetha geal m’Óige
Low whistle on ‘Exile’

(courtesy of Tara Records)

Neil Buckley : clarinet on
‘On your shore’

Chris Hughes : Robo toms and
African Hand Drums on
‘Storms in Africa’
Roto Toms on ‘River’

All music composed by Enya and
published by Aigle Music
Arranged by Enya and Nicky Ryan
Lyrics Roma Ryan
Irish adaptation by Enya

Thanks to:
Max Hole, Moira Bellas
and all those at WEA
who have worked so hard on our behalf
Peter Price Bridget Ryan
Frank Bryne Terry Cromer
Nóra Ní Mhaonagail
Dr Stanley Buchalter
John Masterson
Tom Astor Gail
Gerard Alex and Erin
and especially Ross Cullum and Chris Hughes

Aigle Music

Tá muid fíorbhuíoch do
Rob Dickins ar son an
chuidiú agus an mhisneach
a thug sé duínn.


Thanks to its distinct, downright catchy single “Orinoco Flow,” which amusingly referenced both her record-company boss Rob Dickins and co-producer Ross Cullum in the lyrics, Enya’s second album Watermark established her as the unexpected queen of gentle, Celtic-tinged new age music. To be sure, her success was as much due to marketing a niche audience in later years equally in love with Yanni and Michael Flatley’s Irish dancing, but Enya’s rarely given a sense of pandering in her work. She does what she does, just as she did before her fame. (Admittedly, avoiding overblown concerts run constantly on PBS hasn’t hurt.)

Indeed, the subtlety that characterizes her work at her best dominates Watermark, with the lovely title track, her multi-tracked voice gently swooping among the lead piano, and strings like a softly haunting ghost, as fine an example as any. “Orinoco Flow” itself, for all its implicit dramatics, gently charges instead of piling things on, while the organ-led “On Your Shore” feels like a hushed church piece.
Elsewhere, meanwhile, Enya lets in a darkness not overly present on The Celts, resulting in work even more appropriate for a moody soundtrack than that album. “Cursum Perficio,” with her steady chanting-via-overdub of the title phrase, gets more sweeping and passionate as the song progresses, matched in slightly calmer results with the equally compelling “The Longships.” “Storms in Africa,” meanwhile, uses drums from Chris Hughes to add to the understated, evocative fire of the song, which certainly lives up to its name. Watermark ends with a fascinating piece, “Na Laetha Geal M’Oige,” where fellow Irish modern/traditional fusion artist Davy Spillane adds a gripping, heartbreaking uilleann pipe solo to the otherwise calm synth-based performance. It’s a perfect combination of timelessness and technology, an appropriate end to this fine album.Ned Raggett, All Music Guide