What’s That Song? Enya in Eighth Grade

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Bo Burnham might have once been known solely for his efforts as a stand-up comedian, but the past year has turned him into something more: a director. Burnham’s debut directorial effort, Eighth Grade, has been receiving rapturous reviews from both critics and audiences for truly capturing what it’s like to be an eighth grader in 2018.

If you’ve seen the film, as many have (and as many more will undoubtedly be doing soon), you may remember a montage which shows its lead character, Kayla, whipping her way through a variety of social media platforms. The song that’s playing during this portion of the film is none other than Enya’s “Orinoco Flow,” which was a massive hit when it was originally released in 1988.

In an interview with Leigh Blickley of The Huffington Post, Burnham explained how he was able to secure permission to use the song:

Burnham: I had to write a “Dear Enya” letter so that we could afford it. Yeah... writing a “Dear Enya” letter is very funny. I thought I was going to have to tie it to a salmon and put it in a river. Like how do you make contact with Enya? A smoke signal?

Me: Was it a humorous letter?

Burnham: Genuine. No, genuine. For example, the letter ended “sail away.” Truly, “sail away” were the last two words.

Me: Did she respond to you in letter form, too?

Burnham: No.

Me: You just magically got the OK?

Burnham: Yeah, yup. That’s all I needed.

So there you go! If you haven’t yet seen Eighth Grade, we highly recommend that you do so. It’s that rare film where critics and audiences are both equally in love, and given how rarely those sorts of films come along, you know it must be a must-see.


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