"Sitamoia" by THIN LIZZY

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

From the album: Remembering Part 1 (Decca Records 1976)
When you're dealing with the greatest Rock band of all time, it's pretty hard to say that one song is better than the next. "Sitamoia" may, or may not, be better than "Bad Reputation", or "Vagabond Of The Western World", or "Are You Ready?"... it's hard to compare perfection with perfection. Yeah I know that not everything THIN LIZZY did is pure gold, but between the years of 1973 and 1980 they could do no wrong, and at this very moment, I can think of no better song. To my knowledge "Sitamoia" first appeared on the 1976 Decca compilation "Remembering Part 1" and features Gary Moore in one of his early stints with the band. Aside from his work in THIN, I couldn't give two shits about Gary Moore... his solo records are boring white-boy blues, but while in THIN LIZZY he played with a blistering originality and metallic flair that is rivaled by few. "Sitamoia" was recorded during a period that bridges the gap between LIZZY's prog/folk beginnings (the Eric Bell era), and their rise to becoming the greatest Hard Rock band of the 70's (the Robertson/Gorham era). The tribal beat layed down by Brian Downey, Moore's Celtic melody line and mid-song gig, the soaring, intertwining fiddle parts, and Lynott's plaintive vocals and vague lyrics, all combine to make "Sitamoia" the most dramatic track THIN LIZZY ever recorded. I say this without any hesitation, humour, or irony... if you are unable to appreciate the splendour of this song... you, my friend, are awash in a sea of your own stupidity. Listen, and bask in the glory that is one of THIN LIZZY's... nay, music's finest moments.

16 comments:

VimFuego said...

welcome back. i dig the fullon Shadows part at 1:41. You sure that ain't Hank Marvin? i have no idea what shitamoia is (clearly the label removed the "h" from the title) but apparently it has something to do with gonorrhea. ouch.

alcolm x said...

Yeah you might be right. Gonorrhea is as good a guess as any. "What about the children though?"

RyGar said...

Re-up?

Alcolm X said...

Dammit! Is it gone already? FileFreak sucks!

Anonymous said...

Thin Lizzy were only truly on fire between 1976 and 1979. Outside of that they were very patchy - and they're my favourite band. Face the facts - 1974's Nightlife album stinks (production is horrible and some of the songs are just boring). Post 1980 they lost the plot thanks to heroin and then John Sykes in 1983 simply ruined the whole thing with his crap metal guitar.

Alcolm X said...

Oh I dunno Anonymous... that's a bit harsh. I love all their records between '73 and '80, but I admit that "Fighting" (1975) might be the first truly great one. Every record has it's shining moments, and even if a THIN LIZZY record only has 2 or 3 great songs on it... I guarantee that that record is still better than what 90% of their comtemporaries were doing. I'm not a big "Thunder & Lightning" fan (mainly cuz of the sloppy production) but Sykes' playing is phenomenal.

Tania Sk said...

it's gone!

Anonymous said...

You know that saying "This is awesome and if you don't think that then you are stupid" generally isn't seen as intelligent means to tell someone your opinion?

Alcolm X said...

I'm sorry if your intelligence was inadvertently called into question. Please accept my humble apologies for being so utterly crass.

Anonymous said...

Sitamoia derives it's tittle from the mispronunciation of an old Irish tune "Si Do Mhaimeo" Look it up on You Tube, the Celtic Woman version definitely has some musical similarities. The tune deals with a young man who marries a rich widow. Their is apparently a concert where Lynott states that a portion of his song has been set to an African chant. Their is a tradition one of the Celtic tribes which settled Ireland was dark haired and skinned, possibly from as far south as Northern Africa. Ethiopia with it's resistance to colonization and history of famine is similar to Ireland's. The king of Ethopia is mentioned in Ode to a Black Man and Africa is mentioned in Dedication. The Downey surname has many origins some of them Scottish. Glasgow would also of been the nearest port for Irish/Scottish commerce.

Many Thin Lizzy songs use lyrical double speak and images with more than one meaning. Brian Downey may be the only one who knows the real meanings behind this song.

THEFIREDOG

Lee said...

Though this song carries a Brian Downey credit it was actually gifted to him as a birthday present from Phil Lynott.

Anonymous said...

cinne gan airegead = people without money or the poor

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think the chant part comes from a traditional Irish song. I was just listening to 'The Best Of The Chieftains' the other day and there is a medley track entitled 'Chase Around the Windmill/Toss the Feathers/Ballinasloe Fair/Cailleac'. When I heard the Ballinasloe Fair part it reminded me of Sitamoaia. Comparing them side by side, it's obvious Sitamoaia came from this song (or the origin of this song). Lynott (with his artistic driver's license) makes up his own word though - shita-moa-wia. The original phonetically sounds more like shita-ma-hoi

Cheers,
IrishRockers.com

Anonymous said...

i love how you mention "Vagabond of the Western World" as a perfect song. i thought i was the only one who appreciated that song. i discovered it a few months ago and have been obsessed with it since. it is my favorite TL song. my other faves are "Bad Reputation", "Opium Trail", "Wild One", and "With Love", and here are others that come close.

Anonymous said...

i have to respond to the guy who says "Nightlife album stinks"... i hate to say it, but that record, along with BLACK ROSE, is the most consistent record. every song is good. in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

"Gary Moore... his solo records are boring white-boy blues". Not Before 1990, they were great!