Mary Margaret O’Hara

For those who don’t know, Mary Margaret O’Hara is a cult Canadian musician who produced only one album, the weirdly perfect Miss America, in 1988. It’s said that she never released another album because she’s reclusive, but in fact she never stopped working publicly. Since ’88 she has composed soundtracks, sung backup for others (Morrissey for example) and acted in films, so it’s not as if she’s been languishing in seclusion. Outside Canada it’s probably not known that she’s the sister of comic SCTV and film actor Catherine O’Hara. Tom Waits has said she’s his muse; pax Tom but I’m quite sure she’s her own muse, if women have muses. She’s on Mojo’s Top 100 albums of all time list, and her fans include Radiohead and Rickie Lee Jones. My favourite song by MMOH (can’t bring myself to call her M2OH, the way her acolytes do), is actually Year In Song, but since the only youtube video of the song contains no moving pictures I didn’t embed it above. There’s a rare newspaper interview with her here in The Guardian. Order Miss America.


“My Brass Rule: Treat others better than you treat yourself until they screw you, then apologize to them.”
“I have a long history of being told I have no rhythm, and of people saying ‘I’ve heard chickens sing better than that’.”

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2 Responses to “Mary Margaret O’Hara”

  1. coozledad Says:

    Here’s a live version of year in song:
    Thank you for letting me know about this stuff.

  2. kate Says:

    Thanks you so much for posting this. Her vinyl is still one of my prized possessions. She’s magnificent.

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