This Week in Posivibes: Mary Margaret O’Hara


Mary Margaret O’Hara’s Miss America is one of those incredible albums worth resurrecting every few years, to ensure that it doesn’t get lost amid the discographies of more prolific artists. O’Hara has consciously decided to produce little else since the 1988 release of her debut, and likes it that way; in response to questions about a follow-up album, O’Hara said, “If you have an idea, why do you have to make it?”

As frustrating as that may be, Miss America has such an incredible range that you can almost understand O’Hara’s theoretical decision to let the work lie—let this be the one coherent message she makes. Her voice swings from Patsy Cline to Stevie Nicks, mythical to folksy, and always gorgeous. Live, she is a unique force—something that unfortunately has not been recorded as much as we would like. Read a full profile of O’Hara from the Guardian, and watch a recording of the artist performing “When You Know Why You’re Happy” after the jump.

Liz Wood is a freelance editor, fiction writer, and current student in the NYU MFA program. More from this author →