Sinéad O’ Connor is better than you think she is. Sure, you say “I love Sinéad – Nothing Compares 2 U, Mandinka, the one about the babies…? Or maybe “Yeah she can sing but remember that fuss with the Pope and Frank Sinatra and the Muslim stuff…she’s kinda hard work”. Fair enough. I personally am totally guilty of expressing this sentiment in the past. And I guess we’re all entitled to our opinions. But Sinéad O Connor is better than you think she is.
Like Lizzy, there are so many songs we could talk about. I was very tempted to say Troy which is criminally underrated. I just don’t have the literary chops though. We’ll have to wait for Dr Niamho for that one next time we talk about Sinéad’s back catalogue. Instead I like to visit the album Faith and Courage from 2000.
I clearly remember being in a record store in Dublin (ask your parents) and marching up to the counter and asking to buy whatever they were playing on the sound system. The song was the slightly NSFW “Daddy I’m fine” from the album Faith and Courage. Memory plays tricks at this point. Sinéad is so distinctive and had been mega-famous in Ireland for over a decade I must have known it was her. But I don’t think I’d ever heard her sound like this. I brought the album home (again, ask your parents) and listened to it. There are several excellent songs on it, No Man’s Woman, Dancing Lessons, Daddy I’m fine. But the song that has stuck with me is Jealous.
Sinéad on the Late late show 2019
Sineád breaks our hearts again describing longing and toxic relationships in this poignant torch song. Maybe it’s because her personal life and struggles with mental health have been played out in public, but her fragile , beautiful voice make you feel she has lived every blow and cruelty in the song.
After some dark times, Sinéad is back touring again and seems at peace and happy. And if you know her battles with authority here and elsewhere , there is something triumphant when you here the crowd roar in triumph when she performs The Emperor’s New Clothes and belts out:
“They laugh ’cause they know they’re untouchable
Not because what I said was wrong”
But after all, Sinéad O Connor is better than you think she is.