I had one of those six degrees of separation connections to Sinead O’Connor. My friend and ace Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey is managed, produced and drummed for by John Reynolds who was at one time married to Sinead. That’s not even six degrees, it’s two, right ?
Not only was Sinead a singer of great beauty, power and skill, alongside being a great songwriter she was the kind of righteous, committed, fierce Woman this world of ours needs many, many more of. I’m always in awe of her appearance at the Bob Dylan Tribute Concert shortly after she had torn up a picture of the Pope on US TV. The audience was boo-ing her continuously, she stood strong for a full 2 minutes and stared them down. Kris Kristofferson walked out, put his arm around her and whispered “Don’t let the bastards get you down”, still she stood and stared down a braying mob. Her band tried to start playing and she stopped them…twice. Suddenly she launched into an unaccompanied recitation of the lyrics from Bob Marley’s “War” (based on the speech by Emperor Haile Selassie to the United Nations in 1963) spitting the words at the audience who were quieted by the force of her alone “Until the philosophy which holds one race, Superior and another inferior, Is finally, And permanently, Discredited, And abandoned, Everywhere is war, Me say war”.
This, her second album, is full of great great songs, particularly "The Emperor's New Clothes", "I Am Stretched On Your Grave", "The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance" and of course her incredible reading of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”. I was doing a DJ gig outside at a local pub the weekend after she tragically passed away and, not expecting any reaction, I played this as my last record of the night, more for me than anything. Almost the entire pub emptied out into the garden and sang along, it was a beautiful thing.
The world needs more Sinead O’Connor’s and if there is peace to be found after this life, I hope she has found whatever it is that she needed. I try not to link to the most obvious track from an album in these posts, but…
Nothing Compares 2 U - https://youtu.be/0-EF60neguk?si=sKUyB0UXqG4w30hW