The Glory That is Sinéad O'Connor

>> Friday, February 27, 2009

I was gonna title this one the original Sinéné, but that's so wrong... hehe.

Years ago, one of the clip shows on VH1 put Sinead O'Connor as #1 of the top 100 one hit wonders and I immediately took offense. Sure, Nothing Compares to You was a huge mega-hit and none of her other songs got to the same level, but to cast Sinead as a one-hit wonder is so not appropriate.

Well, I was a fan. I got into listening to her after I heard the aforementioned hit as well but I dug back to The Lion and The Cobra and got mesmerized by the emotion she lend to her songs, well that and her bald head. Her uniqueness lured me in. Not a lot of singers used anger, and yet be able to sound so angelic in other songs.


I remember it
Dublin in a rainstorm
Sitting in the long grass in summer
Keeping warm
I remember it
Every restless night
We were so young then
We thought that everything
We could possibly do were right
Then we moved
Stolen from our very eyes
I wondered where you went to
Tell me when did the light die?
You'll rise, you'll return
The phoenix from the flame
You will learn, you will rise, you'll return
Being what you are
There is no other Troy
For you to burn

I never meant to hurt you
I swear I didn't mean those things I said
I never meant to do that to you
Next time I'll keep my hands to myself instead
Oh, does she love you?
What do you want to do?
Does she need you like I do?
Do you love her?
Is she good for you?
Does she hold you like I do?

Do you want me? Should I leave?
I know you're always telling me
That you love me
Just sometimes I wonder
If I should believe
Oh, I love you
God, I love you
I'd kill a dragon for you and die
But I will rise and I will return
The Phoenix from the flame
I have learned, I will rise
And you'll see me return
Being what I am
There is no other Troy
For me to burn

And you should've left the light on
You should've left the light on
Then I wouldn't have tried
You'd never have known
And I wouldn't have pulled you tighter
No, I wouldn't have pulled you close
I wouldn't have screamed
No! I can't let you go
And the door wasn't closed
No, I wouldn't have pulled you to me
No, I wouldn't have kissed your face
You wouldn't have begged me to hold you
If we hadn't been there in the first place
Oh but I know you wanted me to be there oh oh
Every look that you threw told me so
But you should've left the light on
You should've left the light on
And the flames burned away
But you're still spitting fire
Make no difference what you say
You're still a liar

The Last Day of Our Acquaintance

This is the last day of our acquaintance
I will meet you later in somebody's office
I'll talk but you won't listen to me
I know what your answer will be

I know you don't love me anymore
You used to hold my hand when the plane took off
Two years ago there just seemed so much more
I don't know what happened to our love

Today's the day, our friendship has been stale
And we will meet later to finalize the details
Two years ago the seed was planted
Since then you have taken me for granted

But this is the last day of our acquaintance
I will meet you later in somebody's office
I'll talk but you won't listen to me
I know your answer already

After I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, Sinead seems to have been discovered by the world and started doing a lot of covers. I bought Elton John's tribute album Two Rooms pretty much just for her edition of Sacrifice. Sinead has the ability to do the songs better than the originator which is why you'd want to hear someone else sings the same song anyway. Not because they are lack the talent to write new songs and their record contract demands certain amount of songs in an album like Beyonce or the Jessica Simpsons alike. Sinead did it better, with more emotions and offered a different point of view. Am I Not Your Girl was a stellar jazz album.

Since I was overseas, I didn't know about her tearing up the pope's picture on SNL and the whole kerfuffle. Even though I don't give a damn about the pope, but if her legs weren't planted solidly here in US, that act would seem a bit unwise. Maybe she thought she reached a level where people would overlook it and she was shocked and destruct that she got chastised by it. Her confidence in her music has changed.

Her 4th album Universal Mother was a desperate effort to apologize for what happened (All Apologies) and restore the fanbase (Thank You For Hearing Me), while most other songs are ultra personal ballads with strange tempos. The whole album was confusingly unrelatable. The star redeeming quality, other than her still angelic voice is the few covers she did on her Fire On Babylon single which included I Believe in You, House of the Rising Sun and Streets of London.

Streets of London

Have you seen the old man, in the closed-down market
kicking up the papers, with his worn-out shoes?
In his eyes you’d see no pride, hand held loosely by his side
yesterday’s papers, telling yesterday’s news

So how can you tell me, you’re lonely
and say for you the sun won’t shine?
Let me take you by the hand,
and lead you through the streets of London
I’ll show you something, to make you change your mind.

Have you seen the old girl, who walks the streets of London
Dirt in her hair, and her clothes in rags?
She’s no time for talking, she just keeps right on walking.
Carrying her home, in two carrier bags.


In the all-night cafe, at a quarter past eleven
Same old man sitting there, on his own.
Looking at the world, over the rim of his tea-cup.
Each tea lasts an hour, then he wanders home alone.


I'll show you something to make you change your mind.

I guess it's hard to revive a career after committing an act that baffled the public. (i.e. Chris Brown) After Universal Mother, Sinead went completely bible thumping and became a priest and published a gospel album, then announced herself a lesbian before releasing another album called Faith and Courage which still had some moderate success. Since then Sinead had put out an Irish folks album and in 2007, a reggae album but nothing embraced by the mass. It's a shame really, since she still have that great voice of hers. With enough good songs, I'm sure the public can re-embrace her. I mean, if Madonna is still out there in her 50s, there's no reason why Sinead can't.

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