A Reasonable Explanation of the Life of Sinead O’Connor
Speaking the truth hurts.
Unfortunately, it’s usually those that speak out that get hurt the most.
Sinead O’Connor was one of those people. Not a single interview I’ve ever seen since the Saturday Night Live (SNL) moment goes by without someone mentioning that ‘protest moment’.
Throughout a frequently thwarted 40-year career, O’Connor was treated by most interviewers not like a chart-topping recording artist, but like a schoolgirl who’d been sent to the principal’s office. They questioned her hairstyle, her lifestyle, her parenting choices and her sanity. When her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” made her an international sensation, they asked if her tears were real and whether she had anything to do with the making of the award-winning video.
Rarely did anyone ask her about the crafting of the music itself—about how a 15-year-old Irish girl who got her first guitar from a nun built an epic ballad like “Troy” off of three chords, or how she learned to bend notes to the breaking point and back again with just her voice. (At more than six minutes, “Troy” was never played on commercial radio, but it’s in heavy rotation now via texts and social media among diehard fans, alongside a million crying face emojis.)
“It’s not a song,” O’Connor said about “Troy” in Kathryn Ferguson’s excellent 2022 documentary, “Nothing Compares,” the first in-depth exploration of the first five years of her career. “It’s a fucking testament.”
There’s still no conclusive information about the cause of O’Connor’s death, but her mental health was the first and last casualty in a long battle against the Catholic Church, mainstream media and a bunch of other f&ckers who were busy defending the status quo and not interested in adjusting their ways to a future that would accommodate everyone.
I read this article about her life and her impact and it was heartbreaking and also inspiring to have been alive while someone was daring enough to rock the boat wildly enough so that we all get a little wet.
Thank you Sinead O’Connor. Your beautiful voice will shatter the halls of stupidity,