Last Friday, I was working at my kid’s cooperative nursery school here in the Haight in San Francisco. I was starting to tell another parent about how my 3.5 year old daughter told her dad she refused to listen to the Sinead O’Connor CD I’d left in her CD player - because, she said, “I only listen to [the music of] dead people, so please put on Woody Guthrie’s CD instead” - when an Irish dad walked by us. I assume he’d only heard me say the name Sinead O’Connor because he snorted, “That woman? She’s crazy!”
He needn’t have bothered. Because there’s simply nothing in the world he or anyone could say to me to change my opinion about Sinead O’Connor, whose music I adore and whose clear siren voice still brings tears to my eyes. I’ve loved Sinead O’Connor’s music from the first time I heard her music in 1987. I was sitting in my driveway listening to college radio when “Mandinka” started playing. I remember holding my breath through nearly the entire song and hoping, really praying, that the DJ would announce who was singing so I could go out immediately and buy her music - this was, after all, a college music radio station, where such important information like who was singing and the name of the song was often neglected. I remember feeling like I’d been hit by lightning - who *WAS* this?! Why hadn’t I ever heard it before now? Thankfully, the DJ announced her name so I could buy “The Lion and The Cobra,” which I loved, and by the time I heard it, I knew I’d be a lifelong fan.
Now that we’re both so much older, I can honestly say I’ve loved everything Sinead has recorded, I’ve been on her side through her controversies, and I hope she’ll continue to be well enough to play her music.
So Sinead O’Connor, thank you. I am entirely grateful.