While you were all learning how to make sourdough bread (probably once and never again) and watching Tiger King during lockdown, I was discovering the wonders of ‘the Youtube’ with my new born daughter at 2 and 3 o’clock in the mornings. I consider myself fairly tech savvy and up to date but never really gave much time to Youtube. This made me somewhat unaware of the treasure trove of music to be found there. This dovetailed nicely with the fact that I had gone back to re-evaluate my music collection.
I now know that I listened to a frankly dangerous amount of Enya in 2020 pre-lockdown but the world she opened up for me was an important one as it led me down the path to discovering Sinead O’Connor. ‘Discovering’ one of the most famous artists to ever come out of Ireland? Yeah, great find there dickhead. It’s true though. In many ways, Sinead was before my time. I obviously knew her most famous song. I’ve always had a deep and abiding love for He Moved Through the Fair from Michael Collins, and enjoyed The Foggy Dew before a Conor McGregor fight. Aside from those, she wasn’t really up to much, was she?
Temperature: 75 f | Wind Speed: 14 mph | Miles this month: 48.33m | Miles this year: 377.76m (1,643.24m to go)
For most of the time she was crazy levels of world famous, I was a baby. I didn’t know anything about her ripping up a picture of the Pope on SNL until I moved to America. For Enya, I had made a playlist with all of her songs I could find on Spotify. I whittled this down to a very solid playlist of 35 songs and the process worked well for me. I tried the same with Sinead and, after a few days of playing her on a loop, I seemed to get stuck at 61 songs.
Many were covers or songs that others wrote for her but there is something special in that, too. There was also a bundle of songs she wrote herself that are absolute fucking bangers. How does Youtube come into this? There’s some great interviews and short documentaries about her there and a fuck load of great music videos. Some are live and intimate, others in front of crowds of many thousands, and others are just her official music videos which are equally great.
I’ve just finished listening to her audiobook that came out a few days ago and she’s funny, too! Even with all she’s gone through to this point in her life. I, like most others, used to hear about her in the news becoming a priest or converting to Islam or any other number of ‘crazy’ things and would write her off immediately. I feel like I have gotten to know her in the last year and understand her a lot better. Sure, she’s fucked up her fair share of times in her life and it’s been quite the journey for her to get to where she is, but I consider her to be a genius. I think she has a message and she’s tried her entire life to get that out.
She’s one of those people who can write a song about nothing but somehow mean so much to so many. There are plenty of artists out there who do that, who write songs that come from another place and that no one ever understands but so many find meaning in.
Listen to Last Day of Our Acquaintance, Take Me To Church, The Emperor’s New Clothes, Where Have You Been, and Drink Before the War if you are so inclined. Then listen to everything she’s ever done. She has an absolutely massive catalogue of covers and forgotten folk songs that are all equally impressive too. I hope she’s not one of those artists whose genius isn’t realized after they die – although I’m not sure it will make a huge amount of difference to her either way.