Sinead O'Connor's Top 5 F-Bombs
Sinead O'Connor may be one of my oldest pop-music crushes. I remember being fascinated with her close-cropped haircut in the "Nothing Compares to U" video, but I think it was watching her tear up that picture of the pope on SNL in 1992 that really did it. As a high-school senior only then finding out about bad girls, I was hooked.
Ever since I have had a taste for women with a stout brogue and salty tongue. Not to mention smart girls, and for all her personality quirks, O'Connor is one of the most fiercely intelligent songwriters I've ever heard -- male or female. But she can also curse like nobody's business, one major reason I am a lifelong fan. (Another: That voice.)
Depending on the publication, an interview with O'Connor can look like the script of Glengarry Glen Ross. More conservative media like The New York Times must have to get pretty creative with the editing to recount one of her conversations.
Others just turn on the recorder and allow O'Connor to let fly, as Rolling Stone's Austin Scaggs did last month when she was promoting her first pop album in ages, How About I Be Me and I Be You? (One Little Indian).
"I'd rather call it How About I Be Me (and You Fuck Off), but Walmart wouldn't stock it," she said.
Suprisingly enough, though, O'Connor's lyrics are pretty clean. Penetratingly incisive and unforgiving of both herself and other people, yes, but on the whole pretty clean.
But once in a while - including a couple of times on the excellent I Be Me, my early pick for album of the year - she'll drop the f-bomb, and it's always the kind of moment that makes you turn your head and say, "whoa."
God, I love this woman. Here are five reasons why.
Album: "Three Babies" B-side, 1990
Lyric: "At least I know something about what's good and what hurts/ And i'm glad that I loath it/ You would have fucked me up worse"
Context: Sinead does not take kindly to being cheated on. To wit, "All those nights with my arse in your face/ And your words in my dreams/ Now I know what the value of ignorance means."
4. "Take Off Your Shoes"
Album: How About I Be Me (and You Be You), 2012
Lyric: "I bleed the blood of Jesus over you/ And every other fucking thing you do"
Context: Sinead is feeling just a little martyred by her lover constantly disappointing her.
3. "Big Bunch of Junkie Lies"
Album: She Who Dwells In the Secret Place of the Most High Shall Abide Under the Shadow of the Almighty (yes, that's the title), 2003
Lyric: "She can't tell who is a good or bad man'/ Cause her daddy was a fucked-up one..."
Context: Deep into her religious phase, O'Connor calls out -- publicly and scathingly -- a drug dealer who enabled her dear friend's heroin addiction, with tragic results.