Favourite Songs #4 – The Emporer’s New Clothes

Continuing the theme of honesty I know of no other artist that is quite as honest as Sinead O’Connor. It is what I admire most about her. Well that and her incredible voice. Combined you have probably the best artist Ireland has ever produced.

She has had to put up with an incredible amount of aggression from the media and public alike as a result of this. She says what she thinks and doesn’t care. The attention she gets is somewhat strange as she isn’t and has never been a pop star. The media however seem desperate for her to be just that. This is why they are delighted every time she opens her mouth because, chances are, you won’t be hearing some sanitised syrup that pop stars spew to ensure a happy audience. Far from it. Sinead, like anyone of interest, has opinions and when asked she’ll happily tell you them. However she is also not afraid to change her mind and say so proudly. Likewise she will freely apologise should she think she was wrong. On top of this she is capable of self-criticism which is very important for the sane mind. All this and more are to be found in this lady’s lyrics and if you listen and hear what she is saying it is astounding. And refreshing and oh so seldom found in singers today. People are often frightened of strong women who dare to speak their mind. They are punished by being mocked or made to seem crazy.

They laugh cause they know they’re untouchable not because what I said was wrong

I feel I can identify with some of the problems Sinead faces.  I am a very passionate person and will easily find myself in heated debates because I care about many different things and if I have an opinion I will not sit on the fence to avoid the issue. This is never easy to do and I admire anyone who has beliefs and expresses them. It is not the easy option and it takes a lot of energy. It will often leave you feeling battered and bruised too. I can’t imagine how someone could do this in the public eye and remain healthy.

But back to the song. The lyrics here are about as personal as they come. In that aspect it reminds me of Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes album. It was released in 1990 but the text is as apt today. For me it is the quintessential Sinead song. I have always loved how she can sound so vulnerable and sweet when she sings so softly, almost in a whisper, and then she can change completely and sing with such passion and power that never fails to effect me. This is one of the louder rockier tracks and I love it for that.

For me an artist is someone who tries to make sense of the world around them in their own way. They do not conform and they dare to be different. Sinead does that in spades and I admire her incredibly for it. God bless her 🙂

Whatever it may bring
I will live by my own policies
I will sleep with a clear conscience
I will sleep in peace

The Emperors New Clothes

Buy the album here for next to nothing!


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