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Troy
November 12, 2011 10:54 AM   Subscribe

Sinéad O'Connor performing "Troy" at the Dominion Theatre, London, June 3, 1988
posted by xod (46 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love Sinead's music, but the lyric "I'd kill a dragon for you" always makes me cringe.

Even right now, while the song is playing, I am cringing in anticipation.
posted by Flunkie at 11:08 AM on November 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Lion and the Cobra. Wow. I used to listen to this cd all the time. Troy and Drink Before the War always took me to some other place. Good shit.
posted by foxhat10 at 11:09 AM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


That sends chills down my spine. I remember seeing her perform it at the Wiltern years ago. After she sang the last "You're still a liar" she just turned and stormed offstage and let the backing music play over an empty stage. There aren't many performers as powerful as she is. And as misunderstood by the general public. I remember having a conversation with someone about how much I loved her, and he was all, well, she's no Mariah Carey, and I don't think she could sing something like "Evergreen". I really had no response to that.
posted by OolooKitty at 11:13 AM on November 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've wanted to see her live for years (actually had a ticket to see her a few years ago but the show was cancelled). Thanks for posting this.
posted by immlass at 11:14 AM on November 12, 2011


The original lyric was "I'd fill a flagon for you", but the well-known Irish hostility to the consumption of alcohol forced Sinead to re-write.
posted by Abiezer at 11:20 AM on November 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


An amazing performer. Such passion.

I'll never forget two incidents, summed up here:

isn’t Sinead O’connor overdue a massive, grovelling apology from absolutely everybody?

The first incident:
The ripping photo incident

The second incident:
"The noise eventually became so loud that O'Connor saw no point in starting the scheduled song. She called for the keyboard player to stop and the microphone to be turned up, and then screamed over the audience with an improvised, shouted rendition of "War". This time, she sang the song, stopping just after the part in which the lyrics talk about child abuse, emphasizing the point of her previous action. She then looked straight to the audience for a second and left the stage."

Sinead O'Connor - Bob Dylan Tribute (1992)

How many performers make a stand this strong?
posted by greenhornet at 11:24 AM on November 12, 2011 [21 favorites]


We were so young then
We thought that everything
We could possibly do was right


Man, she looks so young in the YT link, and oh so very late-80s, early 90s. Brings back my wasted youth.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:24 AM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sinead O'Connor - Bob Dylan Tribute (1992)

How many performers make a stand this strong?
That's such a great clip.

Kris Kristofferson recently made a good song about the incident.
posted by Flunkie at 11:30 AM on November 12, 2011 [11 favorites]


Sui generis.
posted by gwint at 11:59 AM on November 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll go to my grave loving Sinead O'Connor. Whenever I encounter some wrongheaded person who thinks she's gone off the rails, I just load up this astonishing version of Troy from 2008. The woman has an unkillable talent.
posted by mykescipark at 12:59 PM on November 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


That brings me back to my misspent youth in Boston in the 1980s/early 1990s. I first heard Sinead O'Connor on the radio when the Lion and The Cobra was being promoted and instantly loved it. A couple of days/weeks later found out that she was playing at Spit/Axis, a relatively small club, next door to the much larger Avalon/Metro (both of these clubs changed names while and I'm not sure of the name of the iteration). I think the date was booked before the album even came out in the US so they had no idea how hugely popular she and it would be. So there I was, with my best friend, packed into a crowded club waiting to see her. I remember that she was tiny, we could barely see her even though it was a smallish venue, but the voice was so incredibly powerful, but could also be as soft as a whisper and terribly vulnerable. I just recently stared listening to early O'Connor and I think that it really stands up well.
posted by kaybdc at 1:10 PM on November 12, 2011


mykescipark, that's a video I love, too. I actually like her newer takes on things, probably because I'm older too. It's probably projecting, but I get a lot more acceptance/resignation from her newer takes, instead of the young fire and angst she used to have.

As I get older, all that youthful, destructive sturm und drang just seem futile, which is what this song seems to be about to me. Or maybe I'm just tired. It's cloudy out and the days are short, which does that to me.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:20 PM on November 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, she just seems comfier in her body and in who she is as she gets older.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:21 PM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hadn't listened to that song since last century. Thanks.
posted by bright cold day at 1:43 PM on November 12, 2011


My favorite live Sinead video
posted by Flunkie at 1:50 PM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flunkie: "Kris Kristofferson recently made a good song about the incident. yt"

A note about it:

"When she returned to the United States on 16 October 1992 to perform at a birthday concert for Bob Dylan at Madison Square Garden in New York, Sinead was greeted by a weird mixture of cheers and boos. Despite the severely divided response to her presence, she once again sang an a cappella version of "War." Once she was done, she staggered offstage, where she was comforted by Kris Kristofferson.

Whether or not you like or dislike Ms. O'Connor, you have to admit: Kristofferson is a class act; a gentleman in the best sense of the word.

I've personally sat on both sides of the fence, but come to think of her as someone who feels forced into dramatic gestures because of a passionate concern for the world that she lives in. Where once I saw an attention whore, I now see a lonely and frightened drummer, banging a gong.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:53 PM on November 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


The Last Day of Our Acquaintance.

That is all.
posted by Decani at 2:25 PM on November 12, 2011 [8 favorites]


isn’t Sinead O’connor overdue a massive, grovelling apology from absolutely everybody?


Not from me. I supported her 100% at the time, thanks.
posted by Decani at 2:33 PM on November 12, 2011 [7 favorites]


The content owner has not made this video available on mobile
why do you do this, content owners? Seriously, why?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 3:11 PM on November 12, 2011


I'd pull a wagon for you.
posted by secondhand pho at 3:38 PM on November 12, 2011


In the summer of 1995 she spilt her drink on me at the bar of The Cow in Westbourne Grove. She was very apologetic though I'm sure some great hoof had nudged her, and very pretty. It was a snowball. A strange thing for her to be drinking, I thought.
posted by tigrefacile at 4:07 PM on November 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


This adds nothing to anything but, goddamn, I loved The Lion and the Cobra. The first non-70s non-stoner non-metal music I just absolutely loved. Opened a whole new world of music for me.

Going to go back to listening to "Just Call Me Joe" now and feel like I'm in high school again.
posted by codswallop at 4:19 PM on November 12, 2011


I work for an Irish singer who is a friend of hers. This summer I arrived at rehearsals for a festival show and found out to my delight she was rehearsing in the same building. It was great to hear her and her band go through their set whenever our band was quiet for a bit. I don't get starstruck anymore, but when she popped her head in the door to watch our band and singer rehearse I stood frozen. Wow... Sinead. She's tiny. The next day at the festival, as our singer complained about his voice, she took care of him in her dressing room, brewing up a pungent herbal concoction for him to sip throughout the day. A real Irish mammy. Heard today she's gone back to the shaved head look which suits her so well. Can't wait to see her again, and probably will later this month when we play Dublin.

To me, her Pinkpop festival (1988) performance of Troy is the best / most raw.
posted by prolific at 4:34 PM on November 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I remember buying the Lion and the Cobra and the Sugarcubes first album while in Derry, Northern Ireland and being so happy to bring them back to Canada where neither had been released yet (and the later Canadian version had a different cover). All I wonder about that memory is if I bought them on vinyl or CD. I can't imagine packing vinyl without it breaking. Watching this now makes me want to shave off the remainder or my Chelsea and go full skinhead. Her albums couldn't capture the intensity of her live performances though, especially in smaller Venue's like Toronto's Massey Hall.
posted by saucysault at 4:41 PM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]



The Last Day of Our Acquaintance.

That is all.


That was good. Really good.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:51 PM on November 12, 2011


Thief of Your Heart
posted by small_ruminant at 5:03 PM on November 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I loved singing along with I am stretched on your grave (with bonus lesbian lyrics!) but I could never make my voice go as high or low, amazing that she can do that.
posted by saucysault at 5:11 PM on November 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am shocked to learn that, even though I remember the entire ordeal, I never knew the reason she tore that picture in half.
posted by deliquescent at 5:41 PM on November 12, 2011


The thing about Sinead is that when all the pope stuff happened people thought she was just a pop star (albeit a bald and quirky one) but she was always more than that. Looking back, it's kind of odd that she got as famous as she did. Her songs are beautiful, but deeply weird. Troy is weird. I Am Stretched On Your Grave is weird. She's an ordained Catholic priest and a Rastafarian.

She continued to make music after her heyday. Personally, I love 2000's Faith and Courage. I feel like she's settled into a niche that works for her, where she can make her amazing music without the expectation that she will be Top 40.
posted by Mavri at 6:27 PM on November 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


nead O'Connor - Bob Dylan Tribute (1992)

How many performers make a stand this strong?


It is as if student rioters at Penn State, "outraged" over Joe Paterno's recent firing, were all somehow the offspring of all the vitriolic audience at this performance that night at Madison Square Garden.

Also, Kris Kris Kristofferson, is a real human being.
posted by Mike Mongo at 6:38 PM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I Am Stretched On Your Grave is weird.

It's a song with a rich history that reaches back to the 17th century. Me, I love it because of personal associations. Oh, and "Thief of Your Heart"--marvelous. I'll also put in a rec for her collaboration with The Chieftains, "The Foggy Dew." What a lovely, pure tone she has, as though she's connected to something mystical and bigger than she is.

Her blog is often interesting reading, and she comes across as being passionate and human and gently self-mocking; it reads like there's a real person writing it, and not some publicist.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:43 PM on November 12, 2011 [5 favorites]


So will SNL invite her back and let her rip up a picture of Joe Paterno?

Sinead's one of the gutsiest women I think I've ever seen, certainly at the pop cultural level. I always thought the full measure of Madonna was made clear when she slammed Sinead after the SNL incident for daring to make a statement in a manner that might upset some people, rather than "talk about" what bothered her about the Catholic church.
posted by scody at 6:58 PM on November 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


I was so obsessed with The Lion and the Cobra when I was 14. That album sort of defines that year for me. Listening to it takes me back, but not entirely in a good way, because I was a histrionic little shit when I was 14. It's still amazing, though.
posted by craichead at 7:02 PM on November 12, 2011


It's not like I was short on reasons to love Kris Kristopherson...
posted by Cosine at 7:35 PM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll also put in a rec for her collaboration with The Chieftains, "The Foggy Dew."
She and the Chieftains also did other traditional songs together, all of which were great...posted by Flunkie at 7:51 PM on November 12, 2011


I remember having a conversation with someone about how much I loved her, and he was all, well, she's no Mariah Carey, and I don't think she could sing something like "Evergreen". I really had no response to that.

I'm sure you did, but it was a felony to act.
posted by clarknova at 7:51 PM on November 12, 2011


i wrote this last month about sinead, i find her prophetic
posted by PinkMoose at 10:59 PM on November 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Definitely one of the best live shows I've ever seen -- maybe ca. 1991? I can't even remember, all I know is that I am way young in the photos, and that the sheer ... well, for lack of a better word, epicness of her voice on that stage was just astounding.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 12:10 AM on November 13, 2011


An older friend of the family said at the time of the SNL incident " They're doing to her what they did to Lenny Bruce".
posted by brujita at 12:48 AM on November 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I saw her play in a church in Reykjavík last month (I wrote about it here, word of warning, the language gets a bit fruity, but there is a video of her performance of the Emperor's New Clothes) and it was an amazing show. The newer material didn't suffer in comparison with her older songs at all. I wasn't surprised that the performance was good but I was surprised by how funny she was. She had the audience in stitches at times. If you have the chance to see her live, I heartily recommend it.
posted by Kattullus at 7:30 AM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was in highschool we'd all hang out at a local cafe every night writing poetry, learning to smoke cigarettes, and talking about what we thought were Very Important Things. One of my clearest and best memories of those days is a friend with an acoustic guitar learning Black Boys on Mopeds and the ensuing extremely sincere singalongs that followed. Pretty much sums up those times for me.

(Also anyone who likes Shane MacGowan as well should check out this awesome duet. Bonus delightfully dated music video to make you feel old!)
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:27 AM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Definitely a beautiful artifact of another time and place in my life -- thanks. That whole strange in-flux turn-of-the-decade period when Sinéad's face in close-up was all you could see anywhere you looked where a TV set was on, intoning Prince's lyrics in that black turtleneck, is still poignant to me -- because no other time ever again could ever be just like that. "Troy" still has the capacity to make shivers go down my spine if I listen to it in the right context. Such a dramatic, glorious, painful song.
posted by blucevalo at 11:46 AM on November 13, 2011


SLYT posts with no subsequent info on Metafilter are of my least favorites. I never post a complaint, though, since I've never posted on the Blue myself.

This post has taken me on more of a ride than most others of recent memory, however. Partly due to the comments of everyone here, partly to the links (and links of the links), but mostly for taking me back to when music still moved me. I mean really moved me and had life-changing effects. Just watching that clip, which I haven't since, at least, 1993, sparked something in me today. Seems so silly to say, and perhaps even more silly to feel.

This comment isn't adding much, but is my way of saying thanks to xod for making me remember that, often times, less is more.
posted by makabampow at 2:58 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Surprised that MTV let her perform Irish Ways and Irish Laws, but it's incredible. Her version of Don't Cry for Me Argentina also makes Madonna's pale in comparison. And her version of performance of Mother with Roger Waters is breathtaking.

Best female vocalist of the last few decades imho.
posted by Redgrendel2001 at 3:02 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


That whole strange in-flux turn-of-the-decade period when Sinéad's face in close-up was all you could see anywhere you looked where a TV set was on, intoning Prince's lyrics in that black turtleneck, is still poignant to me -- because no other time ever again could ever be just like that.

Those were the days when MTV was being saturated with blazing colourful video effects. A bit of emotionally intense minimalism was like ice cold water: Nothing Compares 2U.
posted by ovvl at 4:04 PM on November 13, 2011


I too have spent the day watching YouTube videos and reading her blog. Partly to remember that time in my life (saw her in Denver in 1988, she had a baby with her and seemed very sprightly) and partly because I got to thinking about fierce truth tellers. Particularly how we shame and trivialize fierce truth tellers who are women.

Based on the comments on YouTube, comments about her on Twitter, her Twitter fan club pics, and even her own publicity stills on her own site, the worst thing Sinead O'Connor ever did was get old. And fat. And admit that, even though she's not some Hot Young Thang anymore, she still likes sex. And refuse to be ashamed of the fact that she's had depression.

I don't know what it means that today I'm getting most of my inspiration about how to be a middle aged woman from Rosanne Barr, Sinead O'Connor, and my old lesbian neighbors. All have gotten more comfortable with themselves, and less interested in pleasing others, as they've gotten older. And all of them have suffered some for it. But they each make it seem worth it.
posted by pomegranate at 5:17 PM on November 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


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