BP Fallon on his photograph of Shane MacGowan and Sinéad O’Connor, 1988

Haunted, recorded by Shane and Sinead in 1995, has become a classic

One time use only for Shane obitsBy BP Fallon

Ever since I brought Sinéad O’Connor round to Shane MacGowan and Victoria’s flat in London, new magical friendships blossomed. The record Haunted, sung by Shane and Sinead in 1995, is now a classic, Shane’s gnarly vocals embraced by Sinead’s voice of an angel.

Here, Sinead and Shane are in the Netherlands at The Pink Pop Festival in 1988: two of the greatest artists in contemporary music having a vibe together. I call this photo “Doc Martens & slippers”.

In early Pogues days I invited the whole group to take part in my radio show The BP Fallon Orchestra. The RTÉ Guide trumpeted “The BPFO Presents The Pogues In Conversations With 40 People (Often All At The Same Time)“. Shane and company fielded questions from the audience,.and the sometimes heated exchange was reported in the Irish papers. I like to think of it as The Pogues’ “Bill Grundy moment” – when The Sex Pistols swore at an idiotic Grundy on his Thames Television show – and it helped make The Pogues a household name in Ireland.

Shane had worked in Ted Carroll’s superb London record shop Rock On – namechecked by Phil Lynott in the Thin Lizzy song The Rocker – and had an exceedingly wide taste in music. He guested as a DJ in my club Death Disco in Dublin several times, and in Belfast too. Shane played everything from Elvis to the Sex Pistols to Margaret Barry. He was a one-off; there has been nobody quite like him.

Source: BP Fallon on his photograph of Shane MacGowan and Sinéad O’Connor, 1988

Blackbird in Dun Laoghaire – a poem by Joseph O’Connor

Blackbird in Dun Laoghaire was read by Joseph O’Connor at the funeral of his sister Sinéad O’Connor

There’s a blackbird in Dun Laoghaire
When I’m walking with my sons
Through the laneways
Called ‘The Metals’
By the train-tracks.

And he sings among the dandelions
And bottle-tops and stones,
Serenading purple ivy,
Weary tree-trunks.

And I have it in my head
That I can recognise his song,
Pick him out,
I mean distinct
From all his flock-mates.

Impossible, I know.
Heard one blackbird, heard them all.
But there are times
He whistles up a recollection.

There’s a blackbird in Dun Laoghaire –
And I’m suddenly a kid,
Asking where from here to Sandycove
My youngest sister hid.
I’m fourteen this Easter.
My job to mind her.
Good Friday on the pier –
And I suddenly can’t find her.

The sky like a bruise
By the lighthouse wall.
We were playing hide-and-seek.
Is she lost? Did she fall?
There’s a blackbird in Dun Laoghaire
And the terror’s like a wave
Breaking hard on a hull,
And the peoples’ faces grave

As Yeats on a banknote.
Stern as the mansions
Of Killiney in the distance,
As the pier’s granite stanchions,
And Howth is a drowned child
Slumped in Dublin Bay,
And my heart is a drum
And the breakers gull-grey.

The baths. It starts raining.
The People’s Park.
And my tears and the terns,
And the dogs’ bitter bark.
There’s a blackbird in Dun Laoghaire,
And I pray to him, then,
For God isn’t here,
In a sobbed Amen.

And she waves from the bandstand,
Her hair in damp strings,
And the blackbird arises
With a clatter of wings
From the shrubs by the teahouse,
Where old ladies dream
Of sailors and Kingstown
And Teddy’s ice-cream.

And we don’t say a word
But cling in the mizzle,
And the whistle of the bird
Getting lost in the drizzle.
Mercy weaves her nest
In the wildflowers and the leaves,
There are stranger things in heaven
Than a blackbird believes.

– Joseph O’Connor, 2010

Source: Blackbird in Dun Laoghaire – a poem by Joseph O’Connor

Listen to RTE audio of Joseph reciting his poem 

Fans are re-sharing Sinead O’Connor’s cover of Nirvana’s ‘All Apologies’

“Friendly reminder that Sinéad O’Connor also did one of the best Nirvana covers of all time”

Fans have been re-sharing Sinead O’Connor‘s cover of Nirvana‘s track ‘All Apologies’ in light of the Irish singer’s passing.

Her cover of the grunge hit was featured as the seventh track on her fourth studio album, 1994’s ‘Universal Mother’. O’Connor’s version of the song also transforms the Nirvana track into an acoustic ballad and the accompanying video features O’Connor singing in front of a house.

‘All Apologies’ was the second single from Nirvana’s third LP, 1993’s ‘In Utero’. It is most known for the stripped down version that the band played during their famous MTV Unplugged session.

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Sinead’s Grammy Awards triumph

By Johnny Foreigner

Following the sudden death of Sinead O’Connor, you would think that The Grammy Awards would have posted a tribute to the singer’s legendary performance from their 1989 televised broadcast. Thus far, they haven’t – probably because the Grammys never fail to suck. While there’s no mention of Sinead on the Grammy’s official website, there is, however, a video titled “Watch Catie Turner Reveal The One Fruit She Must Have On Her Tour Rider | Herbal Tea & White Sofas”


Comedian Billy Crystal hosted the 31st Annual Grammy Awards show in 1989, and it was he who introduced the 21-year-old Sinead as “no ordinary talent.” True, she was not ordinary. She was nothing short of magnificent.

Below is a clip of Sinead O’Connor, with her shaved head, wearing combat boots, a black halter top, and baggy ripped jeans, performing her song Mandinka.

Journalist Annie Zaleski remembers

“As the churning guitars to “Mandinka” start, O’Connor strides out from backstage, looking a bit nervous as she gets her bearings. When she starts singing, however, any hint of hesitancy falls away. Lithe and confident, O’Connor shimmies to the side and spins her torso in time to the music, immediately in a focused groove.
She pours her heart into the soaring pre-choruses, singing lines like “I don’t know no shame /
I feel no pain / I can’t”
with her eyes closed in concentration.
And by the time she reaches the sky-scraping chorus (“I do know Mandinka”), she stares straight ahead at the audience, stomping her feet in time to the buoyant beats in a burst of nervous energy.
Throughout the performance, she radiates contentment; in fact, her joy is infectious.
Even though she’s alone, there’s an intimacy to her delivery that’s deeply moving.”
Annie Zaleski for The Daily Beast 7/29/2023

Singer/Songwriter Fiona Apple remembers

One of the millions who watched was singer Fiona Apple, who posted this wonderful appreciation to YouTube, several years ago.

Singer Fiona Apple watching the legendary Grammy performance. Ms. Apple herself withdrew from the public eye after calling the trappings of fame “bullshit” at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards.

Phoebe Bridgers

“When I heard she died I was heartbroken. It reminded me of that one year, 2016, when everyone was dying, like Leonard Cohen and David Bowie. I thought, “There’s a hero I won’t meet.” When Sinéad died, it hit me the same way.” – Phoebe Bridgers | Continue at Rolling Stone