Song of the Day #2,845: ‘War (Live)’ – Sinead O’Connor

sinead_war_popeIn late ’92, Sinead O’Connor performed her most controversial act, performing an a capella version of Bob Marley’s ‘War’ on Saturday Night Live, tying the lyrics to sex abuse in the Catholic Church, and finishing by tearing up a picture of the Pope.

That didn’t go over very well.

SNL was caught by surprise, as O’Connor has shown another picture (of a refugee child) during rehearsals. The network fielded hundreds of complaints and O’Connor became a target for politicians, religious figures and celebrities alike.

A couple of decades later, she doesn’t seem very crazy. Spotlight just won the Best Picture Oscar for depicting the Boston Globe’s uncovering of a massive sex abuse scandal in the church. The years between O’Connor’s protest and now have certainly cast that institution in a much different light.

Whether or not you agree with her message or her methods, you have to admit it was pretty ballsy for a 26-year-old to stand in front of a live TV audience and take a moral stand that could end her career.

Until the philosophy
Which holds one race superior
And another inferior
Is finally and permanently
Discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war

Until there is no longer first class
Or second class citizens of any nation
Until the color of a man抯 skin
Is of no more significance then
The color of his eyes
I抳e got to say “war”

That until the basic human rights
Are equally guaranteed to all
Without regard to race
I抣l say “war”

Until that day the dream of lasting peace
World-citizenship and the rule of
International morality will remain
Just a fleeting illusion to be pursued
But never obtained
And everywhere is war

Until the ignoble and unhappy regime
Which holds all of us through
Child-abuse, yeah, child-abuse yeah
Sub-human bondage has been toppled
Utterly destroyed
Everywhere is war

War in the east
War in the west
War up north
War down south
There is war
And the rumors of war

Until that day
There is no continent
Which will know peace

Children, children


We find it necessary
We know we will win
We have confidence in the victory
Of good over evil

Fight the real enemy!

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,845: ‘War (Live)’ – Sinead O’Connor

  1. Dana says:

    I don’t think Sinead’s reputation or popularity ever fully recovered from this, which is a shame as she was such a talent and on the right side of history.

  2. Peg says:

    It certainly was “ballsy” ! Sorry it hurt her career

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