Desert Island Discs: Shirley Collins mesmerises
Class acts and (rather more than) schoolgirl French

The inner beauty of Sinead O'Connor (and three glorious reminders of her music)

I originally posted this modest tribute to Sinead O'Connor at the main Salut website after learning with great sadness of her death. Its proper home was probably Salut! Live. My pal and former colleague Mike Bealing has now given me an excuse to put that right, drawing attention to a Daily Telegraph reader's letter that serves as a heartwarming testament to Sinead's exceptionally kind nature. Scroll down to read it ...

I fell in love over and over with the singing of Sinead O'Connor, taken so soon at the age of 56,



She was undoubtedly a troubled woman. She had a wretched childhood and yet rose above the misery it caused to become a wonderful artist. And what a voice!   

For once, I agree with my friend Bill Taylor. Among so many tracks I could offer by way of tribute, her performance with the Chieftains of The Foggy Dew, in my view the finest song to come from the Easter Rising of Ireland in 1916.




But then there was Raglan Road:



And the great ballad Anachie Gordon:



Whatever your choice of Sinead O'Connor music, please just appreciate what she accomplished - and how Annie Lennox chose to honour her life:


u bared your soul…
Shared your brilliance
Through exquisite artistry
Your incredible voice..
Fierce and fragile
Lioness and lamb
Sweet singing bird
Keenly tuned
Tip-toeing along the high wire
Or stamping the ground
Bold and beautiful
Truth teller
Singer of songs
Crazy wisdom
Power house
Priest and Priestess
May the angels hold you
In their tender arms
And give you rest
In peace…

That is a moving homage. But now take a look at this utterly beautiful tribute to Sinead’s humanity ....



* The photo of Sinead is by Bryan Ledgard -, CC BY 2.0,


Robert Atkins

Oh boy, that letter is so, so moving.

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