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Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'

Posted by Sista Irie 
Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 05:05AM
From the Gleaner. A friend in Europe gave this a thumbs up:

peech on her tongue, Sinead O'Connor made her intentions clear at the Liguanea Club, New Kingston, on Monday evening.

"To me I have not made a reggae record, but a Rasta record," she said.

However, she also made it clear that "my intention is not to exploit the teachings of Rastafari, but to pass on the message to some who might not know that God and religion are two separate things."

That Rasta record is her latest album, Throw Down Your Arms, which was officially launched by musician Ibo Cooper, with Mutabaruka being the guest speaker.

The album's title is taken from a Burning Spear song - and appropriately so, as Spear's music dominates the set of cover versions, with He Prayed, Jah No Dead among the handful of remakes. Lee 'Scratch' Perry's Vampire, Peter Tosh's Downpresser Man, Buju Banton's Untold Stories, The Abyssinians Y Mas Gan, the Haile Selassie speech turned into song War and Junior Byles' Curly Locks also made the album.

Musicians and engineers in the all-Jamaican cast who worked on Throw Down Your Arms are Sly and Robbie, Robbie Lyn, Mikey Chung, Dean Frazer, Nambo Robinson, Chico Chin, Sticky Thompson, Keisha Patterson, Pam Hall, Bulby, Roland and Fatta.

With red, green and gold around the tent under which the official proceedings took place and thick joints of sugar cane in a similarly coloured cart in the area where the members of the audience could have a bite, O'Connor confirmed in words what was obvious to the eye, beginning her brief address with a reading from the book of the prophet Micah:

"In the last days it shall come to pass, that the house of the Lord shall be established on the top of the mountain... The law shall go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from Zion... Nation shall not lift up sword against nation... And each nation shall worship its own God and we will walk in the name of our God, Jah Rastafari."

THANKED RASTAFARIANS

O'Connor thanked Rastafarians for telling people that God and religion are separate, as well as having touched and saved individual lives. I would not be alive on this earth today if not for the teachings of Rastafari. When somebody saves your life, you owe them. I dedicate my life entirely to the teachings of Rastafari," she said.

In the end she had kudos for Jamaica as "the most incredible country, with the most incredible people in the world. So thank you Jamaica for everything and Jah, Rastafari!"

O'Connor told The Gleaner that she does not plan to do a reggae album with original songs and that the tour for Throw Down Your Arms starts in August and continues until next summer, with a stop in Jamaica either before or after doing the US in 2006.

Mutabaruka pointed out that when O'Connor had publicly torn up a picture of the Pope, she had been wearing a red, green and gold sash.

He said that "there is something that the Rastaman is saying that is seeping into the mind of radicalism. The children of the oppressors might see the necessity to react to a certain state and condition that the Rasta man has been saying exist for a long time".

Sinead O'Connor is reacting to a system that is pushing a dogma on the people," he said.

He also gave credit to Sly and Robbie for passing "the borders of boxing music into boxes".

And Ibo Cooper recalled a time when "not even radio in Jamaica did want to play reggae. That's why we had to have a reggae radio station. We pass that stage, but we have to remember."



"love shines brighter than the morning sun"
bee
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 08:10AM
!franco!
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 12:32PM
sinead o' conner sang the war speach on 'saturday night live' a bunch of years back, and then ripped up a picture of the pope, she had ites-gold-and-green on the mic,


anyone else remeber that
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 12:57PM
>yeh she got a massive chunk of hollywood to host statments against her for that including danny devito & others who pretty much forced her future off commercial radio/mtv ect..
>got 2B running out of that hit single's ca$h by now after the long 'enforced' dry spell.
>find it only hard to believe she took this long to get pro-active again pon her beleifs*
-RASpects+
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 01:06PM
I can't say I like the idea of her tearing up the picture of a man who played an important role in combatting communism (there ain't no Jah in Marxism) and in helping the poor downtrodden masses, but I understand the value of the statement. I'm stoked she chose an Abysinnians song as well.

Jah be praised!

This is from the www.jamaicaobserver.com web site:

Sinead O'Connor launches first reggae album
Michael A Edwards, Observer writer
Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Irish singer Sinead O'Connor (right) with Jamaican drummer Sly Dunbar at the lauch of her first ever reggae album at the Liguanea Club in Kingston Monday night. Dunbar, along with other top Jamaican musicians, played on the set. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

"The teachings of Rastafari saved my life, and when someone saves your life the least you can do is give back."
With those words Irish singer Sinead O'Connor put forth her latest album, Throw Down Your Arms, at the Liguanea Club in Kingston on Monday night.

Flanked by "Riddim Twins" Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, who played on the set, the singer, known for her buzz-cut hairstyle, began her address with an appropriate extract from the Biblical book of Micah, which speaks to men "beating their swords into plowshares, and their spares into pruning hooks".

She then paid tribute to the roots reggae greats whose songs are covered on the album, including Burning Spear (the title track, among others), Peter Tosh (Downpressor Man) Junior Byles (Curly Locks) and Bob Marley and the Wailers (War), among others.

Declaring that her mission was to "rescue God from religion", O'Connor hailed Rastafarianism for its transformative role in her life and the lives of others.

Controversy has dogged the singer over the last decade over her outspoken political and religious views.

In 1999, O'Connor abandoned her vow of celibacy about three months after becoming a priestess of the Latin Tridentine Church, a maverick Catholic splinter creed.

"I meant well by doing the celibacy thing but it doesn't work for me because I need love and affection ..." she was quoted by Agence France Presse (AFP).

She also caused quite a stir in New Jersey after refusing to perform because the US national anthem was played before the show, and gained notoriety by ripping up a picture of then Pope John Paul II on a US national television broadcast.

On Monday night, O'Connor was preceded on the podium by emcee Michael 'Ibo' Cooper and talk show host/dub poet Mutabaruka. The latter furthered the Rasta agenda, pointing out that "is Rasta do all a de song dem whe she have pon de album".

Cooper, in illustrating a long-standing connection between Jamaica and Ireland, stated that Irish nationals had been under the slave yoke in Jamaica and the Caribbean during the reformative reign of Oliver Cromwell in England in the mid-17th Century.

The album, 12 tracks strong, was recorded at Tuff Gong in Kingston and is being released on O'Connor's Chocolate and Vanilla label.

O'Connor, who is currently being managed by Sanctuary Management (Danny Heaps), has already released four other albums - The Lion And The Cobra in 1987; I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got in 1990; Am I Not Your Girl, 1992; and Universal Mother, 1994.

Her cover of Prince's Nothing Compares 2 U, from her second album, went to # 1 in 17 countries, including Ireland, the UK and the US
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 01:17PM
I can't say I like the idea of her tearing up the picture of a man who played an important role in combatting communism (there ain't no Jah in Marxism) and in helping the poor downtrodden masses, but I understand the value of the statement.

Do, please, edify me as to exactly what Pope Paul II did to either combat communism or help the poor downtrodden masses. From where I stand, the only objection I saw the pope had towards communism was not that form of government, but merely the fact that it did not allow for the spread of christianity there. And as for the downtrodden masses, I see nuf of them putting their hard earned money on a collection plate every Sunday, but have yet to see how the church has actually worked to improve the shituation for them.

You may say there is no Jah in Marxism, but I say 'Do you know, social living is the best'
Jackie Pablo
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 01:25PM
"Do you know, social living is the best"

Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 02:14PM
Yes on a social level, I'd say Rasta can't be more communal. One intriguing thing about Rasta is it doesn't align itself prefectly with any philosophy, rather has things in common with opposing philosophies. Always fascinated by that.


fourtwentyplenty
jb welda
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 02:34PM
i saw that and i thought it a shame that she couldnt sing her own songs to make a laughing stock of herself behind.

didnt she just a few years ago quit show business and tell everyone to leave her alone? too bad she doesnt follow her own advice.

one love
jah bill
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 03:04PM
jb always willing to give a gal a chance
jb welda
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 03:07PM
yeah cat reduce it to the lcd and call me a sexist. thats some real deep thought there.

one love
jah bill
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 03:32PM
JB did I say that? c'mon now. gal was just becauseshe is one.
jb welda
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 04:10PM
sorry, perhaps im getting a little aggro...

but i cant take sinead oconner too much and that ultra preachy stunt on SNL just made me roll on the floor laughing...and like i said, wishing she would write her own lyrics for her political statements.

one love
jah bill
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 04:15PM
Seen JB, I just had no idea that she had love for Rastafari, I figured her anti Pope stance was from being in raised in Ireland. Just the general angst and anger that people who see religous exploitation might feel.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 04:41PM
JB jealous he hasnt released a new album maybe??

isnt it always the jealous that have to take everyone down to make themelves feel better..

big up Sinead and all people making waves..



"It takes a whole village to raise a child" African Proverb
jb welda
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 04:52PM
>JB jealous he hasnt released a new album maybe??

maybe.

>isnt it always the jealous that have to take everyone down to make themelves
>feel better..

are you jealous?

>big up Sinead and all people making waves..

george bush makes waves, do you "big up" him too?

one love
jah bill
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 04:54PM
no.

positive waves..


;-)



"It takes a whole village to raise a child" African Proverb
jb welda
what others say...
August 10, 2005 04:58PM
[www.bloodandfire.co.uk]

one love
jah bill

Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 05:15PM
Asked for edifiction by Daniel, I reply. Please don't flame me for being long winded or off topic.... :-)

Let's turn to the Encyclopedia. This is from Wikipedia on John Paul II:

"Pope John Paul II's reign innovated in many ways. He was the first non-Italian to reign since the 16th century. His early reign was marked by his opposition to Communism, and he is often credited as one of the forces which brought about the fall of the Soviet Union. In other domains, he advocated socially conservative values such as opposition to abortion and promoting the "sanctity of marriage", but also economically progressive ones such as an emphasis on social justice and the fight against poverty. During his reign, the pope travelled extensively, visiting over 100 countries, more than any of his predecessors."

Hmmm...ecomonically progressive....social justice....fight against poverty. Check.

Not only first non-Italian, but also Polish. He was elected when Poland was still under Soviet occupation. They are now part of the EU!

(Below is from the [religion-cults.com] web site.)

Check out what Lech Walesa and Gorbachev say about JP2 near end of paragraph below:

"John Paul II has been credited with helping to bring down communism in eastern Europe by sparking what amounted to a peaceful revolution in his Polish homeland...actually, John Paul II was a catalyst in the collapse of Communism.

On June 2, 1979: Historic homily of John Paul II at Victory Square in Warsaw: "It is not possible to understand the history of the Polish nation without Christ."

January 15, 1981: John Paul II receives in audience a delegation headed by Lech Walesa of the Polish Independent Syndicate Solidarnosc.

Solidarity is the labor movement against Communism that took place in Poland in the 1980s and eventually brought democracy to Poland and the downfall of communism in eastern Europe, including Russia.

Lech Walesa, the founder of the Solidarity worker movement that ultimately toppled communism, credited John Paul with giving Poles the courage to rise up. "The pope started this chain of events that led to the end of communism," Walesa said. "Before his pontificate, the world was divided into blocs. Nobody knew how to get rid of communism. "He simply said: Don't be afraid, change the image of this land. .....

John Paul II's 1979 trip was the fulcrum of revolution which led to the collapse of Communism. Timothy Garton Ash put it this way, "Without the Pope, no Solidarity. Without Solidarity, no Gorbachev. Without Gorbachev, no fall of Communism." (In fact, Gorbachev himself gave the Kremlin's long-term enemy this due, "It would have been impossible without the Pope."winking smiley It was not just the Pope's hagiographers who told us that his first pilgrimage was the turning point. Skeptics who felt Wojtyla was never a part of the resistance said everything changed as John Paul II brought his message across country to the Poles. And revolutionaries, jealous of their own, also look to the trip as the beginning of the end of Soviet rule. "

Good enough for Gorbachev and Walesa, good enough for E-Jah!

As to poverty, he went to many African countries, Cuba, India, Jamaica, Brazil, Bangladesh etc.. to shame their governments and the first world into action. Catholic charities have been a major vehicle for the alleviation of poverty; the money collected on the plate very often goes to people who really need it...not just statues and gold crap roudn the church.

Also, he was very vocal in the oppostion to nuclear weapons (remember the 80's?) ; he also spoke out against US occupation of Iraq; met with Arafat and Israeli leaders on many occasions; he visited the guy who shot him to forgive him, etc... the do-gooder list is too long.

The man led an exemplary life. Speaking out against what was wrong and doing it effectively. Righteous living, mon.

Everybody bitches about the bad, few see the good.

E-Jah

Jah be praised.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 05:54PM
Good work E-Jah. I guess my opposition (and Sinead's too i presume) is not to the individual, but rather to the institution that he represents
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 06:05PM
> Everybody bitches about the bad, few see the good.

word!
huah
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 10, 2005 07:23PM
>and like i said, wishing she would write her own lyrics for her political statements.

um bro she was quoting Bob Marley who was quoting H.I.M. sooooo...that statement could apply to Bob too
jb welda
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 08:37AM
well he wasnt exactly *quoting* HIM because i believe the speech was given in amheric and im pretty sure his song took some liberties with the speech, but you do have a point. still...sinead didnt write it...

one love
jah bill
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 09:37AM
Wow--what a conversation this has sparked! I am by no means trying to be inflammatory but I just have to ask a question here. Can someone explain to me how it is that someone who claims to be Rasta can also support the Pope? Again, just asking for education. Not trying to jude or make assumptions about anyone. Give thanks in advance for what I KNOW will be a kind and peaceful reply.
Sinn Fein
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 10:41AM
Some things are unchangable...the sun rising and setting, the ebb and flow of the tides, Skinhead O'Connor desperately attempting to garner attention to revive her moribund career.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 11:16AM
So many little haters and nay-sayers-Reggae Snobs....

I have always repected Sinead. She has an incredible voice for one, and number two, she is not a sell out. She stands up for what she believes in. I hardly think that her producing a "reggae" CD is going to take her to pop stardom again, nor do I think that is what she hoped to accomplish in doing so. The collection of music that she has chosen to cover on her album is testimony to the repect and honor she holds for Rastafari and I see it as nothing more than a compliment.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 12:14PM
I'd like to hear this. She's always struck me as someone who's had her heart in the right place, albeit not possessed of much of a sense of humor. She chose some of my favorite old chestnuts to cover; it should be interesting to hear what she does with them.
fwiw I was told by a friend in the early JA recording scene that Spear's original lyrics were "don't you know socialism is the best" until some other rastas reminded him not to deal with 'isms' or 'schisms', after which he changed 'socialism' to 'social living'.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 12:25PM
>...sinead didnt write it...


...then neither did bob....are you going to diminsh bob's perfomance of the song...based on the fact that it was originally in amheric as well?....

..and we all know how much reggae artists don't like to do cover songs...(that's sarcastic)...
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 03:24PM
> Sinn Fein

... bun, datchu?
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 03:25PM
will bring another set/type of fan to reggae

one peace roots-ee
[thearkband.com]
bun
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 06:26PM
not I.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 07:28PM
Your Pope in recent Rasta lyrics:

Fire pon Rome,
Fi Pope Paul an him scissors an comb,
Black people waan go home
A Mount Zion a di righteous throne

---

well di best tings mi get fi dem judgement go set fi dem
tell di black oman say Rastafar I check fi dem
tell di ghetto yutes sizzla kalonji say a raspect fi dem
saddamite and batty bwoie mi say a death fi dem
watch it mek mi chop off di pope paul neck fi dem
watch it mek mi chop off di politician neck fi dem
bun babylon and mi a bun out elizabeth fi dem
hail king SELASSIE nutten caan contest wi den

----

Babylon gu hush up your mouth you're too cranky
John Pope mi no know, no uncle nor aunty

----

No man can't kiss me pon mi jaw
Worship Pope Paul Rastaman? Naw

---

Rasta run the heavens, run the earth and run the seas
We burn pope benedict and Hercules
And hail Melchesidek the higher priest
We show them love, but they want no peace

---

They drunk off the harlot wine and merry mocker
De pope want de collection plate fi get fatter.

---

Bun Pope Paul, them a sey mi confuse it,
Stop a Italy, Italian them groove it,
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 11, 2005 07:42PM
What Lionhear707 said is certainly worth repeating:

"So many little haters and nay-sayers-Reggae Snobs....

I have always repected Sinead. She has an incredible voice for one, and number two, she is not a sell out. She stands up for what she believes in. I hardly think that her producing a "reggae" CD is going to take her to pop stardom again, nor do I think that is what she hoped to accomplish in doing so. The collection of music that she has chosen to cover on her album is testimony to the repect and honor she holds for Rastafari and I see it as nothing more than a compliment."

I co-sign on those exact same sentiments.

Well said, Idren.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 12, 2005 10:09AM
big up one heart
didnt know any RAS who supported the pope either till now yes he did many good things in the public eye ,but what about all the fu%%ery behind the scenes why is the vatican only for those chosen few JAH love and knowledge is for everyone not some human chosen commitee deemed worthy, whats the big deal anyway are reggae artist not pure ? they have covered songs in all genres seen? go check fi dat
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 12, 2005 04:14PM
"didnt she just a few years ago quit show business and tell everyone to leave her alone? too bad she doesnt follow her own advice."-JB

Yeah Jah Bill I too question her motives. she seems to be all over the Map.
It would appear she's searching for something.

But I gotta say it did take a lot of courage to do that on SNL at a time when there was NO coverage about pedophile priests.

Michael
Maconha
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 14, 2005 12:06AM
RASpect

"...he did many good things in the public eye, but what about all the fu%%ery behind the scenes..." great point standing ow!!! ya statement applies not only 2 da poope, but 2 leaders da world ova...dem a come in public foolin da people wid dem "good acts", while workin against JAH da whole while...how long till idrens c through dem?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!

Consciousness cova da earth...
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 14, 2005 01:03AM
<<Some things are unchangable...the sun rising and setting, the ebb and flow of the tides, Skinhead O'Connor desperately attempting to garner attention to revive her moribund career.>>

"Skinhead O'Connor" That brings back a lot memories.
I saw her at first Avenue back home in Minnieapolis right after LION AND THE COBRA came out.
Everyone called her that back then.
But that record to this day has a special sound to me especially Troy.
her performance was lackluster but her band was great.
I don't know, she just seemed lost throughout her entire carreer to me.

Michael
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 14, 2005 09:18AM
thats how most people are until they find RASTAFARI



&quot;It takes a whole village to raise a child&quot; African Proverb
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 14, 2005 05:04PM
Hasn't sinead quit the music business, proclaimed to be a lesbian, and become a priet in a non-rome affiliated sect of catholicism all within the last 10 years or so? that all just reeks of someone seeking publicity.



Dr. Suess (aka Ras James)
Irie Sounds International
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 14, 2005 05:32PM
I thought at the time, it was the coolest thing on SNL since Cypress Hill blazed one on live T.V. I had no knowledge of Rastafari, but I had been recently learnig of the atrocities and sacrilige that was going on in the Catholic religion. No offense Catholics, just stating facts I was informed about. It took a lot of courage and virtually ended her marketability. Similar sitcho with Joan Osbourne. All she did was mention the Pope's name in a hit song. That song was wrongfully snuffed from the Grammy's, and she ain't been heard from since. She was a pretty big thing for a minute too. Talent refused to be heard. Funny that no one in the industry has a problem with R Kelly still makin music.



~HIGHEST HEIGHTZ EVERY TIME~
Nat_T
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 21, 2005 07:28AM
Smaddy seh "I too question her motives. she seems to be all over the Map. It would appear she's searching for something."

Dis yah statement discribe nuff white people weh involve wit reggae music. Seen? Suh, wat ah di problem with Sinead?
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 21, 2005 11:00AM
Onna Sunday morn, I reflect that whatever one thinks abt Miz O'Conner,
you can't accuse of her of going for the easily-travelled road, the commercial
sure-shot. Mind you, her humorless earnestness reminds me of a breed of
female I call 'church ladies', a group always in need of lightening up and
not taking theirself TOO seriously...you shouldn't lose yrself while trying to change what's wrong in de world.

But blessings, IMO, to Sinead---can you imagine what the US goverment dossiers
on her look like???
Papa Wheelie
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 22, 2005 02:55PM
I heard three tracks from her upcoming album, and although they are cover songs, Marcus Garvey-B.Spear, Throw down your arms-B.Spear & Downpressor man-P.Tosh, she did an excellent job. It helps that she was backed up by true Reggae musicians, Sly & Robbie (as far as i can tell). There is also an explanation of why she did this project & I think her heart was in the right place. She has massive respect for Reggae, Reggae musicians & Rastafari, which is more then I can say for most mainstream musicians. Listen before you judge. Respect Sinead.
P.W.
I liked it better then the Willie Nelson cut I heard.
Respect Willie.
jb welda
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 22, 2005 03:09PM
reggae aint gonna get anywhere with do-overs of already way overdone songs. all this junk goes into my "dont even bother with this" pile and that pile is overflowing with all the marleys etc doing over their fathers stuff. imo this is one more reason why reggae music is taking a real nosedive with the general public: too much copy cat from peripheral performers at the expense of those who deserve the support.

one love
jah bill
pale ryder
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 22, 2005 03:18PM
Amen to that.....Need some new artists that have musical ability instead of just vocal ability. A tall order......
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 22, 2005 03:29PM
I have the full CD of both Sinead and Willie's albums.

Sinead's is better but I think she could have chosen better Rasta songs to cover. I think she should have dug into Bunny's Blackheart Man or any Culture for tunes that better suit her vocal style.

That said, it's a good album and I'm really enjoying her take on Buju's "Untold Stories" and Spear's "Jah Nuh Dead"
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 22, 2005 03:43PM
does she do a cover of Bunny's Baldheaded Woman?



Dr. Suess (aka Ras James)
Irie Sounds International
Papa Wheelie
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 22, 2005 09:08PM
How about Crazy Baldhead? I never want to see Reggae go commercial. It would wind up being watered down poppy crap. Plus it won't be accepted because it has a positive message and commercial radio just wants negative. The last thing I want to see is Brittney Spears going a Reggae album, but if you read Sinead's reasoning written in the liner notes she says she is not trying to out do or do a better version of a song, but she has experienced an awakening in spirit due to Rastafari and Reggae. She felt compelled to give her respect to the great artists who's visions and words have uplifted & inspired her to a higher high that she has not experienced before. I agree in that how many times can you hear a Bob Marley cover and not roll your eyes, but everyone has to start somewhere. I believe it was Bob Marley & Augustus Pablo who ultimately opened my eyes. How about you? If we start bagging on people who are looking for a positive, intelligent message and a new bright light, then we should be ashamed of ourselves for pushing those away. Reggae will "get somewhere" all by it's self. It will find those who need to be found, and those who need to find it will.
Love & Respect To All,
P.W.
bun
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
August 25, 2005 12:25PM
Did she do a cover of Log On?
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 01, 2005 04:42PM
I am listening to this cd front to back right now and blown away. I think all the purists will be amazingly surprised at the quality of this release. Her covers of Winston Rodney, Peter Tosh, Abysinnians, Isreal Vibration, and more are beautifully done. I hear in Europe there is a second dub cd. I suggest everyone check this cd out. It is truly wikked...used Jamaican players, studios, etc. I would never say this has any commercialism attached to it. It is pure roots. There are more reggae artists who make reggae sound commercial. She keeps it real.

Ten percent of the proceeds go to Rastafarian elders.

Do yourself a favor...just check it out.



Post Edited (10-01-05 16:44)

&quot;love shines brighter than the morning sun&quot;
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 01, 2005 04:54PM
Thanks Sis, I'll check it out....

Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 02, 2005 02:40PM
People is this a reggae/rasta site or what?????Rasta burn fire upon the Pope of Rome, ..... Revelations... who is the whore of Babylon who lives in the only nation within a nation.....look at your history you who defend the workings of the devil... the Pope a humanitarian/????
And Rasta does not separate Jah from their religion and livity, Sinead is just another poser of Rasta. And Muta is an agent for separation and confusion. People life is red, it is not a rose patch of happiness. Has anyone travelled out of the country and seen how people live and struggle???
Idealism is not part of the Rasta struggle... Wake up and live!!!!
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 02, 2005 03:09PM
I have to ask who are you to say who and who is a poser of Rasta? I have met as many Jamaican 'posers' as I ever will people of other countries. They are all over the island and some call out Rastafari and chant, drum and sing nyabinghi. There are Rasta imposters in every race, creed and country. There are also those of a clean heart who site up the true nature of Rasta love. I would not think any of us can say what Sinead OConner is or isn't. I can reflect on what I think of her music.

And why would you think people here have not seen the struggle of people outside and inside this country? I am sure there are many here who have seen some of the poorest places in the world. I am sad to say I have. Yes, it is a rough reality but I don't agree that idealism is not a part of Rasta. Rasta is a strong liberationist movement but it is also a statement about living a humble peaceful loving life, which nowadays is pretty idealistic.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 02, 2005 03:12PM
The Angels in Mount Zion rejoiced that day when Pope Paul went down that old dragon the tormentor and deceiver of the whole world. Every Rastaman in the earth every single day prayed for the destruction of the Pope of Rome. The old dragon is slain give thanks and praise; gone down to meet Satan his father to burn in the fire yes Iya. Fire in the City of Vatican from the rising of the Sun until the going down of the same. Jah Rastafari!
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 02, 2005 03:19PM
I give thanks that Sinead is starting to look to His Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie the 1rst; Mighty Redeemer. Then she will learn the words of the King that sayeth "...Man without religion is like a ship without a rudder to be cast upon the rocks to his destruction."
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 02, 2005 03:38PM
My favorite religious song.

Stained glass windows keep the cold outside
While the hypocrites hide inside
With the lies of statues in their minds
Where the Christian religion made them blind
Where they hide
And prey to the God of a bitch spelled backwards is dog
Not for one race, one creed, one world
But for money
Effective
Absurd

Do you pray to the Holy Ghost when you suck your host
Do you read who's dead in the Irish Post
Do you give away the cash you can't afford
On bended knees and pray to the lord
Fat pig priest
Sanctimonious smiles
He takes the money
You take the lies

This is religion and Jesus Christ
This is religion cheaply priced
This is bibles full of libel
This is sin in eternal hymn
This is what they've done
This is your religion
The apostles were eleven
Now there's a sod in Heaven
This is religion
There's a liar on the altar
The sermon never falter
This is religion
Your religion

John Lydon

Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 02, 2005 04:11PM
Well I give her props for the album but have to say that I like the dub CD (available only in Europe) better than the Vocal CD.....
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 02, 2005 05:23PM
I love the dubs, too, Daniel. Very well done. I just love her voice. Sweet and lilting like Zemas.



Post Edited (10-02-05 17:24)

&quot;love shines brighter than the morning sun&quot;
wolete kristos
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 02, 2005 05:25PM
yes brother man---IT IS OUR RELIGION DUDE!!! I thought that this was a rasta reasoning site, but alas it is not. Love what you love people and again, reggae music is rasta music, don't look at the artist listen to the music, the message, and look at yourself and your livity. I don't judge Babylonians, I know who you are that's why Rasta people have to hide out and don't socialize too much. We are afraid of you people.... low minded, trying to analyze that which you cannot analyze ever in life. Rasta is reserved for those called. Go to Pope Paul, run, don't stop. BUT LEAVE RASTA ALONE, WE ARE NOT FORCING YOU TO BE RASTA, NO ONE CAN BE FORCED TO RASTA, RASTA JUST IS .... FOR THOSE SCIENCE PEOPLE.
P.S. I am not against science, I have a master's in science, HIM exalted human advancement.
wolete kristos
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 02, 2005 05:31PM
OH YAHH ------ FIRE FOR A HOLY GHOST AND THE POPE PAUL FALSE DOCTRINE!!!
IT IS HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY, EMPOROR HAILE SELASSIE I THE FIRST WHO WE CELEBRATE AND PRAISE AS THE POWER OF THE HOLY TRINITY..... THE HOLY SPIRIT MY BROTHER.... NO DUPPY SPIRTIT IN THE HOLY ETHIOPIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, THAT WHICH GAVE HIS MAJESTY HIS NAME AND OPENED THE SEVEN SEALS THEREOF.....
Ras
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 03, 2005 01:07PM
We had this same conversation about a month ago when this news came out and everyone want to bash sinead good to see some support here for jah works. cause it is more so apparent that a heap of people here dont really understand the music. and JB the thing giving reggae a bad look are these lunatics that have to burn everything they dont agree with. hipocrites. who can they judge?

one love
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 03, 2005 02:48PM
HOT BLAZING FIRE FOR A BUNCH OF WEST COAST POSERS WHO DONT KNOW RASTA, AND NEVER WILL............SINEAD IS A CORRUPTOR OF RASTA VIBES,SHE IS A LESBIAN AND HAS HER OWN RELIGION. THIS IS SIMPLY CONFUSION AND LEADING LOST SOULS ASTRAY. ONCE AGAIN LEAVE RASTA TO RASTA.... IF YOU KNEW RASTA YOU WOULD NOT CALL US HIPPOCRITES, WE BURN OUT IDIATS WHO THINK THEY ARE RASTA EXPERTS WHO ARENT EVEN RASTA. NEVER WALKED AS A RASTA DON'T KNOW THE TROD...ONLY KNOW THEIR CONTORTED VERSION OF WHAT THEY WANT RASTA TO BE....PEOPLE LEAVE US ALONE OR LEARN ABOUT RASTA AND STOP BEING SUCH WHITE TYPICAL KNOW IT ALLS ( I AM A WHITE WOMAN), BUT MY HUSBAND CONTINUES TO TELL ME TO LEAVE YOU PEOPLE BEHIND..... WE DON'T THROW OUR PEARLS TO YOU SWINES THIS IS EVIDENT. STICK WITH YOUR WEST COAST BLEEDING HEART LIBERALISM AND LEAVE RASTA ALONE.
pale ryder
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 03, 2005 03:20PM
You might want to save some of that fire for when the lights go out. You are no judge, so stop acting like one. Who granted you the authority to speak the way you do? Your husband? How many kids does he have that were not by you? Stereotypes suck huh?
trinitymlk
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 03, 2005 03:31PM
What is Ninjacat on Vacation or something??

Someone needs to school this self-ritcheous, self-loathing, paranoid soul.

> I thought that this was a rasta reasoning site

Wrong..read the fine print Wolette "This message board is a place for people to reason about reggae music and the SNWMF."

Know your culture....It was Rasta that adopted Reggae and not the other way around.

Your banter sounds about as enlightened as any other close-minded fundamentalist blindly regurgitating someone elses idiotic misinterpretations of the bible.

>HOT BLAZING FIRE FOR A BUNCH OF WEST COAST POSERS WHO DONT KNOW RASTA, AND NEVER WILL............

It sounds like you are the one trying a little too hard honey....

I think all that fabric around your head may be cutting off circulation to your brain. Ease Up the pressure!! -MK

Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 03, 2005 03:34PM
Kristos, Rasta comes from the Master who set forth many a teaching. READ the Bible. Yes this may be half the story, but it IS part of the story. READ THE BIBLE. Are you without sin? Be careful Wolete, are you not afraid G-d will wither your right hand when you start puching those keys on this keyboard? I do not know who you speak of as being West Coast, I know that Jah is not a respector of person nor location. I do not know what is in your heart and niether do you know what is in mine so hold your tongue.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 03, 2005 04:30PM
Kristos,

One question.


Over compensate much?

Jah Rastafari, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of The Tribe of Judah, His Imperial Majesty, Hallie Selassie the 1st....

Loves you.

In fact, he loves us all.

Come into the light.


Bless,



Christopher
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 03, 2005 05:55PM
"HOT BLAZING FIRE FOR A BUNCH OF WEST COAST POSERS WHO DONT KNOW RASTA, AND NEVER WILL............SINEAD IS A CORRUPTOR OF RASTA VIBES,SHE IS A LESBIAN AND HAS HER OWN RELIGION. THIS IS SIMPLY CONFUSION AND LEADING LOST SOULS ASTRAY. ONCE AGAIN LEAVE RASTA TO RASTA.... IF YOU KNEW RASTA YOU WOULD NOT CALL US HIPPOCRITES, WE BURN OUT IDIATS WHO THINK THEY ARE RASTA EXPERTS WHO ARENT EVEN RASTA. NEVER WALKED AS A RASTA DON'T KNOW THE TROD...ONLY KNOW THEIR CONTORTED VERSION OF WHAT THEY WANT RASTA TO BE....PEOPLE LEAVE US ALONE OR LEARN ABOUT RASTA AND STOP BEING SUCH WHITE TYPICAL KNOW IT ALLS ( I AM A WHITE WOMAN), BUT MY HUSBAND CONTINUES TO TELL ME TO LEAVE YOU PEOPLE BEHIND..... WE DON'T THROW OUR PEARLS TO YOU SWINES THIS IS EVIDENT. STICK WITH YOUR WEST COAST BLEEDING HEART LIBERALISM AND LEAVE RASTA ALONE."

Why do you find it necessary to justify what you say by including you are white? Rastas are quite adept at seeing things that they don't agree with in regards to how Rasta is perceived, but most stay quiet and humble and let JAH or JAH music be the guiding light. AND, it is indeed true that Rasta embraced reggae (not the other way around) as the medium to pass on their knowledge. What you have written would be perceived by many RAS as equally Babylonian. Be careful, you could easily become the thing you despise most.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 03, 2005 09:12PM
****, half the Jamaicans who sing/dj about Rasta today are false dreads, why single out Sinead.

Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 03, 2005 09:30PM
Chimino makes a good point there, artists that actually live what they sing about on stage are pretty rare to come by. Peace.



Dr. Suess (aka Ras James)
Irie Sounds International
Ras
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 12:17AM
I'm not white or from the west coast but you seem to judge! Maybe you should just look at the history... and what I said! Was it to you? Guess so... maybe if we stopped burning sh*$ and started loving it things could be better... But is that what you want?? I wonder?!? Doesn't seem like it.

One Love
East and West and North and South and well how bout' we jut throw in all the coast... and maybe the land too!
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 12:41AM
The new Rasta vibe from way of the V. I. say "Live what you talk, talk what you live" - Ras Bumba... Them a stay true, so far.
Forward the New Rasta Vibe Dem , it is alive!!
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 07:02AM
yo leave the west coast behind.... long before I met my husband, HIM found me, I married my husband in 1998, I have been growing natty since 1992. We are married in the Holy Ethiopian Orthodox Church, and my husband has one child, with me, we both have university degrees and work professionally and own our home. So stop thinking that Rasta is what you see through those reggae dreads in Cali.
KNOW RASTA OR DON'T WRITE ABOUT RASTA.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
and Rasta people are fire people because life is red in these times...............
but yes peace and love is what Rasta desires, take some advice that I was given as a younger woman searching out Rasta, don't talk about Rasta unless you have a personal relationship with His Imperial Majesty.
And the true Rasta people who live in Cali, hide out and don't go around weak hearts trying to fight Rasta principles.
One heart in the struggle of Rasta.
PS we follow the ways of HIM, that is one woman and one man, as set by the Holy Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 07:21AM
Sinead was just on CNN. Very nice story filmed at Tuff Gong. It looked like a big happy party, Sly, Robbie, Dean Fraser and many old time players of instruments. I hear Sinead will be on the late night talk shows starting tonight. Ya'll will have to check your schedules. For me it will be CST. I also want to big up that Sinead is giving a portion of the proceeds to the Rastafarian elders. My husband who is also an elder finds this very heartwarming seeing and hearing the respect paid to his bredren, many of whom have a hard time making it through the late stages of life with little financial support. I hope other artists who know Rasta love will consider helping the elders who have presented the foundation of Rasta into music that enriches all of our lives.

Again, I would recommend for anyone who wants to hear about Rasta from the words of an elder Rastaman to check 'Book of Memory' as told by Prince Elijah Williams. Prince Elijah is well known to many in Jamaica and his memory of Rasta livity especially in regards to the Coral Gardens Incident is as close to the truth that will ever be found in written documentaries.

Prince Elijah Williams (photo by Michael Kuelker)



Brother Ricky says to let Rasta love shine bright. It sees no color and requires no dogma. Just love, shining bright. Reggae music is the people's music and altho many are called, few are chosen. Beware of false prophets.

None of my university experience can hold a candle to the knowledge I have gained being married to Brother Ricky. His university was the Caribbean sea. It's funny, in the long time we have been married, I never hear him tell anyone what Rasta is and isn't. He just lets Jah light shine where it will.

Brother Ricky attending classes at the University of Sea...seen?




&quot;love shines brighter than the morning sun&quot;
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 07:54AM
Moab Ambessa Zemnegede Yuoda Germawi Kedemawi Haile Selassie Negus Negast Ze Ethiopia. Jah Rastafari Creator of I and I. Yeah, as I would say blessed love to one and all in the name of the King.Right now we as Rasta people need to check the ways of the King. How many Universities did His Majesty build? How many Hospitals?How many Roads factories and Telecommunication systems? natty Jah Rastafari know the pace needs to be stepped up. It is Haila to be seated upon the seas If it is constructive, notwithstanding His Majesty is the Pioneer of Progress and Modernization and The Minister Of Education. What are you going to tell the King a man who never sleep but work and Prays every single Day? Peace and Love is the consuming fire it will burn Red; A lot I and I just have the zeal of the King but are ignorant of His ways and thus have become His enemies. Read research Learn of His ways; Why is Jah known as Defender of the Faith. Done I done talk yu hear cause right now it is late in the day the evening is approaching. I shall not be caught in the darkness mi a go have my Lamp full of oil ready. Selassie I the First Almighty God.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 08:20AM
Well said ForwardZion, but it is PRESSURE who sings those lyrics!!!
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 04:04PM
Pressure cd got a great response on my radio show last weekend. I was really impressed with the number of calls. Now if only I could get that touring group to Austin Texas as well...now that we are finally getting Midnite.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 04:24PM
Glad to hear the Austin massive enjoyed the tunes Sis. In addition to some outstanding riddims (courtesy of Dean Pond, formerly with Culture), the album is full of upful messages, and some great hooks:

(Politicians) Live what you talk and talk what you live
Practice what you preach a so it is
Live what you talk and talk what you live
Praise the Most High and think positive.

I know that another tour is 'in the works' and I will most definately see to it that you and Angela are kept in the loop....
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 04:38PM
Judging from his ganja tunes and his and Tony's affinity for my sack, he does live what he talks and talks what he lives. Tell them I say hello Daniel.



fourtwentyplenty
wootinater
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 07:16PM
"and his and Tony's affinity for my sack"

bun down Batty Bwoys
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 04, 2005 10:55PM
ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!


fourtwentyplenty
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 05, 2005 07:15PM
Sinead tells her story:

From the Independent Online:

Sinéad O'Connor: Talks exclusively about suicide and redemption

In 2003, Sinéad O'Connor vowed she would never release another record. For the first time, she discusses the private agony that lay behind her decision, reveals how she tried to end it all, and explains why she's making music again. By Cole Moreton
Published: 02 October 2005

Is she crazy? That is what people ask when you have met Sinéad O'Connor. Yes, is the easy answer, as crazy as you would be if her life had happened to you: if you had been abused by your mother, made an album at 17, become one of the most famous faces on the planet, sold millions of records, grown up in the limelight, and inspired public devotion and hatred of manic intensity.

She is crazy as a loon, a right fruit loop, if you believe the Irish press, which remains obsessed enough to photograph her even when she pops out to the shops. The rest of the world also tends to think, more casually, that she might be slightly off her rocker.

Does it matter? Not much. Except to her. And those she loves most. And that is what we are about to talk about, as we sit together in her rented Georgian house in Monkstown, near Dublin.

O'Connor seems much happier than she has at any time since I first met her, some three years ago, but she wants to discuss the harm that being thought crazy has done to her, the heartbreak and misery that it has caused. She wants to tell me something that is not even known to her children, who are elsewhere in the house as we speak: that she tried to commit suicide. " I wanted to kill 'Sinéad O'Connor'," she says, calmly. "I wanted her dead."

A few moments ago she was bouncing on a huge, fluffy, pink beanbag in the sitting room, telling jokes. Now we are at opposite ends of a rust-coloured sofa in her music room, surrounded by guitars, amplifiers and icons. I watch kaleidoscopic colours shift behind a neon Jesus and catch my breath. Jake, her big, strapping, gentle teenage son, is blasting music from his rooms somewhere out the back. Roisin, her sparky, bright nine-year-old daughter, is waiting impatiently for a trip to the pictures. Shane, her smiley, friendly boy of 18 months, is asleep upstairs. The pale green of her silk dress softens O'Connor's face as she looks at me, considering if she should go on talking about this, here and now. Her eyes are mesmerising, they always have been, but now they burn so intensely that I have to look away.

I only asked why she retired from music. But the answer she gives is far more personal and painful than I ever expected.

It was in July 2003 that she announced that there would be no more Sinéad O'Connor records. "I seek no longer to be a 'famous' person and instead I wish to have a normal life," she said in a statement. "Could people please afford me my privacy?"

The official record company biography describes the announcement as the ultimate result of a decision made long ago, in 1990, after five million people bought the album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. The " spotlight of public attention" was, according to this history, " oppressive". She then made series of records that were intensely personal and hugely creative, but never likely to sell in such numbers. The official story is that she deliberately sabotaged her fame. It seems much more likely that she followed her heart, singing her mind, seeking herself.

We first met in 2002 when O'Connor seemed to be retreating from international superstardom into the traditional music of her own country, where songs and singing are still prized above marketing, with an album called Sean-Nós Nua (the old way made new). This remade old songs - even the cheesy "Molly Malone" was reclaimed as a death ballad - and was a classic of its kind. The biggest names in Irish traditional music declared that hers were the new standard versions. One of them, a mutual friend, introduced us. Sinéad told me she was not a rock star but "singing out the hurt for people who cannot sing it". Keening, like the women hired to wail at Irish wakes.

Then she stopped. She would study theology at a Catholic college in Dublin. She would learn Latin chants from monks at Glenstal Abbey in Limerick and only sing in church, for non-paying audiences. She did these things, but then fell pregnant by a married man and her studies became impossible. She released an album with the monks under the name Marie-Bernadette. That and a greatest hits collection, a live DVD and a double-album of unreleased tracks and collaborations made it seem she had not really gone away, and not everybody believed she was quitting. Those close to her did, however. They saw she was in a mess and believed that the death of her public persona was the only way to rediscover herself. Going back on the decision to retire, she told them, would be a betrayal of all she had been through.

But now she is back. There is a new album out, on her own label. Throw Down Your Arms was recorded at Tuff Gong and Anchor studios in Jamaica earlier this year with the expert rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, and a squad of reggae greats such as Burning Spear guitarist Dalton Brownie. It is a bold record, O'Connor singing out roots music like no woman has done before. This is not "Three Little Birds", but a serious tribute to rasta sounds and spirituality. She sounds powerful, mystical, strong. But this is a new record. Didn't she say that we were not going to have any of those?

"I have to answer that very carefully," she says, pulling on a Marlboro Light, tucking her bare feet up underneath her. "I started writing songs when I was 14. I signed my record deal when I was 17, and moved to London six months after my mother died. I stepped out of hell, given how I had grown up, and stepped into the music business. Then I got carried along on this whole rollercoaster of becoming "Sinéad O'Connor ", in inverted commas." She signals them with her fingers.

Right from the beginning of her career, O'Connor talked about the physical and mental abuse she had suffered at the hands of her mother (although the extent of it was disputed by other members of her family). She bared her metaphorical wounds in her music and in interviews, choosing to be heard as a voice for others who had been abused. "I never took time to recover from what had gone on when I was growing up, and to establish a sense of self," she says, quietly but surely. "The big problem if you are a child abused is that you don't really have a strong sense of your own identity. Then suddenly you're this famous person and everybody is on your back. For a good 17 or 18 years everyone was on my @#$%& back, as I see it. I had a very abusive experience."

What do you mean on your back? "Making me out to be this @#$%& controversial person - Sinéad O'Controversy - just for being myself." Her voice is calmer than those words look in print. She is just giving me the facts as she sees them. "The media whipped * up this whole thing of Sinéad O'Connor the crazy woman, you know? You're looking at your name on a piece of paper and that's not you. You lose your entire personality. That affected my life in ways people would not have begun to dream of."

She was being herself when she appeared on Saturday Night Live in America in 1992 and tore up a picture of the Pope. And again at Madison Square Garden only a fortnight later when she came on stage at a tribute concert for Bob Dylan, wrapped a rastafarian prayer cloth around the microphone and sang an unaccompanied version of "War", a musical rendition of a speech Haile Selassie made to the United Nations in 1963: " Until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race, 'dis a war." The song was originally performed by Bob Marley (everyone else had sung Dylan) and O'Connor changed the lyrics to mention child abuse. Some of the audience cheered her audacity but many booed.

Both acts were meant as protests at the culture of silence that masked child-abuse scandals within the Church. The backlash against her was huge, with leading Roman Catholics attacking the singer and urging the faithful not to buy her records. Sales in the US fell dramatically. But the scandals she was raging against became public, in time. Ireland went through convulsions as it evolved from a theocracy to a modern nation.

To some people O'Connor had been a prophet of that change. To others she was doing the work of the devil. She was certainly demonised in some parts of the Irish and American press, and portrayed as out of control. And she was dismissed as a fruitcake in 1999, when she was ordained as Mother Bernadette Marie by Bishop Michael Cox of the rebel Tridentine Order, at Lourdes. Irish and American newspapers in particular dropped all pretence at subtlety and just started calling her "mad", "deranged" and " weird".

That really mattered when she came close to losing custody of her daughter in the same year. "I was accused of being an unfit mother," she says, and now there is tension in her voice. She has decided to talk about this on record for the first time. The cigarette is burning down fast.

There was a court case involving Roisin's father, the Irish journalist John Waters. "The only evidence against me in that case was 17 years or so of newspaper stories that made me out to be a crazy person," she claims. "Because of the media's take on me, I had to endure a hellish experience. And potentially my daughter would have had to endure a hellish experience. All sorts of people were saying I shouldn't raise a girl. It's interesting that they never tried to take my boy away from me."

She gets worked up talking about this. Her face hardens, she concentrates her gaze on a black-and-white photograph of Bernadette of Lourdes, and smokes furiously. "So basically, the 20 years in which I was 'Sinéad O'Connor' resulted in people trying to take my @#$%& baby off me."

Long before she was famous, at the age of seven, Sinéad had been removed from the custody of the mother she still loved, intensely, despite what was being done to her. "It was the most awful, traumatic experience I ever had, so the threat of losing my daughter pressed serious psychological buttons for me and I cracked up very badly."

Wednesday 8 December 1999 was the worst day of all. "I have made one suicide attempt in my life, and that was on my 33rd birthday, after a session in court that day where it was suggested that for the rest of my life I would only see my daughter once a month. I made a very serious suicide attempt, and I did almost die."

She did it at the home of her friend Adrian Sherwood, the dub producer. " I ate a shitload of * tablets. Adrian took me to hospital. I don't remember a thing because I was out of it. That was a very distressing experience. Even though I didn't physically die, I did actually die. My personality died."

She moved back to Ireland while the case was still going on, but her son Jake was sent to an English boarding school. This, she says, was against her will. "My family was being ripped to shreds. The rug was being pulled from under us. It devastated me, spiritually and in every way. I actually won the court case - they apologised profusely and said not only was I a good mother but I was a model for many parents - but only after they had made me go through all that."

O'Connor retreated, in her own words, to the kitchen. "I did five years as a mother and not much else, all by myself, which I loved. Roisin is with her father half time and half the time with me, and I never missed one of my days with her after the court case. I wouldn't have a housekeeper or a nanny, I wouldn't have anybody near us. I did Sean-Nó Nua but I would get home from tour in the morning and go to the supermarket in the afternoon with my apron on. It was unreal."

It was also unworkable, she felt. "I was hanging on to life by a tooth string. I just wanted to get my kids and have a normal life, to protect me and my kids from 'Sinéad O'Connor'."

Part of her public image was the fierce, shaven-headed warrior woman. " I am a very strong, tough person in some ways," she says, "but also an extremely fragile person in other ways. I am a small woman, really: a single mother with three children, trying to live as normal a life as possible, and on top of that I was already dealing with a whole set of emotional disturbances from the way I grew up. I actually did take a very serious set of kickings. As an artist you are a sensitive person; your job is not to be tough and let things wash over you. I felt like I was inside out, like I had no skin. I walked around like that for years."

After announcing her retirement she parted company from her manager and told friends she was never going back. "I didn't think there was any other way to do it except total withdrawal. You are talking to somebody who didn't want to be alive."

Then came the moment she describes as one of the biggest breakthroughs of her life. Late last year she was diagnosed as suffering from manic depression. "That was the best thing that ever happened to me, you know, because I had been walking around for years so close to dying. A lot of people lose their creativity when they go on the treatment, but the opposite happened to me: I began to want to live, and I got my creativity back."

After years of unsatisfying therapy she had also found a new counsellor. " I don't know what the woman did, but within days of going to see her I found myself buying the little piano that's down in the kitchen. Then I went to the guitar. That was the first time in three years. Friends of mine began to say, 'You should really be singing.' Apart from being a mother, actually, my self-esteem comes from my work. I was killing myself by denying that."

Calmer and happier, she decided to reclaim her art but not re-enter the pop mainstream. "As far as I am concerned, Sinéad O'Connor is resting in peace in some ways. That incarnation of her does not exist any more. I don't want to perform any of those songs ever again. I will make religious records for the rest of my life."

She knew exactly what the first one should be. O'Connor had met Sly and Robbie eight years earlier, through Adrian Sherwood. She rang them on 11 February, St Bernadette's Day, for help in resuming her career. A month later she was in Jamaica. "It felt like a dream come true, like I had died and gone to heaven. Not only was I out of the kitchen but I was in Kingston making a record with the most incredible band in the universe. It was unbelievable. I had to keep locking myself in the toilet so I could squeal really quietly, then go back in and act like, 'Yeah, I do this every day.' ''

'War' is on the album. So are songs by the likes of Burning Spear and Lee Perry that have been a comfort and inspiration since she first started to hear them on London's Portobello Road at the age of 17. "What I love about them," she says, "is that they are about rescuing God from religion." Rescuing God is what Sinéad has been trying to do all her life - snatching back belief from the priests and bishops she (and many others) felt held her country in a crippling grip; liberating the Lord from oppressive religious culture. That theme has many resonances in the rastafarian sentiments of songs such as "Jah Nuh Dead", "He Prayed" and "Untold Stories". And in "Vampire", a song first recorded by Devon Irons that she danced to after her ordination.

"The song makes a distinction between a true rasta person and a fake rasta person, or a vampire who feeds on the idea of rasta but isn't a true rasta," she says. Like every song on the album it is dense, powerful and heartfelt, sung like a spell with an intonation that sometimes comes close to imitation, but this is not karaoke rastafari, she insists. It is more deeply personal than that. "I would transfer the spirit of the song to Catholicism because I am Irish, that is the religion of my culture. There are people who say they represent Christ but actually they preach against love, which is blasphemous as far as I am concerned. The teaching against homosexuality is blasphemy, for example. God created gay people, so who is anyone else to say you should not be gay?"

The Emperor Constantine was a vampire, she says. George W Bush is another. " Bidden or not bidden, God is present," say the words of Carl Jung, engraved on a matt-black plaque on the wall. So God is here as our words spill all over the wooden floor and Bob Marley dances in a black-and-white photo with his dreadlocks splayed out like a spidery halo. God is watching the flicker of a candle on the windowsill, reading the words from the " Song of Solomon" that Sinéad has painted in gold on canvas, possibly even longing to pick up the mint-coloured guitar on a stand in the corner of the room under a framed letter from Dolly Parton. It is divine, that guitar.

What some people don't understand - particularly in the Church - is that the reason O'Connor has attacked organised religion so fiercely over the years is not because her faith has gone but because it is passionate. "You wouldn't be angry with a thing or a person unless you loved them, actually. You wouldn't want to rattle them unless you felt it would help them to survive."

The possibility of a personal relationship with God through the Holy Spirit is a mainstream Church belief. Sinéad claims she has experienced this since childhood, but feels uncomfortable explaining it. "I'm not proselytising. Not everybody needs it, but for me it is a reality. If you asked me to say in one word what God is, then I would say 'magic'. Catholicism hid all the magic, hid one's own power to communicate with God. The rasta movement, which is not a religion, does the complete opposite. When you are around those people you can taste God. These people know that God is alive."

The idea of mischief also has an important place in rastafarian culture. " I'm interested in that, in terms of rocking the establishment," she says. "Getting ordained was mischief. There is a whole series of roots songs about the idea of 10,000 Ethiopians descending on the Vatican on horseback to rescue God. I love that idea. Ten thousand careless Ethiopians and one crazy @#$%& bald Irishwoman."

There's that c-word again. Last year she took out a full-page advertisement in the Irish Examiner to ask that it should not be applied to her. But you wouldn't call her crazy if you heard her deconstruct Shark Boy and Lava Girl with Roisin, or tell a filthy joke, talk theology or wax lyrical about a performer called Mr Methane. She's not normal - she's eccentric, wilful - but she's definitely not crazy, not by a long way. Things have happened over the years that have brought her close to losing her mind, and her life. Some of them were self-inflicted. But Sinéad O'Connor, the person not the persona, has somehow survived it all and is still singing, for her own sake.

"Singing is a way of proclaiming a better world," says Brother Mark Patrick Hederman of Glenstal Abbey, where she found friends for a while, "it's a refusal to give in to the grimness of the past."

The day after that conversation I received an email from O'Connor requesting that I did not write about the suicide attempt. Then another. "OK, just say the truth," she wrote. "But explain it in the context: after years of trauma, culminating in that trial, I had developed manic depression... and the main symptom is the constant voice in the head telling you to kill yourself. It was the illness which was at me. I would rather my kids understood it within the context of my having been so ill, and not that this is the way I really am."

The songs on Throw Down Your Arms were far more important to her than she had been able to say in person. Two days after she tried to kill herself in 1999, Sinéad checked out of hospital and left London for Dublin. " I had a flat all by myself, I knew nobody," she wrote. "I was all alone except for those songs. They kept me alive and hugged me and held on to me. They carried me through that time. If not for them I would have been utterly lost, spiritually. I thought God hated me and wanted me dead. Those songs showed me God was with me, and helped me live. That is why, coming back to life now, I had to record them first. They were my lifeboats and my ropes out of death. They still are."

Singing is not about pop for her. It stopped being that a long, long time ago. "This record," she wrote, "gimme back my life."



&quot;love shines brighter than the morning sun&quot;
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 07, 2005 02:15PM
Hey Jah Bill... Bruce here, drummer in Santa Cruz, compadre de Herb Daly.
I wanted to send you a personal email so could I beg your email address, boss?
dubgroove@yahoo.com
jb welda
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 07, 2005 04:08PM
ites bruce send any correspondence to justw@dgweb.com

be happy to hear from you; any friend of herbs is a friend of mine seen...


on another note re: sinead and the cred she seems to get from hanging around with sly and robbie:

sly and robbie = taxi = the meter is running = they work for anyone willing to shell out the $ to employ them.

dont know that is strictly true but it seems so anyway.

maybe its the "meter" that is running?
(
Music.
Division into measures or bars.
A specific rhythm determined by the number of beats and the time value assigned to each note in a measure.
)

instead of the "meter" i meant above:
(
Any of various devices designed to measure time, distance, speed, or intensity or indicate and record or regulate the amount or volume, as of the flow of a gas or an electric current.
)

one love
jah bill
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 07, 2005 05:58PM
I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing that Sly & Robbie work to keep that reggae meter running. They certainly would go a long way to improve the quality of any album. I haven't heard any bad albums using them as backup...but then, there may be quite a few I haven't heard.
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 07, 2005 06:20PM
anyone see her on leno and then craig ferguson this week? She did throw down your arms then marcus garvey
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 09, 2005 01:57PM
I see the majority of people who write on this site love the Sinead vibes, no, its not a bad thing when someone sings about Jah, what is unfortunate is that the original singers aren't invited to appear on television shows never in life...... Why is that my brothers and sisters, could it be due to their skin color that they can't get credit for their OWN music, I would have respected her more if she brought the original singers with her... that's respect to the Rasta elders.
Its more acceptable to support Sinead to the majority of people, she is easier on the eyes to most................................................/ and is she paying royalties to the original singers and players of music. When she is invited to appear on television does she give credit to the Rasta man who wrote the song, and does the Rasta man get some of the cut for using his song on these multimillion dollar shows???????
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 09, 2005 08:06PM
Who says the original singers would go with her? From what I see they don't want anything to do with Babylon according to you.


fourtwentyplenty
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 09, 2005 08:14PM
I heard some of these tunes today, and my overall opinion is "meh." Granted there not the most awful things i've ever heard, but there isn't anything particularly great about the tracks I heard. The "Marcus Garvey" cover was alright, but I really didn't like her version of Untold Stories or Downpresser man. If anyone but sinead released this album it would go completley unnoticed. Peace.



Dr. Suess (aka Ras James)
Irie Sounds International
wOLETE KRISTOS
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 10, 2005 01:15AM
Babylon is the beast not hard work and receiving compensation for work that is yours. Remember HIS Majesty is a dignitary and very well presented and well dressed at all times, read about HIS works that speak about economic advancement. There is nothing wrong with money, it is how money influences people and places people in economic categories.
Acacia
Re: Sinead O'Conner 'Throw Down Your Arms'
October 10, 2005 10:21AM
"and is she paying royalties to the original singers and players of music. When she is invited to appear on television does she give credit to the Rasta man who wrote the song, and does the Rasta man get some of the cut for using his song on these multimillion dollar shows???????"

Wolete, why don't you find the answers and get back to us? You know not of what you speak...
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