By Tony Attwood
You will have heard that Sinéad O’Connor has passed away, and of course the media has been full of commentaries about her work.
Normally Untold Dylan doesn’t do much in terms of marketing the passing of artists whose work we cover – others will always do it and there is rarely much more we can add.
But Sinéad O’Connor made what I perceive to be such an important contribution to my understanding of just how Dylan’s work can be re-interpreted, and to the exposing of what I perceive to be an appalling set of circumstances, that I feel I would like to mark this moment, at the moment that other people’s commentaries move on to different matters.
For in making her contribution, she created what I still feel is the most moving and most important reworking of a Dylan song ever. Of course, this is a personal view, and in part I feel it because my view of certain aspects of religious practice coincides so exactly with that of Sinéad O’Connor. But it was here, in this one recording, and with all the issues that arose around it, that I heard that perfect expression of my own views. And that I think is what art and creativity should be about – the gifted artist expressing views, emotions and thoughts that we may feel but cannot find a way to express.
My earlier piece “I Believe in You, the Sinéad O’Connor Experience” which goes into the matter more deeply is still on the site here, should you be interested.
And if you do go back to that you will understand why I am so desperately sad to hear of her passing. She stood up, when the vast majority turned aside and refused to listen. As a result she took endless amounts of abuse, in addition to all that she had suffered before. I am glad I managed to say a few words about this before she passed away. And so glad that we still have this memorial to her bravery and willingness to stand up against abuse.