Sinead O’Connor: “We live in a world where crazy is a term of abuse”

Troubled singer Sinead O’Connor was on the Graham Norton show on Friday. (Video above) It was the first interview I’ve seen with her since she got married, announced her marriage was over a month later, got back with her husband, and asked for help via Twitter after a suicide attempt. Sinead, 45, has been struggling with bipolar disorder and admitted a few months ago, prior to getting married after knowing the guy for a few weeks, that she’d gone off her meds. In her brief appearance on Graham Norton, Sinead seemed in good spirits and came across well, although she rambled a little and you could tell she was nervous. She had a few things to say about the way the press treats people with mental illness. She admitted that the people at her record company don’t want her to talk about it though, and I think she tried to temper her words.

Sinead has a new CD coming out, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? and she still has the same amazing pipes she had in the 90s. She performed her new song, “The Wolf Is Getting Married,” and she really killed it. Here’s some of what she said on Graham Norton:

Sinead to Daniel Radcliffe: One of my children had many imaginary baths with you… I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.

To Graham Norton: That’s not the cover of my record, where’d you buy that? [Takes the cover off] There isn’t even one [CD] in it!

Graham to Sinead: How are you? Are you alright? People worry about you, we’ve read all these things about you.

Sinead: I don’t know how I’m supposed to answer those questions. In one way I want to talk about music. In another way the only thing that does bother me about all of this stuff is that I’ve kind of dealt with 25 years of this, everybody treating me like a crazy person and it’s a great source of amusement and entertainment. We live in a world where crazy is a term of abuse, which I frankly think should be outlawed… I know you don’t mean anything… I adore you. You’re lovely, it’s a weird question.

I’m a bit of a nervous wreck about interviews to be honest. On one hand I’ve got the record company quite rightly going ‘Don’t say anything.’ On the other hand I’m like… That’s why I sing. When I sing, I make sense.

Well she made a good point about how people are finding amusement in her issues, but I think that more people just worry about her because we admire her talent and want her to do well. Her 1987 album, The Lion and The Cobra, was one of the first albums I owned (and it was a record back then, although I was on the very tail end of vinyl). When I was 17 I saw her perform, and I still remember how she bitched at the people in the front rows for smoking and potentially bothering her voice. I love her music and I want this CD to do well for her.

Listen to this song, “The Wolf is Getting Married,” it’s absolutely beautiful.

Here’s a much older single, from the 1993 film In The Name of The Father. It’s “You Made Me The Thief Of Your Heart.”

And here’s a link to her performing a song from the 90s that she’s featured in that I love. It’s a remix of “I am Stretched on Your Grave.” I remember this from college.

Sinead is shown on 12-18-11. Look at those nails! Credit: Graham Norton videos via ONTD.

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18 Responses to “Sinead O’Connor: “We live in a world where crazy is a term of abuse””

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  1. Asli says:

    ”In The Name Of The Father” is one of my absolute favourite films ever! Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing. I didn’t know she did a song for that.

  2. Kimlee says:

    I’m a big fan Sinead and i think that her issues are not amusesing at all just sad, she needs to be real because she the one who put her issues out their on twitter for all to read; she put on a big show in Vages with her quick marriage for the paparizze. No one would know about her marriage,sex life and other issues if she had not twitted about it.

    While I can’t wait for her new album, I would rather her take the time and get the help she clearly needs and than put out the album when she at a better place.

  3. Heather says:

    I wish her well.

    • Maguita says:

      You can’t help but wish her well! Sinead is one of those people that attract “niceness” from others, no matter how far she pushes it at times.

      You have to look at it fairly, and allow the notion that Twitter and Blogger have allowed a lot of people to show their crazy, even the ones who are not clinically diagnosed with mental illnesses or disorders. They become a caricature-al monsterish versions of themselves; It puts their obsessions on the forefront.

      I really hope she does well. LOVED the add for equal rights where her husband stops everyone, and knocks on everybody’s door asking Sinead’s hand in marriage!

  4. NM6804 says:

    Well, she does make a point about her troubles being absorbed by the public as amusement. On the other hand, if she’s tweeting about her bear man entering her cave on one moment and the next they split AGAIN, it’s hard to pity her. Most here commented “she’s off her meds again” and they’re right. If she keeps her private life (and explicit sex tweets) under wraps, people wouldn’t know about it and treat her with more respect I guess. It’s always ick when people overshare, even with somebody talented as O’Connor (bless her). When she announced her first split and gave her reasons, it sounded reasonable albeit weird but she took it so far to invite the public in EVERY aspect that she herself turned it in some kind of soap opera. How much did we need to know really? If she can’t even get treatment for her issues without tweeting about it (thinking she only needed two weeks to “cure” her depression or bi-polar), then you’re not taking it serious yourself in my opinion.

    That new song is very beautiful. She’s still an amazing artist and her face is still exquisite (thinking away the jesus tattoo though). That other song made me remind to go watch In the Name of the Father.

    • gg says:

      Her main problem is twitter – she needs to stay off it, or have somebody else tweet her concert/album dates and leave it at that.

      I caught that show last night. SHE WAS SO AMAZING! OMG, she might even be better than before. I have to say, even with the ups and downs, when she is stable, she is a class act.

  5. Carlotta Love says:

    LOVE her and her amazing voice!!! So glad you covered this.

  6. TruthTella says:

    I saw that interview on TV and it made me kind of uncomfortable, Graham shouldn’t have brought her issues up, i know it’s a talk show but it’s like asking Britney if she’s crazy you just should respect people’s ilness and leave it at that.
    She reminded me of my Aunt who is on drugs (not saying she is) and has mental issues, she was speaking quick and was nervous etc but she cans sing her ass off! I’m glad you posted this because after listening to the new song again i wanna listen to it more lol

  7. EscapedConvent says:

    “Thief of Your Heart” is such a gorgeous, haunting song. It stayed in my head as much as the film itself. Very best wishes to Sinead.

  8. Darlene says:

    The Lion and the Cobra is one of my favorite albums ever – yes vinyl – :) – she’s got an amazing talent. I hope she gets the help she needs.

  9. anniecc says:

    I always thought she was an incredible singer – not just because of her voice, but for her ability to make you believe in the feeling behind the song, which is a much rarer gift (Christina Aguilera, take note!) All the best to her.

  10. gg says:

    Whoever did her manicure needs some assistance.

  11. d says:

    Her voice, her performances, the way she just tears into a song ALWAYS always gets me. I hope she can keep it together to keep at it if it’s good for her to do so. I think she’d do herself and others a great service if she DID talk about her illness, to shed light on it and to help people understand it. On the other hand, part two of having a mental illness is coping with it and about coping with it. I mean, maybe she’s not the best person to talk about the illness if she can’t cope, but I’m not going to judge…maybe it behooves us to learn compassion from her difficulties and to learn just how difficult it can be to cope, especially if you are a performer and a singer like she is. She’s not a mean person like some “normal” people are, the damage that she’s done to herself and maybe family wasn’t done out of maliciousness. You know at heart, she’s a good person, just really effed up sometimes. That’s the way it is in life though. Some people just need help, so how hard is it to lend a helping hand to people that need it, you know?

  12. Maya says:

    She is not all there.
    Some of her blog posts are indications that she needs to be on medication; way too much sexual information about her conquests and preferences.
    I can’t even imagine how embarrassed her kids are.

  13. Jacqueline says:

    My friend is bipolar and within a month of being diagnosed most of his friends (going back to kindergarden) split. He is saner than a lot of people and my confidant. His ex friends do crazier and abusive things to other people yet they are considered normal. Depression is actaully normal, especially in Western modern societies even more. 60% of Americans have it to varying levels and 40% of Europeans. Why stigmatize it? Or be like “You dont need meds. They’re bad.” Well if you need them for mood stabilization to not mess up your life (Charlie Sheen), take it. People like to be so superior, its sickening. Depression isnt a walk in a park but a daily battle. It is genetic, life induced (traumatic events from sexual abuse to homeslessness to etc.) and spiritual problems. I know more than a hundred people with ongoing depression but they dont seek therapy to not be labelled crazy.

    That is the CRAZY part! Being in psychological pain just to not face your demons with an educated, experienced professional. And everyone later said he wanted attention since he is a wallflower, which he still is. Some people are so uneducated if you tell them you’re bipolar, they will interpret that as you being a psychopath.

  14. curegirl0421 says:

    Her voice still has the power to give me goosebumps. It is just magic!

    I wish her the best with this album and going forward, and that she’s able to keep getting whatever help she needs.