Reading this post by Chris over at A Free Man the other day reminded me of how much I adore this track by Sinead O’Connor. While I totally appreciate the bold and direct dig at the running of England during the time of Margaret Thatcher (Sinead has never been one to sit quietly in the corner), I love it especially for this line
England’s not the mythical land of Madame George and roses
and for this verse
Young mother down at Smithfield
5 am, looking for food for her kids
In her arms she holds three cold babies
And the first word that they learned was “please”
The image that I get in my head of those ‘three cold babies’ is chilling, and the child-like high pitch that she uses for that one word, “please”, is heartwrenching.
This is a track that always makes me tear up. It’s not only because it’s sad. Well, it’s mainly because it’s sad, but it’s also because Sinead O’Connor has the wonderful ability to convey anger and sorrow in a few short, concise and biting poetic lines. I know I could never do that. And so I weep.