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Sinéad and the homeless

January 24, 2013

Black Coffee, sung by Sinèad O’Connor (I love how she sings this one!) Previous interpreters include Ella Fitzgerald, Black Coffee

homelessgirlSinéad O’Connor dedicated this album to the homeless (homeless people), and well — when I was younger I was a homeless for some time, not much, but when I give money to people asking for money I know I have no right to say, “Spend it well.” What’s well? If people with houses have alcohol whenever they like, what would they have to bear life on the streets? Anyway, I missed music so much! Some time after that unwanted experience, I had found a job in a private language school in Gran Vía, and one day an adorable student of mine was ranting and raving about seeing a homeless person having a cassette player with earphones and a natural orange juice in one of those expensive cafeterias in Madrid. And regretting having given this person a coin. Well, that blew my mind. I think I mostly asked questions.

Do you have a place to get back to when you choose? Is it a place where you are safe, and warm, and can drink and eat, moreover, where you can read, and listen to music, and watch TV and have your special treats? Why should you feel outraged because someone who is homeless has a cassette player and gathers some money to have something this person loves. Please, be honest. What’s the role of the cassette player or a natural orange juice in this person’s life and what’s the role of that in your life? Please, don’t go insane. That’s tradition speaking through you. We’re children of the 20th century. We have managed to grasp the meaning of the word ‘human rights.’ Actually, we make enough money with our work to pay for nobody to be homeless. The problem is some other kind of people, who are invisible for us all, take it all. But our work would make a kinder world possible. Don’t grow cold and hurt the most vulnerable people.

sineadoconnorSo when Sinèad O’Connor dedicated this album of hers, called Am I Not Your Girl? (where she interprets classical jazz songs, songs of her own her story and mine!, in her own talented way), to the homeless (and there’s a text she wrote too), I was really happy to get it! She even interprets one of the songs Doris Day (el colmo de la cursilería) used to interpret! It’s always struck me how cheesy Doris Day was and her very well muscled arms! If you ever watch a movie of hers, try to notice. Nowadays, any woman can have those arms and we have nothing to say about it, but in her days slim women were meant to have softer “curves.”

There’s a song in this album that I always imagine mimed by a girl who appeared miming a song in one of Almodovar’s movies: How Insensitive. I wonder if this happens to anyone out there ? 🙂 I don’t even remember which movie it was!

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