Sinéad O’Connor – Black Boys On Mopeds

I Do Not Want What I Haven't GotIf you know me and you know you my taste in music you know I’m a huge fan of low key lyrical tunes. That said I’ve long been a fan of  Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor who’s probably best known for her cover of Prince’s song “Nothing Compares 2 U”. That song was released as part of O’Connor’s second studio album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got and while it’s a great song, it’s not even my favorite song on the album. That distinction goes to “Black Boys On Mopeds”. It is a haunting song that was inspired by the death of Colin Roach who Colin Roach was a 21-year-old black British man who died from a gunshot wound inside the entrance of Stoke Newington police station.

We’re living in a crazy world these days and I ran across this song on my iPod this morning and it really spoke to me once again. We’re in the midst of one of the worst presidential races anyone can ever remember with two terrible candidates. We’re at war. Terrorism is always top of mind. Cops are getting shot. Citizens are getting shot by cops. And worse of all, you can’t speak your mind or have any sort of rational discussion without being labeled a racist, a misogynist, a communist or some other “ist” I can’t think of right now. I pride myself on looking at both sides of any situation and gathering information to make myself INFORMED. If we can’t talk about these issues how will we EVER be able to move forward with them? I honestly fear for the future.

There’s one line in here that hit me like a ton of bricks:

“These are dangerous days
To say what you feel is to dig your own grave”

This song was written more than 20 years ago. You think Sinéad was on to something? It’s been made into a joke but Rodney King said it best… “Can’t we all just get along?”

“Black Boys On Mopeds” – Sinéad O’Connor

Margareth Thatcher on TV
Shocked by the deaths that took place in Beijing
It seems strange that she should be offended
The same orders are given by her

I’ve said this before now
You said I was childish and you’ll say it now
“Remember what I told you
If they hated me they will hate you”

Sinéad O'ConnorEngland’s not the mythical land of Madame George and roses
It’s the home of police who kill black boys on mopeds
And I love my boy and that’s why I’m leaving
I don’t want him to be aware that there’s
Any such thing as grieving

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”

These are dangerous days
To say what you feel is to dig your own grave
“Remember what I told you
If you were of the world they would love you”

England’s not the mythical land of Madame George and roses
It’s the home of police who kill blacks boys on mopeds
And I love my boy and that’s why I’m leaving
I don’t want him to be aware that there’s
Any such thing as grieving.

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