The Queen of Heaven, sung by a Queen of Scandal?
My awareness of Sinéad O’Connor’s attitude toward religion was, until recently, dominated by my memory of the (in)famous incident in which she tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II on live television. Until a few days ago, I thought that had been an anti-religious gesture. Now I know it was, in fact, a protest of the church’s complacency toward the growing scandal of sexual abuse by priests. How wrong I was!
Sinéad has just released a new album, titled Theology, of Christian music. (Lyrics are here, which is another reason to like this artist. She’s willing to post lyrics online!) I never thought I’d say this, but I’m going to buy a Sinéad O’Connor album — some interesting music and thought-provoking words.
Anyway, the excellent Liturgy blog, run by Bosco Peters, turned me on to a duet performance of Regina Caeli by Sinéad O’Connor and Noirin Ni Riain. Recorded in Glenstal Abbey, the offering is simple and reverent. This kind of crossover won’t be for everyone, but it will bring a timeless Marian hymn to the attention of countless non-churched people. Thank you, Sinéad! Maybe you are a Queen of Scandal, but in a good way.