Sinead O’Connor’s 10 Best Songs: Staff Picks

Sinead O'Connor


The music world mourns the loss of one of the most extraordinary voices in pop and rock history, Sinead O’Connor, who passed away at the age of 56. Her career was marked by incendiary anti-government anthems and heart-wrenching torch songs, and while she didn’t chase mainstream success, her sheer artistry led her to break through to the masses.

1. “Heroine” (The Edge feat. Sinead O’Connor, Captive Soundtrack)

In a departure from U2, The Edge collaborated with a young Sinead O’Connor for the song “Heroine,” a cinematic and emotionally charged track from the Captive soundtrack. With O’Connor’s pleading vocals and The Edge’s haunting guitar work, the song leaves a lasting impact.

2. “Mandinka” (The Lion and the Cobra)

Fiery and captivating, “Mandinka” was released before O’Connor’s rise to stardom. Her exhilarating vocal performance and enigmatic lyrics make this track an unforgettable part of her debut album.

3. “I Want Your (Hands on Me)” (The Lion and the Cobra)

Surprising with its funky vibe, this seductive track showcases O’Connor’s versatility. The combination of her alluring vocals and a groovy rhythm creates an irresistible song.

4. “Drink Before the War” (The Lion and The Cobra)

With haunting melodies and poignant lyrics, “Drink Before the War” addresses the Troubles in Northern Ireland. O’Connor’s powerful vocals convey a deep emotional message that resonates with listeners.

5. “Jump in the River” (I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got)

As a reflection of O’Connor’s unyielding artistry, “Jump in the River” presents her hunger for creative expression. The track’s energy, combined with her captivating voice, captivates the listeners.

6. “Nothing Compares 2 U” (I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got)

Arguably her most iconic song, “Nothing Compares 2 U” showcases O’Connor’s raw vulnerability. With soulful vocals and emotional authenticity, she takes this Prince-penned song to unprecedented heights.

7. “Three Babies” (I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got)

Exuding emotional intensity, “Three Babies” delves deep into O’Connor’s personal experiences. The combination of acoustic guitar and a moving string arrangement complements her hauntingly beautiful voice.

8. “Black Boys on Mopeds” (I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got)

A powerful protest song, “Black Boys on Mopeds,” delves into issues of racial injustice. O’Connor’s stripped-down vocals and lyrics deliver an impactful message that remains relevant today.

9. “Success Has Made a Failure of Our Home” (Am I Not Your Girl?)

A cover of Loretta Lynn’s “Success,” O’Connor infuses the song with drama and urgency. Her emotionally charged vocals, accompanied by a powerful horn-and-string arrangement, make this rendition unforgettable.

10. “Special Cases” (Massive Attack feat. Sinéad O’Connor, 100th Window)

Collaborating with Massive Attack, O’Connor delivers a thought-provoking performance in “Special Cases.” Her soulful voice, combined with meaningful lyrics, adds depth to this trip-hop gem.


Sinead O’Connor’s musical legacy is a testament to her unique talent and fearlessness as an artist. Through her captivating voice and emotionally charged performances, she leaves behind an unforgettable catalog of timeless songs.

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