Thank You for Hearing Me: The Definitive Sinéad O'Connor Discography

“"Famine"”

Composed by Sinéad O'Connor/Dave Clayton/Tim Simenon/John Reynolds

5 versions

4:56

Universal Mother album
Thank You for Hearing Me promo compilation album
Sinéad O'Connor compilation album

4:39 John Reynolds 7" edit

this was the version used for the video

Famine / All Apologies” single

8:28 Reynolds extended mix

Famine / All Apologies” single

3:42 radio edit version

Famine / All Apologies” single

? (as "Forgiveness")

live 1995 at the Glastonbury Festival

Lyrics

(Source: Universal Mother)

Ok, I want to talk about Ireland.
Specificallly, I want to talk about the "famine,"
About the fact that there never really was one;
There was no "famine."
See, Irish people were only ALLOWED to eat potatoes.
All of the other food--
Meat, fish, vegetables--
Were shipped out of the country under armed guard
To England, while the Irish people starved.
And then in the middle of all this,
They gave us money not to teach our children Irish,
And so we lost our history,
And this is what I think is still hurting me.
See, we're like a child that's been battered,
Has to drive itself out of it' s head because it's frightened,
Still feels all the painful feelings,
But they lose contact with the memory.
And this leads to massive self-destruction,
ALCOHOLISM, DRUG ADDICTION,
All desperate attempts at running,
And in it' s worst form
Becomes actual killing.
And if there is ever gonna be healing,
There has to be remembering,
And then grieving,
So that there then can be forgiving.
There has to be knowledge and understanding.
All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
An American army regulation
Says you must n't kill more than 10% of a nation,
'Cos to do so causes permanent "psychological damage."
It's not permanent, but they didn't know that.
Anyway, during the supposed "famine,"
We lost a lot more than 10% of our nation
Through deaths on land, or on ships of emigration.
But what finally broke us was not starvation,
BUT IT' S USE IN THE CONTROLLING OF OUR EDUCATION.
Schools go on about "Black 47,"
On and on about "the terrible famine,"
But what they don't say is, in truth,
There really never was one.
Excuse me?
All the lonely people, (sorry?) where do they all come from? (I can tell you in one word.)
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?
So let's take a look, shall we?
The highest statistics of child abuse in the EEC,
And we say we're a Christian country?
But we've lost contact with our history.
See, we used to worship God as a mother.
We're suffering from POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.
Look at all our old men in the pubs.
Look at all our young people on drugs.
We used to worship God as a mother;
Now look at what we're doing to each other.
We've even made killers of ourselves,
The most child-like, trusting people in the universe.
And this is what's wrong with us--
Our history books, THE PARENT FIGURES, lied to us.
I see the Irish
As a race like a child
That got itself bashed in the face.
And if there ever is gonna be healing,
There has to be remembering
And then grieving,
So that there then can be FORGIVING,
There has to be KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING.
All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?
We stand on the brink of a great achievement. In this island, there is no solution to be found to our disagreements by shooting each other. There is no real invader here. We are all Irish, in all our different kinds of ways. We must not now, or ever in the future, show anything to each other except tolerance, forbearance, and neighborly love.
Because of our traditions, every one here knows who he is, and what God expects him to do.

Produced by Sinéad O'Connor, John Reynolds, and Tim Simenon

(Source: Universal Mother)

Musicians

(Source: Universal Mother)

Sinéad O'Connor vocals
John Reynolds drums, keyboards, programming
Dave Clayton keyboards
Tim Simenon programming

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Questions, comments, or corrections? Email me at jason@thankyouforhearingme.com.