3 essential Sinéad O'Connor songs you need to hear

The Irish singer appears to have suddenly passed away on Wednesday. She was 56.

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"Thank You for Hearing Me" (1994)

Seems fitting to end with this song. Another breakup song, but this relationship ended a lot more amicably. This track is also reportedly about musician Peter Gabriel as O'Connor and Gabriel reportedly have a short affair in the early 1990s. The music even sounds a bit like Gabriel.

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Musically this song sounds very little like the other two mentioned here. There is no acoustic guitar adding to the lament. There is even a touch of another Irish artist, Enya, at the beginning but evolves from there. O'Connor is still in excellent voice, but she is backed by electronic music and there is a definite joy to how it all meshes.

The lyrics are extremely simple with each line repeating in the four-line verse. If the listener didn't wait until the end of the track, one might want to play the tune at a wedding, but that would be a mistake. This isn't a song about finding happiness. It's a song about once being happy and then finding a way through all the crap when the happiness ends.

The lines "Thank you for helping me" and "Thanks for not hurting me" are followed by the final verse, "Thank you for breaking my heart/Thank you for tearing me apart/Now I'm a strong, strong heart/Thank you for breaking my heart." This likely sums up Sinéad O'Connor perfectly. She wasn't always an easy follow, and at times she did break hearts, but maybe we were all a little stronger for it.

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