Monday, November 24

God Gives Them the Stars to Use as Ladders

More things we like

Beckett has pointed out that although the fifth song on our lullaby mix is about babies, it's not really a song for babies. Fine; though I think the true reason for his criticism is that he just doesn't care for Sinéad O'Connor's music. "All Babies" is from Universal Mother, her third album of original songs. Despite the gentle, lullaby-like tone of most of the songs on the album, O'Connor's rage is evident throughout, including in this song.

"All babies are born saying God's name / Over and over, / All born singing God's name," it begins; "All babies are born out of great pain / Over and over, / All born into great pain / All babies are crying, / For no-one remembers God's name," it continues. I interpret these lines non-theistically. To me, the song is about Buddha nature, the original perfection of all human beings. How easily I can see that the Critter is perfect and complete, lacking nothing, whereas I can hardly see such perfection in myself. However, like me, those who do not remember their original perfection, who create and live in great pain—all of us—were once babies "born saying God's name."

O'Connor rages against this fallen world, in which children cannot be protected and will, like the rest of us, grow up forgetting their true nature. I think of her song "Black Boys on Mopeds," from I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, with the refrain,
England's not the mythical land of Madam 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.
But there is nowhere she can take her boy to keep him from this awareness.

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