No Man's Woman

Album: Faith and Courage (2000)


  • In the leading track from Faith and Courage, Sinead O'Connor is fed up with being pushed around by men and proclaims herself as an independent woman with a strong connection to her faith. The Irish singer, infamous for tearing up a picture of Pope John Paul II during a Saturday Night Live appearance, had just been ordained as a priest by an Independent Catholic group not recognized by the Catholic Church.
  • O'Connor wrote this with Anne Preven and Scott Cutler, members of the alt-rock band Ednaswap who penned the hit "Torn," made famous by Natalie Imbruglia.
  • The album marks O'Connor's return after a six-year hiatus, aside from a greatest hits release three years earlier.
  • With lyrics like "'Cause a man can fake you, take your soul and make you, miserable in so much pain," the song could be interpreted as male-bashing, but O'Connor tells Curve, "This album has been made with me by a lot of men who've poured their beautiful souls into this record and the song is not male bashing at all. It's simply talking about not wanting to be a girlfriend or wife but preferring to have a relationship with the spirit of man."
  • While promoting the album, O'Connor came out as a lesbian to Curve magazine and when she debuted "No Man's Woman" on The Rosie O'Donnell Show, the song earned a reputation as a gay anthem (there was much speculation that O'Donnell was a lesbian, although she didn't officially come out until 2002).

    When she married a man the following year, however, she was accused of outing herself as a publicity stunt. The singer admits she was hasty in labeling herself as a lesbian, but maintains she is attracted to both men and women. She tells the British newspaper The Independent: "I believe it was overcompensating of me to declare myself a lesbian. It was not a publicity stunt. I was trying to make someone else feel better. And have subsequently caused pain for myself. I am not in a box of any description."
  • This was used on the 2001 pilot of the spy drama Alias, starring Jennifer Garner.


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Harry Shearer

Harry ShearerSongwriter Interviews

Harry is Derek Smalls in Spinal Tap, Mark Shubb in The Folksmen, and Mr. Burns on The Simpsons.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.

Gentle Giant

Gentle GiantSongwriter Interviews

If counterpoint and polyrhythms are your thing, you might love these guys. Even by Progressive Rock standards, they were one of the most intricate bands of the '70s. Then their lead singer gave us Bon Jovi.

Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)

Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)Songwriter Interviews

Chad tells tales from his time as drummer for Nirvana, and talks about his group Before Cars.

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"They're Playing My Song

"How much does it cost? I'll buy it?" Another songwriter told Jonathan to change these lyrics. Good thing he ignored this advice.