No Man's Woman

Album: Faith and Courage (2000)

Songfacts®:

  • 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.

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