Sep 12

Sinead Lohan: “No Mermaid”

Sinead Lohan -- No Mermaid

Sinead enjoyed entertaining guests with her unusual talent for balancing posters on her head.

Taking a break from Cover Friday this week, simply because I didn’t have any covers planned ahead of time. Instead, I’m going with a song by Ireland’s other, much less controversial, singing Sinead, Sinead Lohan. She may be less well-known, but Lohan has an incredible voice and had an excellent sound on her two albums, 1995’s Who Do You Think I Am, and 1998’s No Mermaid. Sadly for her fans, it would appear that Sinead retired from music around 2001, having instead chosen to focus on raising her children. The nerve!

The song I’m choosing today from No Mermaid is the album’s title track, “No Mermaid.” I believe it was the primary single off the album, but I’m fairly sure that the similarly water-themed “Diving to Be Deeper” was also a semi-hit at the time. Falling somewhere on the spectrum between Sinead O’Connor and Sarah McLachlan, but owing nothing in particular to either of those other singers, Lohan’s voice is hauntingly beautiful on “No Mermaid,” her Irish accent lending just the right touch of sea-going authenticity to the song. The mesmerizing rhythm and guitar wash are an ideal setting for her vocals. Meanwhile, the lyrics seem deeply personal in a way one can’t quite fathom (no pun intended), yet their meaning is open enough to be relatable and draw the listener in to identify with their own interpretation. Far as I can tell, they seem to be about trying to find a balance between doing things your own way, without fear, and staying anchored enough in reality to stay grounded:

I was living around in a circle,
I wasn’t always in view,
You said we might get into red flag danger
And I am alone when I’m not with you.

And yes, since you asked, there are more great songs where this came from — if you’re not familiar with Sinead Lohan, I encourage you to seek out either of her albums; they’re well worth your time when you’re in a reflective mood.

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