Irish songstress Sinead O’Connor is paying tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement with a cover of Mahalia Jackson’s gospel classic “Trouble Of The World”.
O’Connor was drawn to the song — written and recorded by the American gospel singer in 1959 — following the death of George Floyd.
“I was very moved that when George Floyd died he was calling for his mother and, as a result, there sprang up a movement of other mothers around America; they were in the streets with placards saying, ‘When George Floyd called for his mama, he cried for all mamas,'” she tells Rolling Stone. All proceeds from the song are being donated to various BLM charities.
“I guess that was part of why I wanted to release the track now — because it’s the very least that I can do. There’s not much I can do, but there is something small, which is singing. I also wanted to reintroduce artists like Mahalia Jackson. Every movement needs a soundtrack and the soundtrack for the Black Lives Matter movement was written and recorded in the ’50s by artists like Mahalia Jackson.”
Jackson, who died in 1972, was part of the Civil Rights Movement and travelled with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and performed at the historic March on Washington in 1963. Dr. King once praised the singer by saying, “A voice like hers comes along once in a millennium.”
The black-and-white music video for O’Connor’s “Trouble Of The World” features the singer in a Black Lives Matter shirt carrying a placard with Jackson’s photo along with images from BLM protests interspersed throughout.
“I always liked how she and the song embody a certainty that we get to God. On the surface, the song is talking about death, but, to me, it’s talking about how there is a journey and a destination toward peace and love on Earth — and that we will get there,” O’Connor says.