A song written by a legend and a song performed by a legend. “Nothing Compares 2 You” lyrics will forever be attached to the hearts of Sinéad O’Connor’s fans.

The Irish singer recorded the song in 1990 for her second studio album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. The song was originally recorded by Prince for the artist’s side project The Family. Since then, it became one of her most famous songs, but it caused a rift between her and one of her musical inspirations. The music legend died on July 26, 2023, and this song cements her legacy.

Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O'Connor

Read more about what the Nothing Compares 2 U lyrics mean and Sinéad O’Connor’s drama with Prince.

What do “Nothing Compares 2 U” lyrics mean?

What do “Nothing Compares 2 U” lyrics mean? The song was written for Prince’s 1985 side project The Family. Sinéad O’Connor recorded her reindition for I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got with her producer Nellee Hooper. “Nothing Compares 2 U” is a heartfelt ballad that depicts extreme longing for a lover.

O’Connor recalled the moment that she met Prince at his house in her memoir Rememberings. The singer remembered a violent pillow fight between her and the “Purple Rain” musician. “On the first thump I get, I realized he’s got something in the pillow, stuffed down the end, designed to hurt,” she wrote. “He ain’t playing at all. A few more thumps get exchanged and he goes upstairs. But this time, we’ve somehow arrived beside the front door. I open it and run out.”

When asked about the encounter and her opinion on Prince by People, she said, “It certainly didn’t change my opinion of him as an artist, which was the only opinion I could have had. I never knew him otherwise. Obviously, I came away not liking him very much and not particularly wanting to go around to see him again. But having said that, though, I won’t lie. I didn’t like the man.”

She recorded the audiobook for her memoir and recalled, “When I was recording the audio, the thing that messed me up was the Prince chapter,” she told the magazine. “I had to go to bed for a couple of days because I don’t think that I emotionally engaged with it at the time.”

In 2016, Prince died from a fentanyl overdose. “I sobbed when he died,” O’Connor said. “I just felt terribly sorry and sad for him of the loneliness of his death. The price you pay for being so successful is an awful, aching loneliness, and I think he was terribly lonely, terribly vulnerable.” She added, “The loneliness of fame, I think, was ultimately his undoing.”

For a brief period of time, she refused to perform the song live. “I don’t want audiences to be disappointed coming along to a show and then not hearing it, so I am letting you know here that you won’t,” she wrote on Facebook. “If I were to sing it just to please people, I wouldn’t be doing my job right, because my job is to be emotionally available. I’d be lying. You’d be getting a lie. My job is to give you honesty. I’m trained in honesty. I can’t act. It just isn’t in my training. I have ceased singing other songs over the years for the same reason.”

She reversed the decision years later. “You’ve got to be crazy to be a musician,” O’Connor told The New York Times in 2021 when asked about Prince, “but there’s a difference between being crazy and being a violent abuser of women…As far as I’m concerned, [‘Nothing Compares 2 U’”‘] is my song.”

However, Prince’s estate refused O’Connor to use her own reinditon of the song in her 2022 documentary Nothing Compares. “I didn’t feel [Sinéad] deserved to use the song my brother wrote in her documentary so we declined,” Prince’s half-sister Sharon Nelson explained to Billboard. Prince’s estate released a version of the song performed by the late artist in 2018.

“Nothing Compares 2 U” By Sinéad O’Connor Lyrics

Here is “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor lyrics via Genius.

[Verse 1]
It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
Since you took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since you took your love away
Since you’ve been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing, I said, nothing can take away these blues

‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

[Verse 2]
It’s been so lonely without you here
Like a bird without a song
Nothing can stop these lonely tears from falling
Tell me, baby, where did I go wrong?
I could put my arms around every boy I see
But they’d only remind me of you
I went to the doctor and guess what he told me, guess what he told me
He said, “Girl, you better try to have fun no matter what you do,” but he’s a fool

‘Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

[Instrumental Break]

All the flowers that you planted, mama, in the backyard
All died when you went away
I know that living with you, baby, was sometimes hard
But I’m willing to give it another try

Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you
Nothing compares
Nothing compares to you

Blessed with a singular voice and a fiery temperament, Sinéad O’Connor
rose to massive fame in the late 1980s and 1990s with a string of gold records. By the time she was twenty, she was world-famous—living a rock star life out loud. From her trademark shaved head to her 1992 appearance on Saturday Night Live when she tore up Pope John Paul II’s photograph, Sinéad has fascinated and outraged millions. In Rememberings
O’Connor recounts her painful tale of growing up in Dublin in a dysfunctional, abusive household. Inspired by a brother’s Bob Dylan records, she escaped into music. She relates her early forays with local Irish bands; we see Sinéad completing her first album while eight months pregnant, hanging with Rastas in the East Village, and soaring to unimaginable popularity with her cover of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2U.”

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