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Boygenius Celebrates Sinead O’Connor With a Tender Rendition of Folk Song ‘The Parting Glass’

Boygenius Honor the late Sinead OConnor With New Song
Dave Benett/ Getty Images

Nearly five months after the death of Sinéad O’Connor, Boygenius celebrated the music icon by covering a song she recorded 20 years ago.

For her annual holiday cover, Phoebe Bridgers teamed up with bandmates Lucy Dacus and Julien Baker and Irish folk duo Ye Vagabonds for a rendition of “The Parting Glass,” a Scottish and Irish traditional song that O’Connor covered in 2002. The single, like Bridgers’ past holiday covers, will benefit charity. As chosen by the O’Connor’s estate, proceeds from “The Parting Glass” will go to Aisling Project, an after-school program for children and young people in Dublin, Ireland.

The song choice itself is a subtle tribute to O’Connor, who died on July 26 at age 56. The tune is a “song of farewell, sung for and to close friends,” according to Irish Music Daily, with the titular glass being “one for the road.” The lyrics include moving lines like, “So fill to me the parting glass / And drink a health whate’er befall / And gently rise and softly call / Good night and joy be to you all.”

Bridgers authored a touching tribute to O’Connor following her passing. “She was ostracized from so many things, and so many people thought she was a grumpy person,” the “Kyoto” singer wrote in an essay for Rolling Stone. “It’s such a sad and heartbreaking story. Behind every famous woman are tons and tons of rape and death threats. She made a huge sacrifice for women and for musicians and for people who believe in things. She was so not rewarded for it.”

“She embodied what it means to be a musician and stand for something,” continued Bridgers. “Maybe it’s the internet, but in today’s landscape, people are told what is kosher to believe in and they just do that or the bare minimum. She was not like that at all. She made me feel like I was allowed to stand for things.”

Authorities have yet to publicly confirm O’Connor’s cause of death, though they said that her death “is not being treated as suspicious.” Officials said they responded to “reports of an unresponsive woman at a residential address” and that O’Connor was “pronounced dead at the scene.”

Boygenius Honor the late Sinead OConnor With New Song
Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images

This performance of “The Parting Glass” caps off a banner year for Boygenius. The supergroup returned in March with The Record, which earned them six Grammy nominations. “Not Strong Enough” is up for Record of the Year, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance, and The Record will compete for Album of the Year and Best Alternative Album. The group’s song “Cool About It” is also up for Best Alternative Music Performance.

Bridgers scored a separate nomination for her work with SZA. Their “Ghost in the Machine” collab is up for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

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