- 25 Sep 23
The late Irish icon had given the BBC show permission to use the track in the finale of their new series about the Magdalene Laundries.
Agreement to use the track, titled 'The Magdalene Song’, was given to the BBC by O'Connor, prior to her death this summer, at the age of 56.
The show depicts the abusive Magdalene Laundries of Ireland, which were institutions run by the Roman Catholic Church, the conditions in which have been likened to labour camps. They operated across Ireland up until the mid-1990s, housing people who were deemed "fallen women" by society. The women were forced to work in what were cruel, inhumane conditions.
O'Connor's track calls upon her own experiences of being in a similar institution from the age of 15, as well as the pain of losing a child. It's a defiant, emotional track that powerfully encapsulates her personality and legacy.
“The first half of the track is completely heartbreaking, and the second half is pure defiance," O'Connor's producer David Holmes told The Guardian. “I stripped the song away to just Sinéad’s voice and then let the full power come in for the second half. It’s incredible how the meaning of the song came together with this story. It was just meant to be. There’s a certain magic when you bring music to an emotive story.”
David Holmes first spoke about the track in an interview conducted by Hot Press deputy editor Stuart Clark, for our special Sinead O'Connor Tribute issue.
"I've the a BBC series to finish before Saturday," he told Hot Press at the time, "I'm in the final furlong so it's all very doable. It's an extraordinary show called The Woman In The Wall with equally extraordinary actors like Ruth Wilson and Daryl McCormack in it. Its set against the backdrop of hte Magdalene Laundries and one of the tracks on the record finished the series. No spoilers, but Sinéad approved it and it's fucking powerful, man."
And so it proved. “Sinéad sanctioned the track for use before they had even started shooting," e told The Guardian, "and when the producers heard it they were amazed to have something so strong. We all felt the only place this can go is at the end.”
You can watch the trailer for The Woman in the Wall below!
- Film And TV
- 20 Sep 23