- 12 Oct 21
With the earth-shatteringly honest The Fool & The Scorpion finally out, Sharon Corr is happier than she’s been in years, and ready for the next phase.
Sharon Corr is glowing. Much has been splashed across tabloid headlines about her life in recent years, most of it erroneous gossip about the breakdown of her marriage to her ex-husband. But with her new album, The Fool & The Scorpion, the Corrs star seems to be reclaiming the narrative.
Zooming in from her home in Madrid, the 51-year-old wastes no time getting down to brass tacks. The title track, written in 2019, poured out of her on a plane. ‘I had been through a tumultuous couple of months,’ the Dundalk native says. ‘
There have been good parts and bad parts of my life, obviously. But the day before I wrote that, I went through one of the hardest things I had ever gone through. ‘I suppose that my heart was battered, really. I was getting on a flight to Geneva, and there was this gigantic storm outside and we couldn’t take off, and there was also a raging storm inside me. ‘I was actually in tears on the plane she laughs. ‘Just like, ‘I don’t care’. I’m crying on the plane, who cares? And then these words just started to fall out of me, based on my experience.
‘I started writing them into my iPhone rapidly, just reams and reams of words. The flight took off late, and I ended up landing at like 2AM. I went for a beer with my friend Doug, and I showed him the lyrics and he went, ‘Wow, Sharon. They’re kind of hitting hard. Those lyrics have beef.’
Corr doesn’t go into specifics, but she doesn’t really need to, she seems to be refreshingly honest and self-aware without resorting to name dropping. ‘The lyrics do have beef, but I don’t think there’s any point to delivering music without truth,' she shrugs.
'I think that it can be seen right through, if you’re writing a song and inventing it. And none of my albums are about that attitude towards music. Every song that I wrote on this album specifically just channels directly from me, and the various songs make up different themes on the album. ‘A Thousand Lives is about how we all put on this mask to sort of protect ourselves from the outer world, and I liken that as a metaphor for going on stage. Because when you go on stage, you can be going through anything five minutes before, anything. Something I learned from the Spanish is when they’re going through something particularly difficult, they nearly say, ‘Come on, let’s get dressed up.’
This idea of fragility on the inside, but protective armour on the outside, crops up on The Fool & The Scorpion more than once. ‘The album is really a journey through me, and about trusting my instincts, and being much less closed. Being vulnerable, but in a good way Ð because to be vulnerable is to be brave,’ she says. ‘I think that takes a lot more courage than anything. No matter what has happened in my life, I will remain a romantic at heart.'
And there certainly are moments of hopeless romanticism on The Fool & The Scorpion. 'The final song, ‘Only You,’ is about memories of a time with somebody that I loved,’ says Corr.
‘It’s that moment when you’re up all night talking, still listening to music, and that moment when you see a man fall asleep. It’s such a beautiful moment. So the record ends on openness and romanticism.
‘Part of the album is pure rage, and there’s one song (‘Running On Rooftops’) where I’m completely taking the piss out of myself. But mostly, it’s about being open.’
All this is to say that Corr hopes the album will be able to represent all of her, rather than one small piece. ‘When you do interviews, or when somebody other than yourself tries to encapsulate you, it doesn’t work’, she says. ‘You can’t be encapsulated because you’re not linear, we’re all many things. And the thing about being a woman, particularly, is that women were, and are still, expected to be perfect angels, in many ways.’
Essentially, she’s less and less concerned with being polite. ‘I don’t mind getting really fierce with stuff,’ she says, flashing a grin. ‘I may end up in tears before or after, but somewhere in me there’s this strength to really fight for what I believe.’
That expectation to live up to an archetypal ideal does feel like a particularly feminine issue, one that Corr says she spent too much of her life trying to adhere to. ‘I’m really proud of my vulnerability and my femininity, proud to be a woman. All that I’ve gone through in the last five or six years has made me see the meltdown as a battle to learn from. It’s like, 'Okay, why has this situation gone wrong?’ Typically, it’s because it needed change. You needed to get rid of negative people in your life, or toxicity.'
‘Sometimes we, as women, forget to give to ourselves,’ she continues. ‘This is a permanent theme amongst women because the vast majority of us are career women, mothers, daughters or sisters, and we’re trying to give to everybody. We forget we need some time out to do things we love. ‘And it actually benefits the people around me if I’m happy, doing what I do, rather than serving everybody else. I’ve had to spend some time learning how to integrate those things within myself.’
Doing that soul-searching seems to be benefitting Corr in spades. ‘I really think that if you deny who you are, you’re going to have to keep hitting that lesson to learn it. I have a different view of the world now because I ended a couple of cyclical patterns in my life. You can spend a lot of time trying to negotiate a scenario inside your head, but it ain’t ever going to work.’
Finally, Corr seems truly happy. ‘I love being single,’ she says. ‘I love having my life to do my music, having my days not consumed by anybody else’s problems but dear friends and my children. I cherish that. It gives me more time or better focus when I do help other people, because I’m tending to myself.’ However, none of this is to suggest that her career as a member of The Corrs, the band she has with her siblings, is entirely over.
‘What myself and The Corrs did together was pretty phenomenal,’ she says. ‘We endured it greatly as a family. We have a great magic between us, musically, and I deeply respect that. I think we took sort of a hiatus, to have babies, because we were on the road for so long that it was hard. That was quite important. ‘Also, I think that we reached an incredible point in our career, but we were perhaps a little bit jaded, and it was time to get our own individual lives on track. In that period of time, I had my two children, thankfully.’
She was also working on music. ‘I was constantly at the piano, writing,’ she continues. ‘I thought one day, ‘Oh God, I’m writing a solo album.’ I realised it was just really natural to me. I’ll write many more solo albums, and we’ll put out a few more with The Corrs as well. The two are not mutually exclusive. ‘What I get a chance to do in my solo stuff is express myself entirely. As a musician and artist, I am different from my siblings, as each one of us are from each other. That’s why we have this nice mix. It’s part of my life, and I would really hate to be without it.’