We’re taking you on a wistful trip down memory lane. Above, Shane MacGowan and Sinéad O’Connor perform “Haunted” on the British music show, The White Room. Originally recorded in 1986 with Cait O’Riordan on vocals, “Haunted” got a second lease on life in 1995 when MacGowan and O’Connor cut a new version, combining her ethereal vocals with his inimitable songwriting and whiskey-soaked voice. Below, they both appear in an interview recorded during the same period.
The two Irish musicians first met in London during the 1980s, starting a friendship that would have its ups and downs. Their collaboration on “Haunted” marked a high point. Then, in 1999, O’Connor called the police when she found MacGowan doing heroin at home. Angered at first, MacGowan later credited the intervention with helping him kick his habit. When Sinéad gave birth to her third child in 2004, she named him Shane, in honor of her friend.
MacGowan and O’Connor both died this year, just months apart from one another. As you watch their duet, you can’t help but feel the sand running through the hourglass. It leaves you feeling grateful for what we had, and sad for what we have lost. May they rest in peace.