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The Emperor's New Clothes

Sinead O'Connor's second album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, was released in 1990 to critical acclaim and commercial success. The Emperor's New Clothes, the third single, reached number one on the US Modern Rock Tracks chart. I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got was nominated for four Grammy Awards and won for Best Alternative Music Performance, but O'Connor refused to accept the nominations or the award.

The Emperor's New Clothes references the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale in which two con artists convince the Emperor that they are weaving him a beautiful suit of clothing that is invisible to anyone who does not deserve their position; they then only pretend to weave cloth, taking for themselves all the money and resources provided for making the clothes, and no one (including the Emperor) is willing to challenge them when they present "invisible" clothing. In the song, O'Connor considers all the people who criticize quickly or prefer to avoid controversy like the Emperor, deliberately remaining oblivious to the truth of their situation. The song present a strong message about the value of speaking your mind even if what you say isn't popular.

Notes for Parents: The lyrics of this single are suitable for all ages, but the concepts are complex and best suited for girls 13 and up. The video features O'Connor singing on a simple stage that gradually becomes more ornate; it is suitable for all ages.

Lyrical Notes: None   Video Notes: None

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Product Details

Album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
Artist Sinead O'Connor
Duration 5:16
Release Date Mar 12, 1990
Genre Pop / Rock
Music Themes Individuality/ Independence, Life Struggles, Romantic Relationships, Self Worth / Confidence, Strength / Courage
Label CHRYSALIS
Recommended Age 13 and up