"Jackie" as written by and Sinead O'connor....
Jackie left on a cold, dark night
Telling me he'd be home
Sailed the seas for a hundred years
Leaving me all alone
And I've been dead for twenty years
I've been washing the sand
With my ghostly tears
Searching the shores for my Jackie-oh

I remember the day the young man came
He said, "your Jackie's gone
We got lost in the rain"
And I ran to the beach
And laid me down

"You're all wrong", I said
And they stared at the sand
"That man knows that sea
Like the back of his hand
He'll be back some time
laughing at you"

And I've been waiting all this time
For my man to come
Take his hand in mine
And lead me away
To unseen shores

I've been washing the sand
With my salty tears
Searching the shore
For these long years
And I'll walk the seas forever more
Till I find my Jackie oh
Till I find my Jackie oh
Till I find my Jackie oh
Jackie oh
Jackie oh
Jackie oh

Lyrics submitted by hahacharade

"Jackie" as written by Sinead O'connor

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Jackie song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI love a good ghost story, and this one is amazing. Obviously, you can read past the story and interpret this as pure grieving, longing for someone who's never coming back ... you can't let go and move on.

    As a side note, I heard a clip of this song performed live, just Sinead & her guitar. It's every bit as powerful live as it is on record.
    bingoboyon July 08, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat no comments?!
    this song is great.....it always gives me shivers down my spine when i hear it!
    ziggy_who?on December 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI notice the "my Jackie-oh" part sounds like "my Romeo". I think that's the idea behind it. This song is really moving..
    maryellen5on October 06, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe vocals on this song are great, she reminds me of Dolores o'Riordian from the cranberries although Sinead came first obviously. Is anyone else confused though at why a man would be called Jackie? I mean in the UK at least, Jackie is a woman's name.
    blue_bathtubon December 23, 2009   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"Jackie" (alternatively 'Jacky') is the affectionate diminutive of James, a common Christian forename used in both Catholic and Protestant Ireland and of course in many other Christian countries; James being one of the apostles.
    Sinead often references Irish literature (c.f. "Troy"), in this case perhaps it is J.M. Synge's one-act play "Riders to the sea", in which grief-stricken Maurya has lost her husband and all five sons to the sea. Sinead's story may be a personal one as so much of her work is part autobiographical. It is not uncommon in island nations to lose loved ones in drowning.

    Grief, like love (the two are inextricably linked, grief being the reaction to the loss of a loved one; the inability to express and feel the reciprocity of love in the finality of death) 'is forever' - we cannot contemplate it ending and become unaware how long we have dwelt within it. A hundred years is irrelevant in eternity; likewise the twenty five years of no longer having feelings capable of responding to happiness or joy in others. The singer is in denial: "You're all wrong, I said...", which is the acknowledged first stage of grief, allowing us a view of the immediacy of that recollection when she was first told of Jackie's death. We hear her anger (second stage) in that denial, upbraiding the newsbringers for telling her and she runs to the sandy beach to be as near Jackie as physically possible, bargaining (third stage) with tears -and most likely prayers- for Jackie's deliverance, safe and able to laugh at the tale-tellers.

    It is unclear whether she enters the fourth stage (depression), although the compulsive repetition of behaviour, waiting and crying and searching the shore, but she has clearly not reached the final stage of acceptance and thus it is this endurance of mental pain that gives the song its tragic hook.

    I love the reletless, rising throb of that rhythm guitar; the gain distortion and rising crescendo.... Wow! Could this have been done any other way? Possibly, but not as powerfully.
    Drunkenpoeton May 26, 2016   Link

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