Mandinka (song)

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Single by Sinéad O'Connor
from the album The Lion and the Cobra
Released 1 December 1987
Format 7" vinyl, 12" vinyl, CD single
Recorded 1986-1987
Genre Pop rock, power pop
Length 3:46
Label Chrysalis
Writer(s) Sinéad O'Connor
Producer(s) Sinéad O'Connor
Kevin Mooney
Sinéad O'Connor singles chronology
"I Want Your (Hands on Me)"

"Mandinka" is a song by Sinéad O'Connor from her 1987 album The Lion and the Cobra.[1] Sinéad O'Connoris drew inspiration from many different sources. Some of her main inspiration came from her Irish tradition as well as Leonard Cohen, punk rock and nascent rap scene to influence her music.[2]

The video for "Mandinka" was shown heavily after debuting 24 January 1988 in 120 Minutes on MTV. The single was a mainstream pop hit in the UK, peaking at #17 in the singles chart, #6 in her native Ireland, #24 in The Netherlands, #26 in Belgium, #18 in New Zealand and #39 in Australia.

The single was a big college radio hit in the US. In 1988, O'Connor sang "Mandinka" on Late Night with David Letterman,[3] in what was her first US network television appearance.

Sinéad also sang the song live at the 1989 Grammy Awards.

In an interview in The Tech, 12 April 1988, O'Connor said: "Mandinkas are an African tribe. They're mentioned in a book called Roots by Alex Haley, which is what the song is about. In order to understand it you must read the book."In the song "Mandinka" O’ Conner sings "I don’t know no shame, I feel no pain/I can’t see the flame," she sings, this to let the listeners know her main point behind the song. She later sings in the song "I have refused to take part" which can be interpreted into how she refused to take part in the music industries sexist practices.[4]

Sinéad O’Connor initial album,"The Lion and the Cobra," was one of her greatest achievement. She sold a respectable 350,000 copies of the album which was on the charts for about six months. The single "Mandinka" also topped the dance chart. An explanation of the LP (Long Play) cut "I Want Your (Hands on Me)," was revised as Sineas did a duo with female rapper M.C. Lyte, which helped her to keep her MTV profile higher.[5]