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Music

The Red Hot Chili Peppers song Anthony Kiedis wrote about Sinead O'Connor

@josephtaysom

Red Hot Chili Peppers singer Anthony Kiedis has forever been open about his promiscuity. The countless lovers he’s encountered in his life have been cited within his songwriting, including the track about being left brokenhearted by Sinead O’Connor.

Kiedis has never married, which he puts down to his lack of understanding of women. In 2016, he explained, “Maybe it is because I never learned to live in a relationship and as silly as it sounds, I do not understand women yet,” he said, adding: “They remain a mystery. I talked about this yesterday with a friend: do we focus on finding a person who fits with us, or will we remain single? I am open to both. If the right one comes – wonderful. If not, I accept what the universe has intended for me.”

Conversely, his life as a philanderer has armed him with plenty of inspiration for his art. In 1990, Kiedis reportedly began a relationship with Irish singer Sinead O’Connor, although their romance has always been something she denied. In 2009, O’Connor refuted his claims and told Q: “I never had a relationship with him, ever. I hung out with him a few times and the row we had was because he suggested we might become involved. I don’t give a shit about the song he wrote.”

That song in question is the 1991 effort ‘I Could Have Lied’. On the track, Kiedis reflects upon how he could have acted differently to keep their relationship alive. Within the material, the singer implies that his unfaithful behaviour led to O’Connor ending things between them. He sings, “I could have lied I’m such a fool, My eyes could never never never, Keep their cool, Showed her and I told her how, She struck me but I’m fucked up now”.

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His treacherous escapades also explain why O’Connor has distanced herself from Kiedis. Speaking to Uncut in 2013, she admitted that they did hang out together but were never anything more than friends. The singer even brutally said that “he thinks he’s God’s gift to women,” before adding: “As for his claims that he kissed me, it must have been some other bald bitch, ’cos it certainly wasn’t me. I’d have to wash my mouth out A LOT if I did anything like that, for fuck’s sake!”

Kiedis remembers events differently, and he wrote in his autobiography, Scar Tissue: “I was shattered. It had gone overnight from ‘Can’t wait to see you again’ to ‘Don’t call and don’t come by.’ I didn’t know who to turn to, so I called up John (Frusciante). He was irate that she could treat me like that, and he suggested that I write about it and we’d get together later that night and create a song”.

The intricacies of what went on between Kiedis and O’Connor will likely forever remain unknown. The Red Hot Chili Peppers even later acknowledged, “I never figured it out, and eventually I stopped kind of trying to figure it out.” In truth, the only certainty to draw from the messy situation is there is no love lost.