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Sharon Van Etten Performs Devastating Cover of Sinéad O’Connor’s “Black Boys on Mopeds”

Sharon Van Etten’s cover of the Sinéad O’Connor (who now prefers to be known as Magda Davitt) track “Black Boys on Mopeds” has been a staple on Van Etten’s tour supporting her 2019 album Remind Me Tomorrow so naturally, she performed the cover during her most recent appearance on SiriusXM. The song, about the death of 21-year-old Colin Roach, who was shot in the doorway of a British police station in 1983, was initially included on Davitt’s breakout sophomore album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.

Although Davitt’s track originally came out in 1989, the song’s subject matter — police brutality towards young black men — feels acutely relevant 30 years later. Van Etten’s acoustic interpretation is both arresting and heartbreaking.

Check out Van Etten’s performance below.