THE last few years have been a turbulent time in the life of Irish music star Sharon Corr following the break-up of her 18-year marriage.
n 2019, it was revealed that the mum of two and her husband, Gavin Bonnar, who had been living in Spain since 2012, had gone their separate ways.
It also emerged that the Belfast-born barrister was in a new relationship with Telma Ortiz, a younger sister of the Queen of Spain.
Sources said the couple became an item “some time after the separation.”
Musician, singer and songwriter Sharon (51), who shot to fame with her siblings in The Corrs back in the 1990s, has never discussed her marriage breakdown.
But, in an exclusive interview with the Sunday World, Sharon today reveals that the highs and lows of her life can be found in the songs on her new album, The Fool And The Scorpion, which was released on Friday.
She describes writing the title track and first single while in “floods of tears” after what she says was a traumatic personal event in her life – and tells how it was fuelled by “rage, despair and revenge”.
Sharon doesn’t reveal the details of the incident that sparked the song, telling me: “I don’t really go into my private life, ever. I think that when you listen to my songs they’re basically my truth, and they are every experience, they’re not just negative experiences.
“The first song I released, The Fool And The Scorpion, is a very angry song. It’s the story of me going through a very tumultuous episode in my life. I wrote it in July 2019 and it was the last song I wrote for the record.
“It literally just fell out of me because I had experienced something extremely painful the day before.
“It’s sort of a pain that…we all go through pain in life, and then sometimes you get hit with a pain that you think, ‘I can’t really cope with this.’ But somehow you know that you will, but it can be extremely difficult.”
Sharon then describes sitting on a plane in Madrid, which had been delayed due to a raging storm outside, and crying her eyes out.
“I was going to the Montreaux Jazz Festival and I was going to see my friend, Doug, the drummer who works with me. There was this gigantic storm outside and we couldn’t take off. I was sitting in my seat in tears and it was at the point where I no longer cared who saw me crying,” she says.
“These words just started pouring out of me, based on an experience I had just experienced. They were kind of words of rage and despair and revenge.”
If people are surprised that Sharon has a feisty and formidable side to her nature, she explains: “When people look at women in particular, or women in a band together, or sisters in a band together, they tend to think of you as little linear people…angels who only have good and positive thoughts and are super clean, and there’s nobody on the planet who’s like that.
“All of our experience is part of who we are, and some of those are very positive and hopeful experiences and magical experiences, and some of them are pretty toxic.
“The Fool And The Scorpion was almost like a purging of an experience once I’d written it.
“When I got to Montreaux at two in the morning and met my friend, Doug, we sat down and had a beer and I said, ‘Hey, take a look at these [the song lyrics]. And he went, ‘Oh my God, Sharon, those lyrics have teeth!’ And I went, ‘Yeah, they do.'”
Sharon laughs as she recalls this moment, and then she tells how her American producer, Larry Klein, had the same reaction when she sent him the song.
“I finished the song in two days, between the lyrics and the music, and I sent it off to Larry Klein. He wrote back to me and he went, ‘This one’s got teeth!’ It’s a very American term, obviously. But he loved it because it’s a kind of clearing away of toxins, of a toxic circumstance, and you feel very good after doing something like that. Kind of like when you have a good cry.
“The beautiful thing about being a singer and a writer is that I do get to express unbridled what I feel. I don’t literally say what’s happening in my life, it’s very metaphorical how I write it.
“It’s not normal to tell everybody your stuff. I would tell my best friends or my brother and sisters, but I don’t tell anybody else. That song, when you read the lyrics, they read and they sound like a storm. That’s what was going on outside when I was writing it, and I also had a storm on the inside.”
Talking about another new song, Under A Daylight Moon, Sharon says she wrote it in 2018 while “trying to navigate my way through life and trying to find my way and to follow my truth, and what I was living through was pretty difficult”.
While the song, Freefall, is about the dramatic changes in her life.
“It’s almost like a song of realising that your life is in pieces, and although there are great pieces in there – two absolutely beautiful kids and fantastic friends, and I’m alive, amazing things – but the life that I knew had gone in many ways.
“But I’m not afraid of vulnerability anymore, even if it’s vulnerability in romance. I’m not afraid to say ‘I love you’, I’m not afraid to say ‘You’re a piece of crap, get the hell out of my life!'”
She sounds like a very happy woman today. “I very much am,” Sharon laughs. “I’m doing what I love, I’m my own boss and nobody tells me what to do. I don’t get up to very much except my music, a couple of laughs with my friends and drinks out, but I’m really, really enjoying life.”
Sharon Corr’s new album, The Fool And The Scorpion, is out now.
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