How the Cranberries ' song "Zombie" helped end hostilities

On August 31, 1994, a few months after the release of this composition, the IRA announced the end of hostilities after 25 years of conflict.

"The Cranberries" - "Zombie" (1994): the meaning of the song, video clip, public outcry

"Zombie" - The song protest Irish rock band "The Cranberries". The track was released in autumn 1994 and was leading composition from the second studio album "No Need to Argue". By "Zombie" is the vocalist of the band Dolores O'Riordan. Song was in the lead long time on the charts Australia and some countries Europeespecially France and Germany.

The song is about war in Northern Ireland between people who wanted to remain part of UK, and those who wanted to turn the region into a separate country. This conflict is source violence, suffering and death of people throughout over a hundred years, since section Ireland. Irish Republican Army (IRA) и loyalist paramilitaries fought each other prolonged time.

One of the covers of the single "Zombie" by The Cranberries
One of the covers of the single "Zombie" by The Cranberries

History of creation

Text songs were written after bombing IRA in Warrington, Cheshire, England on March 20 1993. IN result military operations died two children: three years old Jonathan Ball died instantly, and the twelve-year-old Tim Perry died five days later in the hospital. Yet 56 human received injured, four of them are serious. Both sides accuse each other in death: British police accuse IRA in installation bombs; The IRA believes that British law enforcement ignored warnings about mopping up district.

"The Cranberries" wrote "Zombie" during tour 1993 in England. Vocalist Dolores O'Riordan admitted:

“On the road, tracks are written faster and livelier. "Zombie" turned out quite by accident. If you compare it to the songs from our first album, you can see how we gradually moved away from the restrained sound to the rock and roll style.

Dolores O'Riordan at the beginning of her journey...
Dolores O'Riordan

The meaning of the song

The composition looks like either conversations about people, losing their souls and becoming meaningless machines for killings, or as random images zombie against a cool musical background. First verse quite vividly describes the tears and the severity of the loss mothers and gives political shade single: "Another head hangs lowly / Child is slowly taken" - "With a bowed head / The child is taken away." Words "slowly taken" may also be a reference to the fact that many children and adults through deceit make you believe that they struggling for justice, although in reality everything is quite different.

There are also other linesworth draw Attention. "And the violence caused such silence" ("And the violence caused silence") can mean that each side made such terrible wars atrocitiesthat none of them is ready to lead negotiationand therefore the violence continued. "But you see it's not me, / It's not my family / In your head, in your head they are fighting" ) – given phrase stands out as talk with someone who going crazy and tries to explain death and murder - it all happens in head, not really. It is also possible that interpretation: all violencethat a person has ever experienced in relation to himself, the way he suppressed all emotions and experiences made it thoughtless and indifferentsimilar to zombie.

The image of Dolores O'Riordan the vocalist for the video "Zombie" by "The Cranberries
The image of vocalist Dolores O'Riordan for the clip "Zombie" of the group "The Cranberries"

Specific link to 1916 ("It's the same old theme / Since 1916" ("It's still the same old theme / Since 1916") - we are talking about Easter uprising, armed collision in Northern Ireland during Easter week, in April 1916. Insurrection was started by Irish Republicansto put the end British rule in the country and create an independent, free state, while the United Kingdom was involved in World War I.

If you want to better understand what is meaning track, you need to carefully listen carefully into words, gradually scrolling them in my head and convert pay attention to the feelings they evoke in you. Such deep song it is forbidden interpret only on one side, it must be considered from different angles and search secret meanings.

One of the covers of the single "Zombie" by The Cranberries
One of the covers of the single "Zombie" by The Cranberries

May exist many versions about what is really means this composition. But for sure it's clear: war - it's unjustified crueltywhere innocent people die, even children. None politics, freedom and philosophy cannot justify.

Video clip

The video for "Zombie" was filmed Samuel Bayerwho arrived in Belfast shortly before termination fire to film footage in the area. In video no staged scenes, these are real British soldiers and local children. Bayer mixes it with startling images of Dolores O'Riordan standing by cross and covered gold paint, which look the same gilded children.

Paint yourself gold for the video was idea O'Riordan. explaining symbolism, She said:

"It was metaphorical for all the pain that was inflicted on innocent people, and a bit religious."

In the UK, the song took only 14th place in the charts. The success of the video prevented ban BBC and Irish broadcaster RTE: they didn't like riot scenesfilmed in Belfast and children playing into the war. They showed edited version video. As of 2022, the original version of the video has scored 1.1 billion views on YouTube.

August 31, 1994, in a few months after release this composition, IRA announced Completion hostilities after 25 years conflict.


"Zombie" - very powerful The song, but it is also quite simply sing and play, so the composition was cover many times in different genres and often performed by contestants in TV show. For example, the Gibraltar metal band Breed77 recorded her version and included it on the album "Insects" in 2009. Italian group New Hope covered the song for the album "What Never Dies" in the same year.

In 2018 American groove metal band "Bad Wolves" released great cover with at least great clip: a girl appears in the video in a "gilded" image Dolores O'Riordan.

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