29 June 2023

29 June 2023 - The Cranberries - Zombie

On the 20th of March in 1993, the second of two bomb attacks happened in Warrington, Cheshire, England.  The Irish Republican Army, a group who was trying to pressure the UK into pulling out of Northern Ireland, claimed responsibilty for the attack, which killed Johnathan Ball, aged 3, and Tim Parry, aged 12.

Why am I opening this post like this?   

Because "Zombie" was written in response to that attack,   

You see, Irish band The Cranberries were on a tour bus near the explosion. so it really hit home for Dolores O'Riordan.  She wrote this song very quickly and the band immediately started performing it live, also adding it to their second album.  In fact, here they are, performing the song in January 1994, a full nine months before the song was on any album.

While all this was going on, the band's first album was blowing up (figuratively) and they were becoming the band of the moment, with videos in heavy rotation on MTV and hits on the pop charts - so their second album was hotly anticipated.  When it was released, it became a smash hit, topping charts worldwide and bringing the band's second album, No Need To Argue, with it.

The song, a grungy departure from the band's style, was loaded with political overtones that were largely lost on the US audience.  They were NOT lost on the UK audience, and the band was heavily criticized by some for them in the press.  Who did NOT criticize the band were the families of Johnathan Ball and Tim Parry, who thanked the band for their song and for its magesty and real lyrics.  

The Cranberries are no more, ending with the 2018 death of Dolores O'Riordan, but she didn't lose a bit of passion right up until the moment she died (which was during a recording session).  Here's the band in 2016, more than 20 years after the song was written, performing the song with equal passion as the day it was first performed.

No comments:

Post a Comment