The tragic incident which inspired Zombie by ‘The Cranberries’

Help us reach more people

Zombie is the most significant song by ‘The Cranberries’ which was an Irish rock band. It was released on 19th September 1994 as the lead single from their second studio album ‘No Need To Argue’.

The band had had significant success with their debut album ‘Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?‘, but with the song ‘Zombie’, the band was catapulted to international recognition and stardom.

Song Meaning and Story

The song was written in the memory of 2 kids- Johnathan Ball aged 3 and Tim Parry aged 12 who died in the 1993 Warrington bombings when 2 hidden IRA explosives detonated in the litter bins of a shopping street in Warrington.

It happened during the time of ‘The Troubles’ which was a armed conflict waged by the IRA(Irish Republican Army) to end the British rule in Northern Ireland and facilitate Irish reunification.

The conflict lasted for about 30 years from late 1960s to 1998 and saw numerous riots, mass protests, vandalism and other acts of civil disobedience.

There were a lot of bombs going off in London and I remember this one time a child was killed when a bomb was put in a rubbish bin – that’s why there’s that line in the song, ‘A child is slowly taken’.

We were on a tour bus and I was near the location where it happened, so it really struck me hard – I was quite young, but I remember being devastated about the innocent children being pulled into that kind of thing.

So I suppose that’s why I was saying, ‘It’s not me’ – that even though I’m Irish it wasn’t me, I didn’t do it. Because being Irish, it was quite hard, especially in the UK when there was so much tension.

Dolores O’Riordan

Dolores had received a fair deal of criticism for writing a political song with its hard hitting lyrics to the point where in she was fighting with the label ‘Island Records’ to have the song released. She even clarified that the song was produced from a humanitarian point of view.

The IRA are not me. I’m not the IRA. The Cranberries are not the IRA. My family are not. When it says in the song, ‘It’s not me, it’s not my family,’ that’s what I’m saying. It’s not Ireland, it’s some idiots living in the past”

Dolores O’ Riordan

The song is among the classical rock songs of all time. It is an alternative rock song which is popular to this day and will stand the test of time in future as well.

That was the story behind ‘Zombie’ by ‘The Cranberries’. Let me know your opinion in the comments below.

Help us reach more people

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *