Another head hangs lowly,
Child is, slowly, taken.
And the violence caused such silence,
Who are we mistaken?
“Zombie” by The Cranberries is a powerful protest song that, coupled with its graphic video, paints a lasting picture of the Troubles in the band’s native Ireland.
The song was vastly successful as a single, reaching number one in a slew of countries, amongst them Australia and Germany. In 1995 it won the band a European MTV Award and, although critical reception at the time of release was soured by a move away from the band’s former sound, it is now widely regarded as their greatest hit.
The song was penned by front woman and founder Dolores O’Riordan while the band were on tour in 1993. It was written in memory of two children – Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry – who were killed by an IRA bomb in Warrington, Cheshire that same year. The line “And the violence caused such silence” pays direct tribute to the lives that were lost due to conflict in Ireland throughout the 90s.
A few weeks after the song was released, the IRA declared a ceasefire following 25 years of conflict.