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Album: No Need To ArgueReleased: 1994Charted:
This was inspired by the IRA bombing in Warrington, Cheshire in 1993. Two children, Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry, were killed. The IRA (The Irish Republican Army) is a militant group determined to remove British troops from Northern Ireland.
Lead singer Dolores O'Riordan claimed that "Zombie" speaks about "The Irish fight for independence that seems to last forever." The lyrics even say, "It's the same old theme since 1916." Like the responsive works of Yeats, Heaney and U2, the Cranberries claim they wrote "Zombie" to be a "Song for peace, peace among England and Ireland."
On August 31, 1994, just a few weeks after this song was released, the IRA declared a ceasefire after 25 years of conflict, leading some critics of The Cranberries to wonder if the IRA was willing to call a truce to make sure the group didn't release any more songs about them.
The video was shot by Samuel Bayer, flew to Belfast shortly before the cease-fire to get footage of the area - those are real British soldiers local children. Bayer intercut these scenes with striking images of Dolores O'Riordan, standing by a cross and covered in gold paint, as similarly gilded children look on. Bayer, who began as a painter, was wildly creative in his videos when given free reign. His best-known work is Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit
The Cranberries performed this at Woodstock '94 a month before the single was released.
The Cranberries performed this on Saturday Night Live
on February 25, 1995.