“And this is an Irish song that I wrote about my grandfather and it’s called ‘Iosa’,” Dolores told the audience.
It’s been a years-old mystery that we at Zombieguide have just put together for ourselves, although apparently there have been a few that have known it for a long time. The title of the previously-unknown song performed in London on November 14, 1991, is “Iosa”, an address in Gaelic (native Irish language) that translates as “Jesus.” The song appears to be entirely in Gaelic, which would explain why no one has been able to transcribe any of its lyrics.
The information comes out of the November 16th, 1991 issue of the UK’s New Musical Express which had a summary of the concert only two days after it took place.
This marks the first and only time that Dolores has composed a Cranberries song entirely in Gaelic. Dolores is fluent in Gaelic and even attended Lauren Hill Seconday School, an all-Gaelic-speaking high school in Limerick. However, she dislikes the idea of mixing “trad” (traditional Irish elements) with modern rock ‘n’ roll, so the band has shyed away from such hybrids.
The death of Joe, Dolores’ intimate grandfather, in early 1991 was evidently a strong impact on her life — it also spawned the track from 1996’s “To The Faithful Departed” which bares his namesake.
No matter what the case, this is the only known performance or recording of “Iosa” and it seems that there will not be another one again anytime soon.
Thanks to Rach and Dolores159 for the help!