Zombie

Artist: The Cranberries
Released on: No Need To Argue (Track #4)
Duration: 5:06

LYRICS

Another head hangs lowly
Child is slowly taken
And the violence caused such silence
Who are we mistaken

But you see
It’s not me
It’s not my family
In your head
In your head
They are fighting

With their tanks
And their bombs
And their bombs
And their guns
In your head
In your head
They are cryin’

In your head
In your head
Zombie
Zombie
Zombie-ie-ie
What’s in your head
In your head
Zombie
Zombie
Zombie-ie-ie-ie, o-oh
Tu tu tu lu lu
Tu tu tu lu lu
Tu tu tu lu lu
Tu tu tu lu luuu

Another mother’s breakin’
Heart is taking over
When the violence causes silence
We must be mistaken

It’s the same old theme
Since nineteen-sixteen
In your head
In your head
They’re still fightin’

With their tanks
And their bombs
And their bombs
And their guns
In your head
In your head
They are dyin’

In your head
In your head
Zombie
Zombie
Zombie-ie-ie
What’s in your head
In your head
Zombie
Zombie
Zombie-ie-ie-ie, o-oh, o-oh, o-oh, o-oh, o-oh, o-oh, o-oh, hey hey aaaah, ya-ya-aaaaw

CREDIT INFORMATION

Music and Lyrics by Dolores O’ Riordan
Produced and Engineered by Stephen Street assisted by Julie Gardiner
Recorded and Mixed at The Manor Studios, Oxford and the Townhouse Studios, London
All string written & directed by Dolores O’ Riordan
Published by Island Music Ltd 1994

MEANING

  • On 1995, in an interview given to Evelyn McDonnell, Dolores said: “On the second album I wanted Zombie to be a really aggressive song because it was about an aggressive subject: a child’s life being taken by violence.
  • On 1995, in an article of the magazine Vox Dolores explained: “It was written on an English tour about a year-and-a-half ago, when there was a big eruption of trouble between Northern Ireland and London, and it was doing my head in. For a while, things were gnawing at me about the whole bombings thing, and I was reading articles about what was going on in Bosnia and the way women and, more painfully, kids were being treated. At that time there was the bomb in Warrington, and those boys were killed. I remember seeing one of the mothers on television, just devastated. I felt so sad for her, that she’d carried him for nine months, been through all the morning sickness, the whole thing, and some… prick, some airhead who thought he was making a point, did that.”
  • She added: “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, living for a dream. OK, I know that they have their problems up there, but there was no reason why that child should have been taken, why that woman should have gone through that […] I really don’t give a shit -excuse the vulgarity- but don’t care whether it’s Protestant or Catholic, I don’t care whether it’s England or Ireland. At the end of the day I care about the fact that innocent people are being harmed. That’s what provoked me to write the song, it was nothing to do with writing a song about it because I’m Irish.
  • On march 1995, in an interview given to Soundi Magazine, Fergal said: “It’s about a bomb in London about a year and a half ago, when the explosion killed an innocent child. It’s not about IRA, it’s about what the terrorism and wars do to people. It’s about people’s feelings, it’s not a political statement.
  • Dolores said in an interview to Hot Press in 1996 : “People said that we shouldn’t have done Zombie but, excuse me, I’m Irish, I’m a human being, I’m allowed to have feelings about the North, the same I’m allowed to have feelings about what’s going on in Bosnia. I express those feelings in my songs, it’s up to people then to decide whether they want to listen to ‘em or not”.
  • The lyrics also referenced 1916 Easter Rising when Irish republicans launched an armed campaign to end British rule in Ireland.

NOTES

  • The atrocities of the Warrington bombing on 20 March 1993 inspired Dolores to write “Zombie”.
  • The Warrington bombings were two separate bomb attacks that took place during early 1993 in Warrington, England. The first attack happened on 26 February and caused extensive damage but no injuries. The second attack happened on 20 March, when two small bombs exploded in litter bins outside shops and businesses on Bridge Street. The bombs exploded within a minute of each other. Two children were killed, Johnathan Ball, 3 years old, and Tim Parry, 12 years old. Johnathan died at the scene while Tim passed away five days later. A further 56 people were injured. The bombings were carried out by the Provisional Irish Republican Army. No one has ever been prosecuted over the deaths.


Johnathan Ball (3) & Tim Parry (12)

  • The Cranberries’ biggest hit.
  • Dolores: “Zombie was written on The Cranberries English Tour 1993.
  • “Zombie” is the first single released from “No Need To Argue” in September 1994.
  • A different studio version produced by James Birtwistle was recorded in 1994 for  BBC Radio 1 Evening Session. This was not a live, one-take recording like other media performances. This version was released on a “Vox” magazine promo cassette.
  • The song was played in several tv series or movies:
    – Police 110, “Kleine Dealer, groβe Traüme” (1996)
    – Blackrock (1997)
    – Hinter Gittern – Der Frauenknast, “Machtspiele” (1998)
    – Hinter Gittern – Der Frauenknast, “Verloren” (1999)
    – So You Think You Can dance (2005)
    – The Office, season 3 episode 14 “The Office” (2007)
    – 20 to 1 (TV Series documentary) “Music with a message” (2008)
  • The song was covered by several artists, to name a few: A.D.A.M featuring Amy (1995), Breed 77 (2007), Christophe Willem (2007), Jay Brannan (2009), Skott Freedman (2011), Mohombi (2011, sample of the chorus in his song In Your Head), Lovedrug (2011), Sarah Jezebel Deva (2011).
  • “Zombie” was used in an advertisement for a car in 2010.
  • A remix of the song was released in 2002 on “No Need To Argue (The Complete Sessions 1994-1995)”.
  • And it’s only the beginning…
  • Lyrics on this page were transcribed by our team and aim to be the exact ones (even including all the la la la’s as much as possible) as official lyrics available in different album releases are most of the time incomplete and/or sometimes have mistakes.
  • Official lyrics (above photo) off the “NNTA” commercial CD, catalog number CID 8029 524 050-2

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