Zombie by The Cranberries - what is the song about?
Zombie is an anti-terrorism song, often described as an anti-IRA song, written and performed by The Cranberries, an Irish band from the city of Limerick.
Zombie was penned by Cranberries lead singer Dolores O'Riordan and was on the band's 1994 album No Need to Argue.
1993 Warrington bomb
Zombie was written after the IRA detonated two bombs in the English town of Warrington on a Saturday afternoon in March 1993. The bombs were hidden in litter bins near a shopping centre and killed two children, three-year-old Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry (12), and injured 54 people. The following day was Mother's Day and the day on which the Warrington bombing was claimed by the Provisional IRA (IRA).
Read more: Who were the Provisional IRA?
The following year Dolores O'Riordan told NME magazine that the song "doesn't name terrorist groups or organisations... It doesn't take sides. It's a very human song".
"To me, the whole thing [terrorism] is very confused."
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 crying
The meaning behind the song
The Cranberries were on tour when the Warrnington bomb attack was carried out and Dolores O'Riordan said her heart broke for the mothers of the two little boys who lost their lives.
"I remember seeing one of the mothers on television, just devastated," she told Vox magazine in 1994.
"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."
O'Riordan told the magazine she felt offended that a paramilitary organisation claimed to be carrying out atrocities in the name of Ireland.
"The IRA are not me. I'm not the IRA," she said. "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."
However, the artist was criticised for the Zombie lyrics, labelled 'naive' and accused of taking sides in the a conflict she did not understand, namely the Northern Ireland Troubles.
"I don't care whether it's Protestant or Catholic, I care about the fact that innocent people are being harmed," she told Vox. "That's what provoked me to write the song.
"It was nothing to do with writing a song about it because I'm Irish. You know, I never thought I'd write something like this in a million years. I used to think I'd get into trouble."
She wrote Zombie in her Limerick home on an acoustic guitar and it became a powerful anthem for peace and a crowd favourite at concerts. The song became the band's biggest-selling single, reaching number one in Germany, Australia and France; and topping the US alternative rock charts.
It wasn't only the lyrics of Zombie that sparked controversy, so too did the video. Filmed in Northern Ireland, it included footage of Troubles-era Belfast, children holding guns, IRA murals and loyalist graffiti and broadcasters including RTE and the BBC would not screen it, instead using an edited version with concert footage of the song. The Cranberries were unhappy with that decision and ultimately the original, intended video has had more than 1.4 billion views on YouTube. The video had been made by Samuel Bayer, who had directed the videos for Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and Blind Melon's No Rain.
Read more: Murals in Northern Ireland: An explainer
The Cranberries' Dolores O'Riordan died in 2018
Tim Parry died at age 12 in the Warrington bomb and in the days after Dolores' death in 2018 his father, Colin, told BBC Radio Ulster that he had only just found out that Zombie was inspired by the tragedy.
"The words are both majestic and also very real.
"The event at Warrington, like the many events that happened all over Ireland and Great Britain, affected families in a very real way and many people have become immune to the pain and suffering that so many people experienced during that armed campaign.
"To read the words written by an Irish band in such compelling way was very, very powerful.
"I likened it to the enormous amount of mail expressing huge sympathy that we received in the days, weeks and months following our loss.
"Proportionately a very high total of that total came from the island of Ireland," he said.
Dolores O'Riordan had been due to record a cover of the song with hard rock band Bad Wolves at the time of her death and paying tribute singer Tommy Vext said: “Zombie is an incredibly personal song and although we are a hard rock band, we always felt the rawness and honesty she projected on stage and in her recordings was something to which all bands should aspire to, regardless of genre.
“When we heard she liked our version and wanted to sing on it, it was the greatest compliment a new band, or any band for that matter, could have received.”
Ireland rugby fans have been singing Zombie at the Rugby World Cup
Thousands of Ireland rugby fans celebrated their team's historic victory over South Africa in the Rugby World Cup 2023 to the sound of the Cranberries hit Zombie.
The 13-8 victory over the world cup holders has raised expectations that Ireland can go on to lay claim to the coveted title this year.
Zombie was played in the stadium at the end of the match, to mixed response from the TV audience in Ireland.
Follow our Rugby World Cup coverage here
What's in your head, zombie?
Aisling Bea used the song Zombie in her Channel 4 series This Way Up when she performed it with her on-screen sister Sharon Horgan. The scene highlighted the power of the lyrics to Zombie. It also featured in the US version of The Office and the second series of Derry Girls during the announcement of the Good Friday Agreement in 2015.