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The Cranberries - Zombie - Lyrics Meaning

Inspired by the IRA bombing in Warrington, Cheshire in 1993. Two children, Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry, were killed. Released in 1994 it was the bands leading single reaching number 1 in over 4 countries it became the bands most successful song.

The first line talks about the shame of killing a child, the soldiers or mourners "head hangs lowly" as another child is "slowly taken". The words "slowly taken" could also be a reference to indoctrination and how children are taken in and made believe that they are fighting for whether it is right or wrong "And the violence caused such silence" each side of the war has committed terrible atrocities that neither side were willing to negotiate and so the violence continued. The question "who are we mistaken?" asks if war and killing is ever right and says that it's always a mistake to go to war no matter the circumstances.

The song goes into denial saying that neither her or her family have anything to do with the conflict and are trying to distance themselves from it but the memories of the events are too vivid in her head she can never escape the fighting and pain. She distances herself from the war."

"What's in your head? "zombie" is to the fighters asking what they were thinking when they were doing this or had they just turned into mindless zombies unable to do anything but follow atrocious orders. This particular part of the song is screamed as to protest the war and those being killed.

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