"Zombie" as written by Dolores Mary O'riordan, Rui Jorge Da Silva, Darin Pappas and Antonio Pereira....
Another head hangs lowly
Child is slowly taken
And if violence causes the silence
Who are we mistaking
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

In your head
In your head
Zombie zombie zombie ei ei
What's in your head
In your head.
Zombie, zombie, zombie ei, ei, ei, oh do,do,do,do,do,do,do,do

Another mother's breaking heart is taking over the violence causes silence
We must be mistaken
It's the same old thing since 1916
In your head in your head
Their still fighting
With their tanks and their bombs
And their bombs and their guns
In your head in your head they are dying


Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by jjon43, Unanimated, ncc74656m, Beery, AmberBell, Bianconero

"Zombie" as written by Dolores Mary O'riordan

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Zombie song meanings
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  • +18
    General Comment"Zombie" is about the ethno-political conflict in Ireland. This is obvious if you know anything of the singer (Dolores O'Riordan)'s Irish heritage and understood the "1916" Easter Rising reference.

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


    Another mother's breaking
    Heart is taking over"

    Laments the Warrington bomb attacks in which two children were fatally injured on March 23rd, 1993. Twelve year old Tim Parry was taken off life support with permission from his mother after five days in the hospital, virtually braindead.

    "But you see it's not me
    It's not my family"

    References how people who are not directly involved with the violence feel about it. They are "zombies" without sympathy who refuse to take action while others suffer.
    DanielRogerson September 01, 2011   Link
  • +6
    General CommentRS41, a short history lesson...

    the easter rising of 1916 did not start the violence in northern ireland, it began a six year military campaign by the irish that finally forced the british to realize that they did not belong. however, in the treaty that followed, the english refused to give up six of the northern counties [because of their dominant protestant population]. because of the civil war that followed [and death of two of the most forward thinking irishmen of the time], northern ireland has been a war zone for the last thirty years.

    at the moment, the ira has stopped fighting and the english have realized that the interests of fringe ira groups are not the interests of the northern irish people. what now needs to happen is for the irish of NI who want to join the republic to wait a decade or two until the population shifts and the majority of ulster is no longer pro-british. the catholics of ulster are no longer lacking civil rights. they need to retain the patience they are currently expressing.
    kingmikekingon April 30, 2003   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThe best Cranberries song ever, and one of the best i've ever heard.
    make love, not war.
    Al Bundyon March 09, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is a really beautiful song with a lot of meaning.
    LiViNg_DeAd_GiRlon June 28, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti totally agree with Al Bundy. anyone who is in a war at the moment should listen to this song. it might help them to see that Love is Much better than Hate, famine and war.
    Shandaceon April 19, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe association of dogs and war goes back at least as far as the famous line, shakespeare, I think, "Let loose the Dogs of War", and black is a natural color to describe anything sad or evil
    punchykon May 23, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentok. read an interview with the band in NME yrs ago.
    they said the song is generally anti-war but in particular anti IRA/ Sinn Fein and anti loyalist terrorist like the UDA, UFF and LVF . Hence the line 'its the same old team since 1916' which refers to the Easter uprising in Dublin
    bigmeuprudeboyon April 03, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentPersonally, every time I hear this song I think of a lone soldier out on the battlefield. (Ps, this is the song that got me into Cranberries)
    "Another head hangs lowly
    Child is slowly taken
    And the violence caused such silence
    Who are we mistaken"
    I think of this verse as a younger soldier, maybe in his twenties looking over the field of battle and slowly being drawn into it. The who are we mistaken park is almost as if he's questioning himself if this is a good idea.

    "But You see it's not me,
    It's not my family"

    He tries to reason with himself, it's not like he's killing people he knows.

    "In your head,in your
    Head they are fighting
    With their tanks, and their bombs
    And their bombs, and their guns"

    It's as if he's desperately trying to reason with himself. They are people, no, they are fighting against us, I must fight back, but am I wrong?

    "In your head,
    In your head they are cryin'
    In your head
    What's in your head, in your head

    He is still debating against himself. The zombie refers to, I believe, that he is acting like a zombie, fighting like everyone else on the field of battle. He is yet another mindless drone among the millions.

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

    the first two lines can refer to the mothers of the dieing boys and men, and the second part I think goes back to the soldier debating whether this is a good idea. He may be realizing that these people are not mindless drones, and yet he is trying to rationalize his actions.

    "It's the same old theme since 1916
    In your head,
    In your head they're still fightin'
    With their tanks
    In your head they are dying"

    This seems to be the main line everyone fights over. Whatever 1916 refers to, it has a sembelence to war. I think it's the soldier continuing to try and rationalize his actions while another part of him argues that he's just making up excuses. (I fight with myself, and other people I know do the same, so this makes sense to me)

    "In your head, in your head
    What's in your head, in your head

    this last verse closes up. To me it seems like it's asking the listener their opinions.

    and... I'm probably way off, but that's my opinion.
    meradragonon May 29, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWith reference to Irish conflict the song is about younger generations fighting their ancestors battles. The zombies inside the head are the dead ancestors which still fighting in each new generation even though it is not their battle only a socially constructed one. Younger and younger generations are being effected by the pain and conflict of the past. Its a commentary on how we keep conflict alive through identity, blood etc and how it just perpetuates suffering even for those completely innocent such as children. The internal conflict of the zombies must stay in the ground and the present must be embraced to move on and let go.
    drniandraon August 22, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love the video for this song. It brings out very strong feelings. I have one question, though: What does the black dogs symbolize? I've seen them on several things associated with war (Northern Ireland, especially).
    Silmëon May 19, 2002   Link

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