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Zombie song meanings
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  • +33
    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.
    [Edit: 123456]
    DanielRogerson September 01, 2011   Link
  • +13
    My Opinion
    With 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
  • +10
    General Comment
    The best Cranberries song ever, and one of the best i've ever heard. make love, not war.
    Al Bundyon March 09, 2002   Link
  • +8
    General Comment
    RS41, 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 Comment
    Personally, 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 Zombie What's in your head, in your head Zombie" 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 Zombie What's in your head, in your head Zombie" 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
  • +3
    General Comment
    This is a really beautiful song with a lot of meaning.
    LiViNg_DeAd_GiRlon June 28, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Comment
    Real sad Delores died today. It was the futility of conflicts like this, that generationally can go and on causing damage. Killing for nothing. I am Irish Catholic ancestry and well understand the injustice for Catholics. It does not excuse the killing of the helpless like children. Other conflicts around the world are the same think Israel and Palestine,humans not getting their act together and working things out as human.
    delia17601on January 15, 2018   Link
  • +2
    General Comment
    i 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 Comment
    The 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 Comment
    ok. 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

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