Jan 17, 2018

Dolores O’Riordan, lead singer of Irish rock band The Cranberries, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, Jan. 15 in London.According to Agence France-Presse, the singer was working on a new version of Zombie. 

Her bandmates, guitarist Noel Hogan, bassist Mike Hogan, and drummer Fergal Lawler, confirmed the news on the official Twitter of The Cranberries.

Many grew up listening to her voice on Walkmans and alternative music stations. O’Riordan was known for the raw emotion which bit into her Celtic-influenced vocals.

In her memory and in celebration of her legacy, we take a look into some of The Cranberries’ greatest singles.

Zombie (1994)

The band’s most popular song is a karaoke staple for sure. Beyond that, though, it’s a protest song against unnecessary violence. Decades later, the song’s message rings through, O’Riordan’s troubling lilting still conveys pain and anger.

Key lyrics

With their tanks, and their bombs
And their bombs, and their guns
In your head, in your head, they are dying

Linger (1993)

You’d recognize that delicate intro from anyone’s heartbreak playlist. It’s about O’Riordan’s first kiss, and the first song she wrote upon joining the band. She pegged it as a song about first love, written for a soldier she had fallen in love with.

Key lyrics

But I’m in so deep
You know I’m such a fool for you

Dreams (1993)

What catapulted The Cranberries into fame was this post-’80s anthem, heavy on synths and pumping percussions. O’Riordan’s wailing la la las at the climax of the song leave listeners hypnotized by blissful abandon.

Key lyrics

Oh, my life is changing every day
In every possible way


‘Cause you’re a dream to me
Dream to me.

Ode to My Family (1994)

This song is a lyrical and melodic trip that captured many an angsty grunge-loving ’90s teen’s soul. But looking beyond its obvious pining for familial attention, it tells the story of a simpler life, a past lost and only found in childhood memories.

Key lyrics

We didn’t give a damn
‘Cause we were raised
To see life as fun
And take it if we can

Analyse (2001)

A refreshing tune from a hit and miss album, Analyse returns to both the beginning and the basics. Tonally, it’s a feel good melody and a throwback to their rise to fame. Its tempo and familiar chord progression echoes that of Dreams.

Key lyrics

Don’t analyze, don’t analyze
Don’t go that way
Don’t lead that way
That would paralyze your evolution

When You’re Gone (1996)

The bluesy intro with O’Riordan’s sweet doo-wops comes on and you’re almost forced to sway. It sounds like something you’d slow dance to with a lost love. Something you reminisce and cry about when you get older.

Key lyrics

And in the night, I could be helpless
I could be lonely
Sleeping without you

Why (2017)

An apt song for grieving is The Cranberries’ final single with the late vocalist. It’s a haunting, almost childlike cry about loss. It was written after the death of O’Riordan’s father. The same sentiments can echo after her passing as well.

Key lyrics

Tell me you can hear me, don’t cry
Tell me that you’re not feeling lonely
Somewhere in between where and why


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