I can’t simply call it a song, to me it’s history.
It has recently exceeded one billion views on YouTube and I admit that some are mine.
A deserved success, which closes the circle of the previous song of the year proclamation at the 1995 MTV Awards.
Zombie was shot by Samuel Bayer, who also made the video of “Smells like teen Spirit” to be clear, but more than the undoubted quality, I would linger on the message and on the voice of Dolores O’Riordan.
Unfortunately now the first thing that is mentioned everywhere about her is the circumstance of death, but I would like to talk about life.
Not of her biography in detail, but I would particularly underline how she wrote this piece in a flash, after learning of the tragic death of two kids from a bomb.
Although the episode took place in Ireland in 1993, a specific sadly known context, Dolores has always avoided politicizing.
“In your head, in your head” Dolores repeats it, she invokes, she invites to think, it would seem banal and yet too often it is not.
Hers is a cry to unite, to awaken.
“Violence causes silence.”
I find that Dolores knows how to make this silence speak, she knows how to give voice to pain, she knows how to shout not anger, but the strength to say enough.
Zombie is against violence, against the inability to stop violence.
“This song’s our cry against man’s inhumanity to man; and man’s inhumanity to child.”
I don’t know about you but as far as I’m concerned, the thought comes loud and clear and settles viscerally.
Her “another mother’s breaking heart” becomes mine.
Her voice, her unique way of singing, constitute the focal point: a catalyst, which allows the message to communicate all its disruptive despair.
“Zombie was inspired by a child’s death. His life was taken in the arm’s of his mother. She was shopping in London last year, and there was a bomb planted in a rubbish bin in London and he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and he died. The reason the bomb was planted was because of a political territorial kind of thing that goes on in the North of Ireland and the UK. So the references to 1916 was when a contract was signed, which signed away the 6 counties to England. And it still goes on today: the war, the deaths, and the injustice.”
Zombies who see and feel pain, yet do nothing.
Zombies not from horror movies and yet terribly scarier: us.