Zombie (song)

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This article is about the Cranberries song. For the album and song by Fela Kuti, see Zombie (album).
The Cranberries - Zombie.jpg
Standard artwork (CD/Vinyl edition pictured)
Single by The Cranberries
from the album No Need to Argue
Released 19 September 1994
Recorded 1994 at Windmill Lane Studios
Length 5:06 (album/video version #1)
4:11 (video version #2/radio edit)
Label Island
Writer(s) Dolores O'Riordan
Producer(s) Stephen Street
The Cranberries singles chronology
"Ode to My Family"
Music sample
Music video
"Zombie" on YouTube

"Zombie" is a protest song by Irish rock band The Cranberries.[1] It was released in September 1994 as the lead single from their second studio album, No Need to Argue (1994). The song was written by the band's lead singer Dolores O'Riordan, and reached No. 1 on the charts in Australia, Belgium, France, Denmark, and Germany.

It won the "Best Song" award at the 1995 MTV Europe Music Awards.[2]


"Zombie" is composed in the key of E Minor with a tempo of 84 beats per minute.[3]


Zombie was written during the Cranberries' English Tour in 1993, in memory of two boys, Jonathan Ball and Tim Parry, who were killed in an early-1993 IRA bombing in Warrington.


The Rough Guide to Rock identified the album No Need to Argue as "more of the same" as the Cranberries' debut album, except for the song "Zombie", which had an "angry grunge" sound and "aggressive" lyrics.[4] The Cranberries played the song on their appearance on the U.S. show Saturday Night Live in 1995 in a performance that British author Dave Thompson calls "one of the most powerful performances that the show has ever seen".[5]

Greil Marcus wrote that Zombie created a "displacement" by reference to the 1916 Easter Rising, and that it was "bizarre" for a song of the pop genre to refer to events before the lifetime of the target audience.[6] Allmusic said the song "trivialized" the events of the Troubles, and that the "heavy rock trudge" of the song did not play to the band's strengths.[7]

Track listings[edit]

UK and European CD1 Single[8]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Zombie" (Album version) Dolores O'Riordan 5:06
2. "Away" (Previously unreleased; later included on the soundtrack of the 1995 film Clueless) Dolores O'Riordan 2:39
3. "I Don't Need" (Previously unreleased) Dolores O'Riordan and Noel Hogan 3:31
UK and European CD2 Single[9]
No. Title Length
1. "Zombie" (Album version) 5:06
2. "Waltzing Back" (Live at the Fleadh Festival, 11 June 1994) 3:45
3. "Linger" (Live at the Fleadh Festival, 11 June 1994) 5:25
UK and European 7" Single[10]
No. Title Length
1. "Zombie" (Radio edit) 4:10
2. "Away" (Previously unreleased) 2:39
US 2-Track Promo CD (PRCD 6857-2)[11]
No. Title Length
1. "Zombie" (Edit) 3:52
2. "Zombie" 5:06
UK VHS Single (PRCD 6857-2)[12]
No. Title Length
1. "Zombie" (Video version) 5:11

Music video[edit]

"Zombie" was released with a music video in October 1994. The video was directed by Samuel Bayer, and produced by Doug Friedman and H.S.I. Productions.

In the video, Dolores O'Riordan is covered in gold makeup and appears in front of a cross. The video also includes clips of children playing war games, and of British soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (as evident from their thin red line tactical recognition flashes) on patrol in Northern Ireland.

The unsuspecting troops were told that their footage was to be included in a documentary about the day-to-day operations of various peace-keeping forces.[citation needed] The video was filmed in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

As of January 2017, the video has over 470 million views on YouTube, and is one of 250 most viewed videos on the site.

Cover versions[edit]

  • In late 1994, a cover version by Spanish mákina group Ororo was released in conjunction with the original version. This version reached number-one in Spain and number 16 in Austria.[13]
  • In 1995, a Eurodance cover version by Italian quartet A.D.A.M. featuring Amy reached No. 16 in the UK singles chart,[14] No. 20 in France, No. 9 in Italy and No. 35 in Belgium.[15]
  • In 2005, the winner of the Super Girl singing contest in China performed the song in the final contest.[16]
  • In 2006, Miser (band) covered the song on their album Colors.
  • In 2009, Jay Brannan included a cover of the song on his album of covers In Living Cover.[17]
  • In 2009, the Gibraltarian group Breed 77 covered the song on their album Insects.
  • In 2009, Skott Freedman released a slow, haunting cover of "Zombie" recorded on an old church organ.[18] His version was featured in the 2016 finale of the popular Italian talent show, Amici di Maria De Filippi.[19]
  • In 2011, Mohombi interpolated the chorus of the song for his single "In Your Head" which is included on his UK edition album MoveMeant.
  • In 2011, Christina Parie covered the song on X Factor Australia. After her performance, the song re-entered the ARIA Charts Top 100 at No. 69.
  • In 2012, The Crying Spell covered the song on their album Disgraceland.
  • In 2016, Ran-D presented a remixed version of the song at the hardstyle event Qlimax.[20]

Appearances in other media[edit]

The Cranberries used the song as the background for the main menu on their multi-media CD-ROM.[21]

The 1997 Australian film Blackrock features the song "Zombie" as well as "No Need To Argue", another song by The Cranberries.[22] The 2008 film Battle of the Bone has a scene in which a woman is playing "Zombie" on the piano and is devoured by zombies.[1]

Ed Helms's character, Andy Bernard, sings a segment from the song "Zombie" in The Office episode "The Return".

UFC fighter Chan Sung Jung, also known as "The Korean Zombie," enters the cage to "Zombie"

In 2006, Rock Star: Supernova controversial contestant Dilana Robichaux sang "Zombie" in the finale, only to become runner-up to Lukas Rossi.[23]

On their 2011 album Knife Man, folk punk band Andrew Jackson Jihad titled a track "Zombie By The Cranberries by Andrew Jackson Jihad". However, this is an ironic title of an original song, and not a cover of "Zombie".

In 2014, The Voice contestant Clarissa Serna sang "Zombie" as her audition.

In 2015, Golos (The Voice of Russia) contestant Era Kann (Russian: Эра Канн)/Team Basta sang "Zombie" (mix. "One of Us") as her audition.[24]

In 2016, The Voice contestant Lacy Mandigo sang "Zombie" in the knockout round.

Charts and sales[edit]


Region Certification
Australia (ARIA)[50] Platinum
Austria (IFPI Austria)[51] Gold
Germany (BVMI)[52] Platinum
Italy (FIMI)[53] Gold

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" by R.E.M.
Billboard Modern Rock Tracks number-one single
29 October 1994 – 3 December 1994 (6 weeks)
Succeeded by
"About a Girl (live)" by Nirvana
Preceded by
"All I Wanna Do" by Sheryl Crow
Australian number-one single
18 December 1994 – 5 February 1995 (8 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Another Night" by MC Sar & The Real McCoy
Preceded by
"Tears Don't Lie" by Mark 'Oh
German number-one single
3 February 1995 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Conquest of Paradise" by Vangelis
Preceded by
"Short Dick Man" by 20 Fingers featuring Gillette
French SNEP number-one single
4 March 1995 – 29 April 1995 (9 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Pour que tu m'aimes encore" by Céline Dion
Preceded by
Belgian (Wallonia) number-one single
8 April 1995 – 22 April 1995 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Respect" by Alliance Ethnik
Preceded by
"Asshole" by Denis Leary
Triple J Hottest 100 Winner
Succeeded by
"Wonderwall" by Oasis


  1. ^ a b Dendle, Peter (2012). 2000-2010. McFarland. pp. 30–. ISBN 9780786492886. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "MTV Europe Music Award Winners 1994–2000". Billboard (magazine) (November 10, 2001): 50. Retrieved 24 August 2013. 
  3. ^ The Cranberries "Zombie" Sheet Music. musicnotes.com
  4. ^ Buckley, Peter (2003-11-01). The Rough Guide to Rock: the definitive guide to more than 1200 artists and bands. Rough Guides. pp. 248–. ISBN 9781843531050. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  5. ^ Thompson, Dave (2000-11-01). Alternative Rock: The Best Musicians and Recordings. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 294–. ISBN 9780879306076. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  6. ^ Marcus, Greil (2010-10-19). Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968-2010. PublicAffairs. pp. 184–. ISBN 9781586489199. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  7. ^ Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris; Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2002). All Music Guide to Rock: The Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 263–. ISBN 9780879306533. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Zombie UK & Europe CD1". Discogs. Retrieved 7 June 2011. CIDZ 6000 854144-2 LC 0407 PY 940
  9. ^ Discogs, Zombie UK & Europe CD2. CIDX 600/854112-2
  10. ^ Discogs, Zombie 7" Single. 854110-7
  11. ^ Discogs, Zombie Promo CD. PRCD 6857-2.
  12. ^ Discogs, Zombie Promo CD. PRCD 7567-2.
  13. ^ "Hits of the World: Spain (IFPI/Nielsen Marketing Research)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 107 (13): 48. 1 April 1995. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  14. ^ Everyhit.com Search 'ADAM featuring Amy'
  15. ^ "A.D.A.M. FEAT. AMY – ZOMBIE (SONG)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 22 June 2010. 
  16. ^ "China's 'Super Girl' syndrome". Deseret News. 30 August 2005. 
  17. ^ "Amazon.com: In Living Cover: Jay Brannan: Music". 
  18. ^ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/zombie-the-cranberries-cover/id307748971
  19. ^ http://www.wittytv.it/amici/macbeth-gabriele-la-finale/
  20. ^ Ran-D - Zombie
  21. ^ Inc., CMJ Network, (December 1995). CMJ New Music Monthly. CMJ Network, Inc. pp. 28–. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  22. ^ Rebecca Coyle (2005). Reel tracks: Australian feature film music and cultural identities. Indiana University Press. p. 26. ISBN 0-86196-658-9. 
  23. ^ "Rock Star: Supernova: Dilana goes crazy". Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  24. ^ "Эра Канн "Zombie" "One of Us" - Нокауты - Голос - Сезон 4". http://www.1tv.ru/voice/talents/era_kann. Retrieved 22 November 2015.  External link in |work= (help)
  25. ^ "Australian-charts.com – The Cranberries – Zombie". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  26. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Cranberries – Zombie" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Cranberries – Zombie" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Cranberries – Zombie" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  29. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 60, No. 20, December 05 1994". RPM. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  30. ^ "Hits of the World: Denmark (IFPI/Nielsen Marketing Research)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 107 (6): 55. 11 February 1995. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  31. ^ "Hits of the World: Denmark (IFPI/Nielsen Marketing Research)". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 107 (7): 43. 18 February 1995. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  32. ^ "Lescharts.com – The Cranberries – Zombie" (in French). Les classement single.
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  34. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. IRMA. Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2009. 
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  37. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Cranberries – Zombie". VG-lista.
  38. ^ "Archive Chart: 1994-10-05". Scottish Singles Top 40.
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  40. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Cranberries – Zombie". Swiss Singles Chart.
  41. ^ "Archive Chart: 1994-10-01" UK Singles Chart.
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  43. ^ 1995 Australian Singles Chart aria.com Archived 3 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 20 April 2008)
  44. ^ 1995 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved 20 April 2008)
  45. ^ 1995 Belgian (Flanders) Singles Chart Ultratop.be Archived 30 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 20 April 2008)
  46. ^ 1995 Belgian (Wallonia) Singles Chart Ultratop.be Archived 14 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 20 April 2008)
  47. ^ "Single top 100 over 1995" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 19 April 2010. 
  48. ^ 1995 French Singles Chart Disqueenfrance.com Archived 7 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 30 January 2009)
  49. ^ 1995 Swiss Singles Chart Hitparade.ch Archived 23 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 20 April 2008)
  50. ^ http://australianfuncountdowns.blogspot.com.au/2010/01/accreditation-awards.html
  51. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Cranberries – Zombie" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter Cranberries in the field Interpret. Enter Zombie in the field Titel. Select single in the field Format. Click Suchen
  52. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Cranberries; 'Zombie')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  53. ^ "Italian single certifications – Cranberries – Zombie" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter Cranberries in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically