Analysis of the music video "Zombie" by The Cranberries The official music video of the song "Zombie" by The Cranberries was published in October of 1994, shortly after the song's first appearance on their second studio album "No Need To Argue" in September. With their video, the Irish band wants to represent the effects and consequences of the British-Irish conflict and want to set a clear sign against its horrors. During the first scene of the video (0:00-0:26), black and white footage of children and teenagers playing in a rather poor-looking environment is shown. The viewer can also watch armed soldiers patrolling the streets of the unknown village. Starting at 0:27, short sequences of the band "The Cranberries" playing their song in front of ruins and dilapidated houses are brought in among the other footage. The lead singer of the band, Dolores O'Riordan, is presented standing in front of a cross, covered in golden paint (0:40). She is surrounded by nine children, also covered in golden paint. Sometimes, close-ups of these children are shown and the focus is on the weapons some of them are holding in their hands. Towards the end of the video (4:03), the viewer can see four more children, probably boys, being tied up to the cross and screaming. Most of the footage which...
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is used in the video is kept in rather dark colours or black and white. Nevertheless, there are some short, coloured sequences, for example the ones presenting some wall paintings (1:59). Not only the lyrics of the song, but also the design of the music video can be directly and indirectly linked to the happenings of the British-Irish conflict. The black and white footage, as well as the scenes presenting armed soldiers, destroyed houses and children "fighting" depict sadness, violence and war. Based on the text passage "It's the same old theme since 1916", it also becomes clear hat the song refers to the British-Irish conflict, because in 1916, Irish republicans started the so-called "Easter Rising". This violent attempt to force Ireland's independency can be regarded as a turning point in British-Irish history and caused a lot more conflicts. The directors of the video chose to insert a few close-up shots, usually focusing the lead singer's face (1:29). These short sequences emphasize the pain and rage the protagonists are feeling. The fact that there is footage of children, mostly young boys, who fight and play war (4:54) also shows that the whole Irish population, even the youngest generation, is strongly affected and influenced by all the events. This thesis can also be supported by the scenes where Dolores O'Riordan is standing in front of a cross and the young boys surrounding her seem to protect her with their weapons (0:43). This could indicate that even young people and even children are involved in the fights. In this case, the cross, the children folding their hands like they are praying and how they are looking up to the sky probably represents the main reason for the conflict, the troubles between Catholics and Protestants. Based on the results of my analysis, I would conclude that my thesis that The Cranberries want to represent the consequences of the British-Irish conflict and want to set a sign against its horrors is true. In addition, I would even say that by using authentic footage of the Irish people's lives, the band wants to "frighten" the people being responsible for all the violence.