Ireland v South Africa at Rugby World Cup: ‘Stop trying to make Zombie something he’s not,’ says SDLP leader Colum Eastwood

by MMC
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MP Foyle weighed in on the online discourse surrounding The Cranberries’ 1994 hit.

The Foyle MP has weighed in on the online debate around ‘Zombie’, a song that has become linked to the Irish rugby team during the ongoing Rugby World Cup.

The Cranberries’ 1994 hit – written by singer Dolores O’Riordan – was embraced by the team’s supporters, who sang the song at the end of their 13-8 victory over South Africa, champions of the world, Saturday evening in Paris.

Her performance sparked an online debate over the song’s meaning, with reactions divided between those who look down on fans singing the song, others who believe the song is a pseudo-anthem for peace, and those who point out that they just like the song.

Colum Eastwood, leader of the SDLP

O’Riordan wrote the song while on tour in the United Kingdom, near where two young boys were killed in the 1993 Warrington bombing.

“I was quite young, but I remember being devastated that innocent children were being drawn into this sort of thing,” she told Songwriting Magazine.

“So I guess that’s why I was like, ‘It’s not me’ – that even though I’m Irish, it wasn’t me, I didn’t do it. Because being Irish, it was quite difficult, especially in the UK when there was so much tension.

“I’m also obsessed with mortality. I have bipolar disorder, so I struggle with mood swings – I go from one extreme to the other. But I don’t think that mattered during Zombie’s writing because the event was so massive at the time – it was all over the newspapers.

“I just remember being young and full of spirit, no hang-ups, no chip on my shoulder and just writing what I thought.”

One person on was “a song mocking the men and women of Easter Week and telling the nationalists of the ‘six counties’ that it was all in their heads”.

Meanwhile, a self-described “Irish Socialist Republican” wrote on X: “It’s time this song is widely criticized for the terribly written song that it is.” »

However, the song had many supporters.

“Those in the know know this has nothing to do with politics or bold political statements, just a refrain adopted by the Munster team given the Cranberries are from Limerick,” one person wrote.

Another X user added: “Dolores O’Riordan was not a privileged ‘West Brit’ who ‘othered’ or ‘both sides’ anyone. She was a humble, shy girl from a large, poor Catholic family in rural Limerick.

“It’s someone like Zombie writing that drives them crazy.”

Mr Eastwood took to X (formerly Twitter) to express his opinion on the debate.

“Zombie is an anti-war song written after the IRA killed two children in Warrington,” he said.

“Stop trying to make it something it’s not.” And to stop pretending to oppose IRA brutality is to support British brutality.

“Most of us were opposed to both.”

Ireland’s Mick Hansen scores a try in Ireland’s 13-8 win over South Africa. Photo: James Crombie/INPHO

Prior to its adoption by national team supporters, ‘Zombie’ was traditionally linked to the Munster rugby team due to O’Riordan’s Limerick roots, and was often played at their Thomond Park home.

Fans at this year’s World Cup adopted the song and sang it after a Mick Hansen try and points from Johnny Sexton’s boot gave Andy Farrell’s side a come-from-behind victory morale against the Springboks.

With just one game remaining – against Scotland – Ireland look likely to top the group and progress to the quarter-finals against the runners-up in Pool A, where Italy are currently three points behind from France.

Ranked number one in the world, the team are among the favorites to win the Webb Ellis Cup, with Saturday’s victory only hurting their chances.

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