Dolores O'Riordan

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Oh my life is changing everyday
In every possible way…

Dolores Mary Eileen O'Riordan [/oʊˈrɪərdən/] (6 September 197115 January 2018) was an Irish musician, singer and songwriter. She was best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist for the alternative rock band the Cranberries. She briefly pursued a solo career, from 2003 until their reunion in 2009, but the group disbanded in 2019 after her death in 2018. O'Riordan had one of the most recognisable voices in rock in the 1990s. She was known for her lilting mezzo-soprano voice, signature yodel, emphasised use of keening, and strong Limerick accent.


I’m very close to my mum.
She has a strong faith that gives her
this amazing sense of peace.
I admire her; she's a very strong woman.
  • My boyfriend—that I used to live with—was a painter and his friend was a sculptor and, like many people who go to Art College and get diplomas, they found it very difficult to be recognized outside of Limerick. They'd come to Dublin and put on exhibitions and get no support at all. Artists who live outside Dublin also find it harder to get financial assistance from establishments like the Arts Council. It's the same thing in music, in terms of support. And a lot of that has to do with the fact that Dublin has the media on its side and it pumps out this notion that Dublin is the centre of the universe, which it obviously isn't. It definitely never was for us.

Song lyrics

It's the same old theme
Since nineteen-sixteen
In your head, in your head, they are fighting…
In your head, in your head
Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie.
  • It's the same old theme
    Since nineteen-sixteen
    In your head, in your head, they are fighting
    With their tanks, and their bombs
    And their bombs, and their guns
    In your head, in your head they are crying
    In your head, in your head
    Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie
    What's in your head, in your head
    Zombie, zombie, zombie-ie-ie, oh
    • "Zombie" (1993)
And oh my dreams
It's never quite as it seems
'Cause you're a dream to me
Dream to me.
  • Oh my life is changing everyday
    In every possible way
    And oh my dreams
    It's never quite as it seems
    Never quite as it seems.
    • "Dreams"; first released as a single (29 September 1992)
  • And now I tell you openly
    You have my heart so don't hurt me
    You're what I couldn't find
    A totally amazing mind
    So understanding and so kind
    You're everything to me.
    • "Dreams"
  • And oh my dreams
    It's never quite as it seems
    'Cause you're a dream to me
    Dream to me.
    • "Dreams"
  • This is just an ordinary day
    Wipe the insecurities away
    I can see that the darkness will erode
    Looking out the corner of my eye
    I can see that the sunshine will explode
    Far across the desert in the sky
    Beautiful girl
    Won't you be my inspiration?
    Beautiful girl
    Don't you throw your love around
    What in the world, what in the world
    Could ever come between us?
  • I can't find a word to say to you
    I can't comprehend, I can't relate to you

    Plain to see your faith for me
    Take me higher angel fire
    Take me where I want to go
    Teach me things I need to know.
    • Angel Fire

Quotes about O'Riordan

She was a star that shone bright
from the very beginning...
  • Growing up in Ireland in the '90s, those songs were all over the radio, all of the time. We were not only proud that this quartet from Limerick were one of the biggest rock bands in the world, but that they were fronted by this badass, don't-give-a-fuck, non-conforming young woman that was a little bit intimidating, but also just so fucking... cool. [...] Who sang like her before? Who has been comparable to her since? In a world that has become increasingly difficult to uncover originality and uniqueness in music, her voice stood out like this weird, wonderful, otherworldly beacon. She was one of a kind, no doubt.
  • When Dolores wrote a song, I'd generally have known what it was about. You knew the period it was written in and what had been going on in her life. We never once in the thirty years sat down and said, 'What's that about?' She hated being asked to explain her lyrics. It was very much, 'You decide what it's about'... What Dolores also had, was a very low boredom threshold. Two days into rehearsals, you'd look over and see that look on her face. She mightn't have said anything there and then but at seven in the evening you'd get a call from her asking, 'What did you think of today?' and before you could answer she’d go, 'It wasn’t rock enough.' She was always the metaller in the band.
  • Dolores is some of those people that, when you get into her inner circle, you see the spirit, the person that she was, and she was just so kind, so supportive... and in my career—in the long years that I've been in it—I have to say she's one of those people that would call me and I would come running, no matter what, and my wife knows that. We had a very strong connections in that. She represented everything that I inspired to be, in a beautiful way. We connected in a very strong way...
  • Only yesterday did I discover that her group, or she herself, had composed the song in memory of the event in Warrington.
    My wife came home from the police centre where she worked yesterday and told me the news. I got the song up on the laptop, watched the band singing, saw Dolores and listened to the words.
    The words are both majestic and also very real … The event at Warrington, like the many events that happened all over Ireland and Great Britain, affected families in a very real way and many people have become immune to the pain and suffering that so many people experienced during that armed campaign.
    To read the words written by an Irish band in such compelling way was very, very powerful.
  • Her kind personality and beautiful singing voice earned for her numerous admirers. It must be added that the numbers she rescued from the darkness of depression are impossible to count. No words are adequate to describe Dolores or to accurately state the influence for good she has been over the years.
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