Dolores Mary Eileen O'Riordan [/oʊˈrɪərdən/] (6 September 1971 – 15 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 a strong-minded woman, but I don't try to deny that I'm a female in any way.
- 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.
- I always liked Doc Martens with really messed-up style, but at least I was thinking that my mind was more important than my body, anyway.
- Remark on when she met her husband, as quoted in "Ethereal Girl", in Hot Press (25 August 2009)
- When you're famous so young, become a millionaire overnight, people think you're going to crash and burn and be such a mess. I have my kids and Don.
- One of the things I always miss, is the pub culture You know, the atmosphere, the music, the craic, all the things you won't find anywhere else.
- I just always loved Yeats, him as a human. He was so passionate and just wrote what he felt.
- They weren't mainstream and beautiful and attractive, visually (the Smiths, the Cure and Depeche Mode). I thought they were different and when I was a teenager I liked the idea that what you told was more important than what you appeared.
- On the first records she bought, as quoted in "Looking Back At Cranberries Dolores O'Riordan", in Forbes (15 January 2018)
- Another mother's breaking
Heart is taking over
When the violence causes silence
We must be mistaken.
- It's the same old theme
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)
- 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.
- And oh my dreams
It's never quite as it seems
'Cause you're a dream to me
Dream to me.
Are You Listening? (2007)
- 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
Won't you be my inspiration?
Don't you throw your love around
What in the world, what in the world
Could ever come between us?
- I'm knowing this could be our last event
Jaweh, Jaweh, Jaweh
I'm knowing I am your youngest descent
I don't want to know your pain
I don't want to play the game.
- "Angel Fire" · True Music with Katie Daryl performance on HDNet
- 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
- 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.
- The thing we remember the most about Dolores is the craic we had. She'd be sat on the bus ripping the piss out of you.
- 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.
- Fans were connected on such a personal level with Dolores—they’d hear her lyrics and apply them to what was going on in their own lives.
- 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...
- Marco Mendoza, interviewed at "Linea Rock Festival", (3 June 2018) - starts at 28mins
- 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.
- Colin Parry, father of a 12 year old child killed in the Warrington bomb attack of 20 March 1993, after learning that her song "Zombie" had been inspired by that event, as quoted in "Dolores O'Riordan thanked by father of IRA bomb victim for 'majestic' lyrics" by Clarisse Loughrey, in The Independent (16 January 2018)
- I’m saddened to hear of the death of Dolores O’Riordan at just 46. Her wonderful band recorded a moving song after the Warrington bomb in memory of two innocent victims, Johnathan Ball and my son Tim. RIP Dolores … I was completely unaware what it was about.
- Colin Parry, commenting on the song "Zombie" after learning of its meaning, in "Dolores O’Riordan’s 'majestic' Zombie lyrics hailed by father of IRA bomb victim" by Nick Reilly in NME (16 January2018); also quoted in "Father of IRA bomb victim thanks Dolores O’Riordan for 'majestic and very real' Zombie lyrics" by Rebecca Lewis, in METRO (16 January 2018)
- Limerick is very very proud of [her]. As her teachers have been saying, she was a star that shone bright from the very beginning, and I wish her peace.
- Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, in "It’s so profoundly sad that someone so young is taken from us", in The Irish Times (22 January 2018)
- 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.
- Canon Liam McNamara in "She did have an unique respect for everybody", in RTÉ (23 January 2018)