A father who lost his son in a bombing just found out The Cranberries’ “Zombie” was about his child

It’s never easy losing a loved one, but Colin Parry was surprised and touched to learn that his son’s legacy lives on in song.

Parry’s 12-year-old son Tim was killed in a 1993 IRA bombing in Warrington, England. The bomb, which was planted in a trash can in the city center, also killed three-year-old Jonathan Ball and injured 54 other people. The Cranberries penned the protest song “Zombie” in memory of Tim and Jonathan.

However, Parry only learned yesterday that the song was written in memory of his son. Parry’s wife told him the news after learning of the death of The Cranberries lead singer and songwriter, Dolores O’Riordan.

O’Riordan, 46, died suddenly on Monday, January 15th, after being found in her hotel room in London. The cause of death is currently unknown, though police continue to investigate.

Back in November, O’Riordan told culture website Team Rock that “Zombie” was the band’s  “most aggressive song” and that she had written it alone in her apartment after hearing about the bombings.

“I remember at the time there were a lot of bombs going off in London, she told the website. “I remember being on tour and being in the UK at the time when the child died, and just being really sad about it all. These bombs are going off in random places. It could have been anyone, you know?


The song launched the band into international success, reaching number one in Australia, Belgium, France, Denmark and Germany and even beating out Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” for best song at the 1995 MTV Europe Music Awards.

Parry appeared on BBC Good Morning Ulster today to pay tribute to O’Riordan. “Many people have become immune to the pain and suffering that so many people experienced during that armed campaign,” Parry said. “To read the words written by an Irish band in such a compelling way was very, very powerful.”

Her bandmates expressed their grief over the loss of their and bandmate on Twitter, writing:

“[Dolores] was an extraordinary talent and we feel very privileged to have been a part of her life [since] 1989.”

O’ Riordan will be missed, but Parry’s words are proof that her music and lyrics will continue to comfort and inspire for years to come.