Tuesday, January 16, 2018


When I heard yesterday that Dolores O'Riordan had died, it felt like a personal and devastating loss. I never met her and, like most of us, knew her chiefly as the lead singer for The Cranberries. But her historic place in the popular music sphere (although her voice, and the band's arrangements, were often more punk (or new wave) than pop) isn't what I reacted to most. It was her Irishness and how comforting and at times challenging it could be to my sensibility.

Though "Zombie" and "Linger" are the tunes most cited in the obits being written about her, for me "Ode To My Family" has always been the song that touches my heart the most, and in what other music video have you ever seen someone playing with a hurling stick and ball (hurling is the Irish national native sport that is one of the most excitingly fast paced and no nonsense games in the world, or at least it certainly seemed so when I was a boy)...

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