The Cranberries' 'Zombie' Music Video Passes 1 Billion Views, Third '90s Video to Reach Milestone

The Cranberries' 1994 hit protest song "Zombie" passed a billion views on YouTube on Saturday.

The Irish band's song is the third video from the 1990s to hit the viewing milestone, trailing behind Guns N' Roses' "November Rain" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Only six videos made prior to 2000 have hit the milestone, according to Variety. Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O'Mine," and A-ha's "Take on Me" had also passed the threshold previously.

Cranberries drummer Fergal Lawler shared his thanks for fans who have continuously showed their support. "We are so delighted with the news that Zombie has reached 1 Billion views on YouTube," he wrote on Facebook. "Thank you so much to all our fans around the world for supporting us over so many years. Hopefully you are all safe and well in this bizarre time and managing to find some hope and positivity in our music."

Lawler also referenced the band's singer Dolores O'Riordan, who died in 2018: "We are sure Dolores has a big, proud smile on her face too."

"Zombie" was the lead single from the Cranberries' sophomore album No Need to Argue. O'Riordan was inspired to write the song after an IRA bombing killed two young boys, aged 12 and 3.

"At the time "Zombie" was written, we were touring in the UK. It was before the peace treaty and there had been a lot of trouble. There were a lot of bombs going off in London and I remember this one time a child was killed when a bomb was put in a rubbish bin – that's why there's that line in the song, 'A child is slowly taken,'" the singer told Songwriting magazine in an interview before she passed.

"I draw from a lot of different life experiences: births, deaths, war, pain, depression, anger, sadness. I'm also obsessed with mortality. I have bipolar disorder so I struggle with mood swings – I go from one extreme to the next. But I think that was irrelevant when writing "Zombie" because the event was so massive at the time – it was all over the papers. I just remember being young and spirited, without any hang-ups, I had no chip on my shoulder and would just write what I thought."

The video intertwines black and white footage of violence and soldiers and the band performing with O'Riordan painted gold performing the song in front of a crucifix.

The song and video have transcended the original protest message and are universally beloved by fans around the world, with the band performing the classic live on the Late Show and Saturday Night Live. Hard rockers Bad Wolves released a cover of the song in 2018 as a tribute to O'Riordan.

cranberries
Irish Rock musician Dolores O'Riordan (1971 - 2018) performs with her band the Cranberries at Central Park SummerStage, New York, New York, August 11, 1994. Jack Vartoogian/Getty
The Cranberries' 'Zombie' Music Video Passes 1 Billion Views, Third '90s Video to Reach Milestone | Culture