In Memory of Dolores O’Riordan

On 15th January 2018 I heard the news and posted my immediate thoughts on Facebook at the death of Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan.

Somewhere deep on my band’s website is a list of singers that have influenced me, and The Cranberries have been there right from the start. For the summer of 1996 their album was the sound of teenage angst and I heard that second album of theirs endlessly. Living in Edinburgh at the time I was vowed by the potency and beauty of their music. Their minimalist chorus soaked electric guitar, sparse drums, clean simple basslines, topped with the sweet, small and lush voice of Dolores that really struck a chord for me. From the bright and hopeful Dreams, to the melancholic Ode to my family, the summery Linger, the simple yet potent Pretty and so many more incredible songs, they gave me a soundtrack when I needed it most. Rest In Peace Dolores.

There are celebrity deaths and those of musicians which come but then they fade out of memory. But for some reason this one hit me hard at the time and it still does. I am not alone and every update of the Cranberries Facebook page still has lots of sad face reactions on it. And there are so many heartfelt beautiful comments on her YouTube videos. The fans that adored her and her music are in a state of mourning.

I was living in a triple room as a first year undergraduate in 1996, my life was full of confusion, angst and happiness at the same time. It was a really strange cocktail. Music was my drug and when my French roommate put on the ‘No Need to Argue’ album on a mini CD player with small battery speakers I knew I was hooked. The more I heard the album the better it became. I left London for Edinburgh for 3 months. Still just a teenager I went into this crazy journey at a place well away from the emotional protection of my parents or friends.

I heard that album pretty much the whole summer, it really was the soundtrack of my angst, her voice rang true and her angst in those songs were companion in my loneliness and heartache at the time. Her music had real potency about it. There was something very very raw, real, vulnerable and powerful about her lush and soft voice. Her voice and songs healed me and were my companion when I needed it most.

As I had grown older I had lost touch with their newer music, they too had grown older as a band and the angst of the early writings was no longer there either. A part of me had changed and assimilated with their music. I went to Edinburgh again a few more times later through the years and every time I went there I could still hear her voice echoing in my head. The Celtic magic of her voice and music really suited the magic of that city.

The singer that comforted me when I most needed it is no longer there. Rest In Peace Dolores O’Riordan. You touched the lives of so many and we will miss you.


1 Response to “In Memory of Dolores O’Riordan”

  1. 1 2018 – Year in Review | Atul Rana Trackback on December 30, 2018 at 8:21 pm

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