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Song interpretations


EEIDISWCW • NNTA • TTFD • BTH • WUASTC • Stars

Album #2: No Need To Argue
Lable: Island Records, New York
Publisher: Island / Universal Music Publishing, Ltd.
Studio: Windmill Lane (Dublin, Ireland)
Release: September, 27nd 1994
Producer: Stephan Street
Sales: 16,700,000 of copies (to 2002)

______________________________________________________________________

WORKING ON ALBUM “NNTA”

The beginning of working on the songs of the new album is considered to be December of 1993 – that was the month The Cranberries returned to studio in Dublin to record the songs written while touring the USA. Those were the upcoming singles ‘Zombie’ (written on the England tour), ‘Ode To My Family’ and ‘I Can’t Be With You’.

January, 14 of 1994 The Cranberries perform in The London Astoria II. The recording was taken on video, and soon the official concert album was released: ‘The Cranberries: Live’.

In March of 1994 a frustrating accident happened: Dolores got injured. While skiing in the French Alps, she fell down, rolled down the hill and hurt her knee ligament.

July, 11 of 1994 – a premiere of Dolores’s new image took place on the show “Later With Jools Holland” on the BBC. Then she had short bleached platinum hear that will later become the symbol of the No Need To Argue era.

An important event happened in July of 1994 (it would later seriously affect all of The Cranberries’ music): Dolores met Don Burton, a former tour-manager of Duran Duran. In only three weeks after their acquaintance they decided to get married. She had found a soulmate in him, so they married in the 18th of July in 1994 at the Holy Cross Abbey in Tipperary. Shortly after Dolores became a target for the paparazzi who were zealously writing about Miss O’Riordan getting married wearing diapers! (They say that Dolores’s father said seeing his daughter’s wedding dress: “It sure is gorgeous, but where is the dress?”. :) Don arrived to take his bride sitting in a carriage, and the marriage itself counted about 200 guests in total.

Dolores took participation in recording of Jah Wobbles’s album “Take Me To God” where they sang the song “The Sun Does Rise” in duet. In August the band got invited to play on the Woodstock II rock festival. They play the new songs before the huge crowd – ‘Zombie’ and ‘Dreams’.

In September of 1994 the Cranberries make videos for ‘Zombie’ and ‘Ode To My Family’ in Los-Angeles and Belfast with Samuel Bayer to direct.

The ‘Zombie’ song was released as the first single for ‘No Need To Argue’. It got itself triumph soon and was the first in the Billboard charts as “the song most playable on radio”. In USA the single was issued in limited number of copies.

Also in October the tribute of The Carpenters “I Wish I Were A Carpented” was released that was also helped with by The Cranberries performing the song ‘(They Long To Be) Close To You’. The song would then become a B-Side on the ‘I Can’t Be With You’ single.

At the end of the year, the No Need To Argue tour began. It started in England with a 3000 person audience.

A lot of concerts were cancelled due to Dolores having caught a cold. In November, the band began their triumphal tour for two months around the USA, including the concert in Mexico which tickets were sold out in just a few days.

In 1994 the band released the ‘Ode To My Family’ single, and later, in 1995, ‘I Can’t Be With You’ and ‘Ridiculous Thoughts’ were released as singles.

The message from the band on the booklet: “The Cranberries would like to thank all those who supported and understood out debut. We hope that you will also accept this album. Thanks to our families, friends and lovers, and of course, our fans! We thank Zildjian Cymbals, D\V Drums and Ewans Drumheads’.

All the guitar sequences of the album were by Dolores. Engineering was on Stephen Street himself.

The photographer of the band was Andy Earl again, the promo photoes were taken in Dublin and on the Irish Isles. The “No Need To Argue” inscription on the cover was by Charlotte Villiers again, one of the Island Records workers.

The sofa you see on the covers of EEIDISWCW and NNTA was sold by the auction for $30.000, but in some time was burnt down on one of the festival by a crowd of infuriated fans.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Dolores speaks about the No Need To Argue album
(the album resembling her broken relationship with Mike O’Mahony)

This album is about the changes I’ve been through.

I ran away from home and started living with him, and the more succesful I got, the more dominating he was trying to be, and then the physical violence stopped our relationship. It took me a year to live through it, and also there was much of all these phychological matters, like “You’re going to break up with me now you’re a celebrity”. I was becoming more famous, and it was getting worse. I was scared. I was really terrified.

A career like this – no way of getting to the University, now way of acquiring ab education, no proper job. So everything points down to luck, we got really successful after the first album released, we were very young. We were feeling the pressure, we had to return and record the second album, as we did – and we’d made the best album, according to the other people, as we sold twice as more of the disks than with the first one. But instead of the conclusion feeling, we got an even bigger pressure. And the centre of our lives changed completely – 150 million per cent.

Anyone would want to sit on the front seat of the touring bus, but I was always sitting behind trying to save my voice, I was writing all these songs about my life in Limerick, about me sincerely missing my parents – that’s what ‘Ode To My Family’ is about. The only song on the album speaking about my life in marriage is ‘Dreaming My Dreams’.

I think these songs have a really strong emotional impulse. Many things have happened to the band since the first album released, as many things happened with me, and I think all of it is resembled in the songs. I wasn’t able to enjoy the success of the first album, because I had big problems in my life the time it all was happening. I was unhappy for a long time, and I had no courage to make the situation clear. I was confused and I couldn’t cross the “t”s. These songs are from the period I’d like to forget, but I don’t think of it singing them.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
The hidden meaning of some “NNTA” songs

Ode To My Family
• The second single supporting No Need To Argue.
• Dolores: “Ya know I spent a long time trying to get out of the home, and get away from that whole parent scenario and be a rebel and stuff. And I did kinda, ya know, run away from home and all that type of thing… against my mother’s will and everything… And I think at that point I realized that I really missed them all ya know… I realized how good it was.”
• Dolores: “I wanted an independence, wanted to choose the future myself. When I left home, I understood I was independent, I felt the taste of freedom”. • Fergal: “Did Dolores have any reservations about that song being so personal? No, she never has. We’ve often spoken about that and it’s like, she just writes the song and gets out whatever’s on her mind and then it’s released and you don’t really think about the consequences until you start getting the backlash or whatever. If you start worrying about what what people will say if I do this or that, then you won’t be yourself and you want be honest, and that’s why we do what we do. Basically there are no rules, that’s the whole great idea of rock’n'roll; when you’re 17 or 18 it’s like, fuck them, I can do what I want. You just have to not care what people think.” • The movie was being cut for two weeks in Dublin and Belfast at the same time with ‘Zombie’ video. The stage was a simple Irish bar, ‘Blazes’, which belonged to the assistant of the director. The extras were replaced by the public of this pub that were also treated by the group, so to the end of the cut half the actors were totally “smashed”. :) The same children as in ‘Zombie’ took participation in the cut.

I Can’t Be With You
• The third single to support the No Need To Argue.
• Fergal: “‘I Can’t Be With You’… it’s more of a pop-y kind of song. The message in it is like loneliness when you’re on tour and stuff, missing people at home, so I can definitely relate to that.”

Twenty One
• Dolores: “Twenty One was written in September, 6th in 1992″.
• The song was written when Dolores turned 21. That was the day when she decided to break up with Mike O’Mahony.

Zombie
• The first single from the No Need To Argue album. “Zombie”, being the song that has made The Cranberries world-famous, was written while touring the England in 1993. The subject of the composition is man’s cruelty towards other men, especially children.
• Dolores: “‘Zombie’ was inspired by a child’s death. His life was taken in the arm’s of his mother. She was shopping in London last year, and there was a bomb planted in a rubbish bin in London and he happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and he died. The reason the bomb was planted was because of a political territorial kind of thing that goes on in the North of Ireland and the UK. So the references to 1916 was when a contract was signed, which signed away the 6 counties to England. And it still goes on today: the war, the deaths, and the injustice.”
• Dolores: “It was written on an English tour about a year-and-a-half ago, when there was a big eruption of trouble between Northern Ireland and London, and it was doing my head in. For a while, things were gnawing at me about the whole bombings thing, and I was reading articles about what was going on in Bosnia and the way women and, more painfully, kids were being treated. At that time there was the bomb in Warrington, and those boys were killed. I remember seeing one of the mothers on television, just devastated. I felt so sad for her, that she’d carried him for nine months, been through all the morning sickness, the whole thing, and some…prick, some airhead who thought he was making a point, did that.”
• Fergal: “We had been doing about two years of touring and had learned not to become afraid of distortion. In the early days, the association was distortion – heavy metal. But by the time the second album came around we had done some stuff with Suede and The The and spent basically two years touring and gained a bit of confidence from that. It was heavy without being heavy metal. Just expressing the anger of that song, you need a ballsy sound. I remember when they were reviewing it on Sky News on the entertainment section at five o’clock, they had some guy on from a local band in London and he was like, ‘Oh yeah, record company ploy, the Peace Process and all that’, but we had planned to release it, they thought it was too aggressive, but we put our foot down and eventually turned them arround.”
• Dolores is against the IRA saying that their acts are for the good of Ireland: “The IRA are not me. I’m not the IRA. The Cranberries are not the IRA. My family are not. When it says in the song,”It’s not me, it’s not my family”, that’s what I’m saying. It’s not Ireland, it’s some idiots living in the past, living for a dream. OK, I know that they have their problems up there, but there was no reason why that child should have been taken, why that woman should have gone through that.”
• “What’s in your head, zombie?” she demands. “I really don’t give a shit-excuse the vulgarity- but don’t care whether it’s Protestant or Catholic, I don’t care whether it’s England or Ireland. At the end of the day I care about the fact that innocent people are being harmed. That’s what provoked me to write the song, it was nothing to do with writing a song about it because I’m Irish. You know, I never thought I’d write something like this in a million years. I used to think I’d get into trouble.”
• The video was cut by a famous director, Samuel Bayer. Note that in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the video was made by an American clipmaker with British crew. :) There were real soldiers to take participation, Bayer told them he was making a documentary movie. :) The Cranberries themselves didn’t go to Belfast: the black-and-white clips were made in Dublin, the coloured ones – in Los-Angeles, USA. Dolores wanted the image of a golden statue to represent a living icon, entering this world to save the children. The idea to paint the children in gold was the director’s, he decided it would look cool. :) The video was being cut for 6 days.

Empty
• Another song describing the complicated relationship of Dolores with her boyfriend Mike O’Mahony.

Everything I Said

• Again about the relationship between Dolores and Mike O’Mahony.

The Icicle Melts
• A song about the death of a little boy by the name of Jamie Bulger. He was viciously killed by two other boys.
• Dolores: “I love children. You know, kids, they’re so innocent, and so afraid, and they’re the future of the world. How can people harm them?”.
• Dolores: “I think if those two kids knew that the penalty for that was being hung by the neck, I don’t think they’d have done it. I think hanging should be brought back for murder. I know it sounds sick and everything, but I do.”
• Dolores: “If they’d known beforehand, though…I still think the penalties are too nice. One of my brothers is a prison officer. I know, personally, people who have gone: ‘I just got out of prison yesterday and I’m bored, I’ve got no money, I’m gonna steal a car and go straight back in.’ Some people like it in there. What happened to the days of being thrown into the cell and being starved and beaten every day? At least make them bleed.”
• Fergal: “‘The Icicle Melts’ is a sad song. You can really feel the sadness in it when you listen to it.”

Disappointment
• Dolores: “Written on making a clear decision, no more struggle inside…”
• This song is about the complicated relationship of Dolores and Mike O’Mahony again.

Ridiculous Thoughts
• The fourth single to support No Need To Argue.
• There were two versions of the clip. Each of them had Eligea Wood participating who was a newbie actor back then. The first video represented Dolores and the guys as the circus clowns, and this version was not to “The Cranberries” liking at all. So the video was then remade, they left all the frames with Eligea, but cut out all the circus episodes (and replaced them with some of the frames of The Cranberries’ concerts).
• There is an interpretation that this song is about the relationship of Dolores and her ex-boyfriend, Mike O’Mahony again. This time, though, it’s about disputing these relationship. On an interview of 1996 Dolores said she had been living with Mike for three years. It was very often when he physically and mentally harmed Dolores, he could smash her face, and if she was to start crying, he was threatening her that he would step out of the window. It looks like the “Twister” word in the song is headed towards Mike.
• Another version, though, is that Ridiculous Thoughts is about the relationship between Dolores and the British press that was literally hunting the young Irish band.
Dreaming My Dreams
• Dolores: “Dreaming my dreams was written on December 25th 1993, Where I found happiness. Dedicated to my husband, lover, best friend, support. What more can be said?”
• These words of Dolores are quite suspicious, though. :) The thing is that she met her husband in July of 1994th (the wedding was on 18th of July in 1994), so the song couldn’t be written before that. The best bet would be that Dolores confuses the dates really often. :)
• Fergal: “‘Dreaming My Dreams’ I think is cool. It’s like something you would sing to your child before going to bed.”

Yeats’ Grave
• Dolores: “A tribute to Yeats. W. B. Yeats, he was a poet and playwright.”
• Dolores: “This song was inspired by the following poems by William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) The Lake Isle of Innisfree and No Second Troy.”
• William Butler Yeats is the favourite writer of Dolores. She considers him to have known especially much about the relationship between a man and a woman.
• Two names are mentioned in the song: Maud Gonne and Mac Bride. Maud Gonne was the poet’s lover, the love of all his life. But she was already married to Mac Bride… William Yeats dedicated a lot of his poems and lyrics to her.
• Also note that Yeats mentioned the concept of ‘demons’ very frequently in his works, he mentioned such words as “Dominus”, “Deus”. This fact gets really close to what Dolores is making (for instance, remember the Electric Blue text, or “The demons I can’t leave behind” line from ‘This Is The Day’). Dolores was possibly really into the worlks of the great Irish poet in the time.
Daffodil Lament
• Fergal: “I think ‘Daffodil Lament’ is kind of an epic or something, because it’s really a long song; it’s all different moods and stuff.”
• A song about trying to save the relationship that is shattered – again about Dolores and Mike O’Mahony.

No Need To Argue
• A prayer song, a farewell song, a revelation song. Dolores can’t leave all her demons behind, but at least one of them – Mike O’Mahony – is left behind in this song.
• The original name of the song is ‘Special’.

Away
• B-Side of the Zombie single (1994).

I Don’t Need
• B-Side of the Zombie single (1994).

(They Long To Be) Close To You
• A cover version of the song of The Carpenters. The Cranberries recorded it specially for the tribute “I Wish I Were a Carpenter” released in October in 1994. Afterwards the song became a B-Side of the ‘I Can’t Be With You’ single.

So Cold In Ireland
• It was first issued as a B-Side to the ‘Ode To My Family’ single (1995), then it was included to the CD “Doors and Windows” (1995) and then to the re-release of the ‘No Need To Argue’ album (2002).
• Another mystery song. It’s hard to comprehend if it’s either Dolores herself or some other girl she sings about. The lines about the baby and the “yesterday’s gone” line bring a connection of “So Cold In Ireland” to the “Yesterday’s Gone” song to mind…

This stuff was translated from Russian Version of our Site by Michiru.



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2.02.2010 |
Posted by Dess