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06th Oct 2023

“Dolores would be over the moon” – ‘Zombie’ becomes 5th Irish song to reach one billion Spotify plays

Stephen Porzio


The Cranberries have joined the Spotify billions club with their classic track which has recently been all over the news.

‘Zombie’, the hit song from Irish rock band The Cranberries, has surpassed one billion listens on Spotify.

Released in 1994 as the lead single from the group’s second album No Need to Argue, the track has garnered – at the time of writing – 1,005,422,684 listens on the popular audio streaming service.

Announcing the achievement, The Cranberries posted to their social media channels the following message:

“We’re thrilled to hear that ‘Zombie’ has just exceeded a billion streams on Spotify.

“Dolores would be over the moon! Thanks to all our fans for your incredible support.”

‘Zombie’ becomes 5th Irish song to reach one billion Spotify plays

This makes ‘Zombie’ the 5th Irish song to crack a billion streams on Spotify.

The other four Irish tracks to reach the incredible milestone are ‘All I Want’ by Kodaline (just over 1 billion listens), ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol (over 1.1 billion), ‘Hall of Fame’ by The Script (over 1.2 billion) and ‘Take Me to Church’ by Hozier (over 2.2 billion).

This feat is all the more impressive given that no music from such major Irish acts as Dermot Kennedy, The Pogues, Sinéad O’Connor, Thin Lizzy, U2 and Van Morrison has managed to accomplish this as of yet.

Its worth noting though that, as part of One Direction, Westmeath man Niall Horan has had several tracks surpass a billion listens, while English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran also did so with his single about Ireland – ‘Galway Girl’.

Written by The Cranberries lead singer, the late Dolores O’Riordan, after a 1993 IRA bomb explosion in Warrington killed two children, ‘Zombie’ was in the news recently due to its recital by Irish rugby fans in Paris last month after Ireland’s historic victory over South Africa.

The singing of the protest song has garnered a mixed reception, with some saying the track discredits the experience of nationalists in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

zombieDolores O’Riordan

Comedian Tadhg Hickey, who was part of a debate about The Cranberries’ single on RTÉ’s Upfront programme last month, has described ‘Zombie’ as “the perfect partitionist anthem”.

During an interview with Newstalk Breakfast, Tánaiste Micheál Martin described this interpretation of the track as “absurd” and “shocking”.

“It’s a song that deserves to be sung. I just do not understand why anybody would try to undermine the lyrics of that song,” he stated.

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