The Cranberries Return/Sheila’s Limerick Story

In many ways, The Cranberries, a seminal rock band popular in the 1990s, introduced me to rock music. I have distinct memories of buying and cherishing all of the emotional songs on Everybody Else is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? and No Need to Argue. The band’s later work isn’t quite on par with its earnest and politically thoughtful beginnings, but the band members have reunited after some years apart. They’re playing a special XRT holiday benefit show at the Riviera Theatre tomorrow (Thanksgiving Eve!), which I proudly will be attending.

The band is best known for the song “Zombie,” a grungie, politically-charged rock song, which references The Troubles in Northern Ireland (“It’s the same old theme since 1916”). Another one of my favorite’s is “Ode to My Family,” which is accompanied by this lovely black and white video:

I don’t know if this video was shot in the band’s hometown of Limerick, Ireland, but it reminds me of the several towns in Ireland I wandered through during my five-month stint in The Republic. Limerick is one of the bigger cities in Ireland (the fourth largest in the Republic) and is also the setting of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes. I spent one day there and laughed to myself, “No wonder why Frank McCourt and The Cranberries left. This place is a dump.” Before my journey to Limerick, a co-worker warned me that the city is nicknamed “stab city” because of its high crime rate. And Limerick isn’t shy on capitalizing on some of its residents’ misery. Apparently, the tourist office in town organizes special Angela’s Ashes tours to view the spots mentioned in the famed book. I missed the tour by about 30 minutes and ended up walking around town by myself for several hours.

Any Irish day has at least a little rain and this day was no exception. With my umbrella in tow, I walked along the River Shannon, toured King John’s Castle (see pic below), stopped in a record store where I thought The Cranberries perhaps performed once (yeah, I’m a huge geek) and wandered down a road until I ran into a family of kids who looked at me suspiciously as they left a grocery store. As I walked on, I ran into a….horse! Yes, a horse. Just hanging out on the side of the road. That’s my Limerick story and I’m sticking to it.

Author: Sheila Burt


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