My Sunday Song – “Paper Sun” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #153, we are exploring the great song “Paper Sun” from the band’s 1999 album ‘Euphoria’.  The song was released as a single in the U.S., but to little fanfare despite it being one of the best songs on the album.

The song is about the Omagh terrorist bombing on August 15, 1998 in Northern Ireland.  Here is what wikipedia says about the bombing…

It was carried out by a group calling themselves the Real Irish Republican Army, a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) splinter group who opposed the IRA’s ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement. The bombing killed 29 people (including a woman pregnant with twins) and injured some 220 others, making it the deadliest single incident of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

Lyrically and musically, the song is very dark and sad.  At over 5:26 minutes, the song takes you on a journey through the emotions of that sad day.  It feels like they are losing hope in humanity and in life.  The world is so fragile as if made of paper that could burn up in an instant.  Lyrics, like “Do you still hear ’em screamin'” is full of the pain that one would feel if they were at the bombing and could hear the cries for help and the cries of sorrow for those lost.

Def-Leppard-Euphoria-album-cover-web-optimised-820

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The Original vs. The Cover – “Zombie”

For this installment of The Original vs. The Cover, we are tackling the Cranberries song “Zombie and comparing to the cover by Bad Wolves.  The song was written by Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries back in 1993 and was released on their 1994 album ‘No Need to Argue’.  The Cranberries had pretty good success with the song, but the song was never released as an official single in the U.S. so it never made the Billboard Top 40. The song helped the album go on to sell over 7 million copies in the U.S.

The song was a very big political statement for the band.  It was about the IRA bombing in England in 1993 which killed two children, Jonathan Bell and Tim Parry.  The band is from Ireland and this hit too close to home for them.  For those that don’t know, the IRA is a militant group that has been trying for years to get the British troops removed from Northern Ireland.  Dolores wrote the song as an anthem for peace.  The song also speaks to the year 1916 which is how long the fighting has been taking place over this issue.

For me, I now look at the song differently.  I think the song was also talking about depression.  The lyrics do speak of war and fighting and it is obvious what the song is about, but with the lines repeated a lot “in your head / Zombie”, I looked at as the mental anguish the singer was fighting with herself as she did suffer from depression and sadly took her life on January 15th of this year, 2018. Maybe I am trying to read too much into it.

THE CRANBERRIES

The Cranberries song was a departure for the band sonically.  The band was an alternative rock band with some pop flare to them as well.  This song was more grunge sounding than anything they had done.  It was very dark, angry and Dolores’ delivery of the lyrics made you feel that anger and the pain of losing the children and the heartache the family’s must have felt.

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