This 1994 breakthrough hit for The Cranberries makes an impactful and stinging statement about the cruelties of war. Written by lead singer Dolores O'Riorden particularly about the decades-long conflict in Ireland called "The Troubles", "Zombie" was a clear call for an end to violence, and today, upon the 2022 release of this arrangement, that same call remains an important message. This arrangement makes use of some darkly conceived reharmonization to further emphasize the intensity of the lyrics, and the rhythm section's role in the choruses is driving. The ensemble splits the lyric delivery with a sop/alto soloist, and the sopranos are given the opportunity to utilize O'Riorden's iconic "yodel" vocal effect as heard in the original recording. Many vocal jazz arranging techniques are used to develop the rock/pop song into a piece that works artistically very well in a vocal jazz ensemble setting, just as some of my previous rocking arrangements have worked, like "Uninvited" and "How To Disappear Completely," among others.
Fully-notated piano/keyboard and bass parts, drums
Commissioned by Penn High School "Viva Voce," Andrew Nemeth, dir. (2021)
Video: Cranberries Version