The Immense Pains of Dolores O’Riordan (Cranberries)

A brilliant being who suffered would have turned 51 today. The sudden departure of him and forever left us like that old record player needle that reaches the end of the groove and turns at 45 revolutions per minute silently, waiting for someone to pick it up.

It was quite a shock, just when we were beginning to announce on the radio what would be a huge tour and album by sour cranberries. She had unconsciously canceled the previous one: he passionately mishandled a guitar that caused (of course) enormous back pain.

Excited with her parallel project, Dark, and after a conversation with her mother at dawn, alcohol did not spare her life inside that bathtub.

In 2013, she admitted that between the ages of eight and 12 she had been sexually abused by a family friend.

O’Riordan always claimed to have had an idyllic childhood, which included sleeping and eating hot and even a good dose of spirituality. We believed her. Until in 2013, in an interview, she admitted that she had been sexually abused by a friend of her family from the ages of eight to 12. A long, very long suffering. When you are twelve, four is more than half of your conscious life.

I remember how this woman became a worldwide success. She combined well those melodic chords with emotional and raw lyrics, along with a voice timbre that sometimes bordered on her moan. Her inflections as a controlled “rooster” are already part of history. It is curious that the first song that she composed for the group was her most international success: Linger.

It was a voice of steel, in a being that seemed wounded, but brilliant. A real siren with songs about the personal and the political that made her one of the most powerful stars of the alternative rock era.

Her story is that of a woman who escapes from the small town of Limerick, being the youngest of seven children. Her father, a farmworker who was injured in a bicycle accident that prevented him from working, was a role model. In addition to the abuse she experienced, her sister accidentally set the family home on fire. And that is not easy.

He had to work hard to sing, because he knew his voice would open doors for him. Noel Hogan, her mentor in the band, will always remember the moment of adding her to her musical project, thus: “we were surprised that this little girl from Limerick had such an incredible voice. The fact that she wasn’t in a band anymore was a miracle.”

In Spain she will always be remembered, and has been remembered, with her great total success: Zombie.

In this video we see it clearly. In black and white, with the power of the guitars that represent the rawness that goes far beyond what they sell us in the teleshopping, and with the armed forces of their country together with a group of golden angels. Why do we want more?

We will deliberately skip over his personal life from the summer of 1994 to the end of his days. Because he doesn’t play. We are remembering someone who, today, would have offered the most intense concerts and surely released an album every six or seven years, at the most. Just enough to digest the depth charges that his way of singing transmitted.

As his countrymen Bono and the rest of the U2 band said in a comment on his death, more than four years ago: “he had an enormous force of conviction… but he could speak of the fragility of all of us”.

In the world of music we are missing Dolores.

The Immense Pains of Dolores O’Riordan (Cranberries)