PSA: Remove “Zombie” by The Cranberries from your Halloween playlists

A message from the Night Water Council on Improper Playlist Construction (NWCIPC)

PSA: Remove “Zombie” by The Cranberries from your Halloween playlists

This holiday season, the Night Water Council on Improper Playlist Construction (NWCIPC) would like to remind you to refrain from including “Zombie” by The Cranberries on your Halloween playlists. If you have already added “Zombie” to your Halloween playlist, we recommend that you remove it as quickly as possible.

Below, we have collected some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about our guidance on “Zombie” by The Cranberries.

What is the song “Zombie” by The Cranberries about?

“Zombie” by The Cranberries, despite drawing its name from the popular image of a mythical reanimated corpse, is not about the dead coming to life to hunt the living. It is a protest song about the death of two British boys in a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attack that took place in 1993 during the Troubles.

What were the Troubles?

The Troubles is a euphemism for the violent conflict between Irish nationalists and the British government over the status of Northern Ireland. A full accounting of the Troubles is beyond the scope of this public service announcement (PSA). For more information, watch Derry Girls.

Why should “Zombie” by The Cranberries be removed from Halloween playlists?

It is the conclusion of the NWCIPC that including “Zombie” by The Cranberries on your Halloween playlist shows a lack of critical listening skills, and it will quickly become obvious to your well-read and well-listened guests that you only put the song on your playlist because of the name.

Halloween is all about death and murder—will anyone really bat an eye if I include “Zombie” by The Cranberries on a Halloween playlist?

During the Halloween season, the worlds of the living and the dead draw close, and many events and cultural artifacts seek to help individuals resolve fears and trauma relating to death. However, most Halloween parties do not ask their guests to contend with a decades-long ethno-nationalist struggle.

Does the NWCIPC have any alternative song suggestions for my Halloween playlist?

The NWCIPC does not comment on proper playlist construction, only improper playlist construction. For Halloween song suggestions, we suggest that you peruse the publications of our sister organization, the Night Water Council on Playlist Song Suggestions (NWCPSS). However, while this is not an official recommendation by the Council, we can state that we enjoy “Monster Mash.”

But wait—Spotify put “Zombie” by The Cranberries on their “Top Halloween Tracks” playlist. Why would they do that if “Zombie” by The Cranberries wasn’t a Halloween song?

The NWCIPC has been in contact with representatives from Spotify about removing “Zombie” by The Cranberries from their “Halloween Party” playlist. Past statements from Spotify’s representatives have included “Hello! Your email is very important to us. Someone will reach back out to you in 2 to 3 business days,” as well as “Hi Night Water Council on Improper Playlist Construction—unfortunately, as I am in the billing department, I do not make the playlists available on Spotify, and can not directly respond to your request. Do you need help with your account?”

I disagree with your guidance on “Zombie” by the Cranberries as it relates to Halloween playlists. Who can I complain to?

The NWCIPC is not currently hearing public comments. When the comment period opens, a notice will be posted in the basement of the Night Water Joint Council Building three (3) business days ahead of the comment period. If you wish to provide a comment to the Council, please visit the basement daily to stay up-to-date on comment opportunities.