Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Cranberries' "New New York"

The Irish have a special place in their hearts for New York. The island people and the great American city have been associated by bonds of kinship and admiration for hundreds of years.

It's not surprising that 9/11/2001 and the days that followed were poignant, tragic, and heroic for the Irish imagination (which is steeped in such things).

On May 30, 2002 the late Dolores O'Riordan visited the ruins of the World Trade Centers in Manhattan. Her impressions became the source of the hardest-rocking song released by The Cranberries since their visceral protest statement against the violence in Northern Ireland in 1994, "Zombie."

But there is something different about "New New York." In addition to being simple, abrasive, direct, and mournful, the song looks beyond the endless repetition of war and destruction. "New New York" is an anthem to a city struggling to rebuild itself.

It concludes in a decisively positive fashion: "They won't tear us apart." With the smoke barely cleared from Ground Zero in 2002, this was a significant statement of hope. New Yorkers and their city have done much since then to realize that hope.

The beginning of this year 2018 brought another tragedy that touched the Irish soul: the sudden death of Dolores O'Riordan at age 46 from the unforeseen consequences of an accident in her London hotel room on January 15.

The conclusion of the inquest was finally announced last week, and ruled out death by suicide.

It seems appropriate to remember those who perished on 9/11/2001 with Dolores O'Riordan's tribute song, as we all hope and pray that together we will see a "new day" that never ends.

WARNING: This video contains rock music. This is not "Dreams" or "Linger," people. It's loud. Turn down your volume, adjust ear phones, etc.😉 Lyrics to the song are provided below (and, by the way, it doesn't pretend to be Yeats or anything; it's a rock 'n roll song—genre is the key to appreciating...many things).


New New York

New, New, New, Ah ah ah ah
New, New, New, Ah ah ah ah
New New York skyline
wounds they heal in time
don't crawl and don't despair
it's a new New York today.

I look across these city streets
my heart is numb, it still beats
nothing to say
there's nothing to say.

I look across this empty room
my heart is still in gloom
there's nothing to say
I only can pray.

New, New, New, Ah ah ah ah
New, New, New, Ah ah ah ah
New New York skyline
wounds they heal in time
don't crawl and don't despair
it's a new New York today.

I look across these city streets
my heart is cold, it beats
thirtieth of May
Ground Zero today
New, New, New, Ah ah ah ah
New, New, New, Ah ah ah ah
I get down on my knees and pray
for the heroes of the day
and no comfort I can find
for the loved ones left behind.

They won't tear us apart
they won't tear us apart
they won't tear us apart
they won't tear us apart

No way

New day
New day.

No comments: