I was kind of shocked to learn today of the death of the incredibly talented Irish singer Dolores O’Riordan at the age of just 46.
A native of Ballybricken in County Limerick Ireland, O’Riordan rose to fame in the 1990s as the lead singer for the rock band, The Cranberries. However, her output also consisted of religious songs, videos of which I have posted on this website for several years now, particularly around the holidays of Christmas and Easter.
Here she is singing “The Little Drummer Boy,” in video I posted just this past Christmas. The live performance was at The Vatican in December of 2001.
But my favorite video is this one of her singing “Ave Maria”–I’m not sure exactly when the performance was recorded but I suspect probably sometime around 2004, the year the movie “The Passion of the Christ” came out…
Apparently quite a few other people were fond of this particular video as well. I just checked on it on YouTube and a large number of comments have poured in just in the last 24 hours.
Dolores O’Riordan was raised a devout Catholic. Her mother, Eileen O’Riordan, gave her the name “Dolores” in tribute to the mother of Jesus, who sometimes is referred to as Our Mother of Sorrows (or Mater Dolorosa in Latin). There is of course also the Via Dolorosa, or the Way of Sorrow, a street in the Old City of Jerusalem believed to be the path along which Jesus carried the cross on the way to the crucifixion.
Here is Dolores again singing “Ave Maria,” this time with Luciano Pavarotti
Quite a stunning duo the two made!
Though spirituality obviously played a strong role in her life, Dolores O’Riordan was most widely known for her work with The Cranberries. One of the band’s biggest hits was “Zombie,” about the troubles in Ireland. The song is said to have been written entirely by Dolores herself.
You can go here to see a tribute to O’Riordan posted by the Irish Times.
Dolores O’Riordan died yesterday at a hotel in London. The cause of death has not been announced.