Video Review: The Cranberries “Ode To My Family”

Filmed in black-and-white, seven and eight-year-old boys run on the street after school in Belfast, North Ireland.

A sixtysomething man exhales smoke from his cigarette and it in his tray. Dolores sings into her microphone while the band performs next to her. Hanging lightbulbs dangle by family photographs and a framed photo of John F. Kennedy along the walls. The men clap while sitting at their tables. Standing by the wall, the women sway and drink.

A six-year-old girl turns away from the door of her home and walks back inside. A mother stands with her children by her fence. A seven-year-old boy walks by himself and glances over his shoulder. A second boy little boy cries and puts his head on his friend’s shoulder.

A couple of little boys drop some mattresses on the ground and begin to play on the street.

Dolores and the band walk on a rock by the ocean.

A fifteen-year-old young woman looks at the floor while she sways to the music. The sixtysomething man walks outside and stares at the ocean. A teenage boy plays baseball. An eight-year-old walks with her bicycle. Schoolchildren cheer as they stand together and then run home. A dog sniffs a little boy.

The band finish playing at the party.

Rating: 5/5

The band put away their instruments in the back of the van. Mike splits the pay between the band. Dolores counts her share. It’ll be enough for rent and maybe some food. She listens to Mike call his family back home and tears well up in her eyes. She hasn’t spoken to her parents in over three months.

In her pocket, she takes out a piece of paper and writes a letter to them. She tells them they played a well-paying gig for a family party. One of the sixtysomething men winked at her. The older men sang along and clapped as they sang in the living room. The women, though, drank and were mum. A fifteen-year-old young woman seemed to be as alienated as she was. Neither seemed to be understood in their families. She crumples the letter back in her pocket. They probably don’t want to know about her gig.

As Mike drives, he said there’s a few weeks he needs off. He wants to go home. Dolores looks down at the carpet on the floor of the backseat. His sister is getting married and he really wants to be there. Dolores didn’t realize that in order to follow her dream, she would lose her family. She loves them and it hurts her that they don’t support her.

Noel shouts in the passenger seat. He turns around, showing them the poster inside the newspaper, advertising their gig at an underground club in Los Angeles. Dolores touches the letter in her pocket again.

Director: Samuel Bayer Year: 1994

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.

2 thoughts on “Video Review: The Cranberries “Ode To My Family”

  1. Your take on this video is littered with casual and offensive lazy reporting.
    “boys run on the street after school in Belfast, North Ireland”
    Northern Ireland, a country that came into being in 1921 recognised by the UN, that has a national football team. Using the term North Ireland is an offensive slur to the men, women and children that were murdered by the IRA in an attempt to force a united ireland.

    ” a teenage boy plays baseball”
    LOL – you must be american. Nobody plays baseball in the UK. The boy is actually playing with a hurley bat and ball, a gaelic sport played only by Catholics. The use of the hurley stick is often associated with violent confrontations between teenagers of opposition religions at shared sporting centres.

    1. I appreciate your insight regarding the hurley bat and ball. However, the Belfast Telegraph refers to itself as “Northern Island’s Breaking News.” Associated Press style dictates it. It’s not meant to be offensive in any way.

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