Linger is a song composed by Irish musicians Dolores O’Riordan and Noel Hogan of the rock band The Cranberries, released in 1993. The song, which has an acoustic arrangement featuring a string section, became the band’s first major hit, peaking at #3 in the Republic of Ireland, #8 in the United States and #14 in the UK.
In the documentary ’99 Love Life & Rock ‘n’ Roll, O’Riordan says that the song is about her first serious kiss.
Dolores O’Riordan performed this song in the 2006 Adam Sandler movie Click. In the film, Sandler’s character has a remote control that can take him back in time. When his wife reminisces about their first kiss, she asks if he remembers the song that was playing. Sandler uses the remote, goes back to the memory, and discovers that Linger was playing.
Cranberries guitarist Noel Hogan wrote the music for this song before Dolores O’Riordan joined the band. Originally, it had lyrics written by the group’s first singer Niall Quinn. When O’Riordan auditioned for the band, she had some ideas for the song, and after she was hired, she wrote her own set up lyrics, turning it into a song of regret and based on a soldier she once fell in love with.
The music video (see above) for this song is a tribute to Jean-Luc Goddard’s film Alphaville. In one of the rooms of the hotel, a silent film is being shown which features 1950s stripper Blaze Starr.
The emotional, girlie sound was a huge departure for the band, but wildly successful: the song got lots of airplay from radio stations looking for an alternative to Rap or Grunge, and MTV put the video in heavy rotation.
The Cranberries became one of the best-selling bands of the mid-’90s.
Editor’s Note: This song came out around the time I had to move back home again. My daughter and I were sharing a room that was once my younger brother’s, and nothing about it felt mine, or hers, or ours. I longed to get back out on my own, and spent any time I could away. I always seemed to make the poorest of adult decisions when I was teetering between independence and reliance on other people. That desire to get out took me over, and led me to move in with someone that was more friend than any kind of lover. My heart was tied up somewhere else, lingering on someone else, someone who’s kiss still lived so vividly in my memory that I swore I could still taste him on my lips.