“I Just Shot John Lennon” by The Cranberries

As the title of this Cranberries song (“I Just Shot John Lennon”) suggests, the lyrics entirely deal with the cold murder of one of the greatest musicians of all time, The Beatles’ John Lennon.

According to frontwoman of The Cranberries, the late Dolores O’Riordan, she was inspired to pen the lyrics of this tune after coming across a biography of John Lennon.

That being said, the song’s title is derived directly from a statement made by Lennon’s murderer, Mark David Chapman. In 1980, Chapman shocked the world when he gunned down Lennon right in front of his New York City apartment. Shortly after the horrifying shooting, Chapman was arrested. And when asked if knew what he had done, he replied with the famous words: “I just shot John Lennon”.

Furthermore, the fact that Chapman shot at Lennon approximately 5 times is also prominently mentioned/referenced in this song.

Lyrics to “I Just Shot John Lennon”

“I Just Shot John Lennon” Facts

Primary Artist(s): The Cranberries
Album/EP: “To The Faithful Departed”

When did The Cranberries release “I Just Shot John Lennon”?

April 30th of 1996 was when this song came out as part of the group’s “To The Faithful Departed”.


It was entirely composed by O’Riordan. However, it’s production was by the joint efforts of The Cranberries as a band alongside Bruce Fairbairn.

Genre(s) of “I Just Shot John Lennon”

  • Alternative rock
  • Post-punk
I Just Shot John Lennon

The Murder of John Lennon – The Incident that Inspired the Song

British musician and former Beatles member John Lennon was sadly murdered on December 8, 1980. Mark Chapman, a Beatles fan and a resident of Hawaii, murdered him.

During the morning of December 8, Chapman waited for John Lennon at The Dakota until he met Lennon. Chapman showed Lennon a copy of Lennon’s “Double Fantasy” album and asked for an autograph from the legend. Lennon signed the album and left for his regular studio session at the Record Plant.

Later that evening, Lennon returned to the Dakota with his wife, Yoko Ono. As both approached the archway of the Dakota, Chapman was standing along the path. Lennon recognized him from earlier and stared for a moment before continuing to walk away with his wife.

After they passed by Chapman, he pulled a revolver from his pocket and fired five bullets aiming at Lennon. One bullet missed, and four entered Lennon through the back, shoulders, and lungs. Lennon was subsequently rushed to the Roosevelt Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead on arrival.

Chapman said he hated Lennon’s attitude and lifestyle. In addition, he was seriously angered by Lennon’s public statement in which he said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. He has also stated that the fictional character Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye influenced him.

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