Lead guitarist Noel Hogan described the song as “very much a classic Dolores [O’Riordan] song,” with the late singer guiding the track from its soft verse through its massive chorus. “Fighting’s not the answer,” O’Riordan belts, “Fighting’s not the cure/It’s eating you like cancer/It’s killing you for sure/Wake me when it’s over.”
“Wake Me When It’s Over” follows previously-released In the End tracks, “All Over Now” and “The Pressure.” O’Riordan and Hogan had begun working on all the songs on the album before the singer’s death last January. After several months of mourning, Hogan and the rest of the Cranberries enlisted producer Stephen Street – who’d previously helmed four Cranberries records – to help them finish the album.
The Cranberries have no intention to remain a band after the release of In the End, even though people have approached them about getting a new signer or even using a hologram. “It’s come up as well, ‘Well, find another singer,’” Hogan told Rolling Stone. “I don’t think people who say that fully get it. Maybe they think they’re being nice or something. It’s not something we’re ever going to entertain. I think the band accomplished a lot, and I think we’ll leave it on a high with this album.”