Saturday, December 01, 2007

Black Sabbath - War Pigs

There are a still a few bands that actually play instruments and stuff, but we live in a modern Dark Ages for music as far as I'm concerned. No one one value new seems to have come along in ages. Coldplay might be the exception for me. The biggest tours are from bands in their 50s or 60s.

Growing up in New Jersey in the late late 80s, rap and hip hop were nowhere to be found. Long hair and heavy metal were huge. Even as a teen, it seemed like a lot of those bands Metallica, Slayer, Megadeath and all that stuff Randy Steele likes were just based on being fast, loud, extreme and offensive. I suppose there is something to be said for loud and offensive. I took more delight in dissecting Neil Peart's Rush lyrics or playing my father's old Beatle records. I was also quite the Cars fantatic. The Cars were my first concert in 1982.

In my late 20s when I started playing bass, I listened to a lot of stuff I never paid much attention to. Just a couple years ago I probably really listened to War Pigs by Black Sabbath for the first time. I was amazed at how deep the lyrics were. I've used them in class. Naturally, Ozzie rewrote them to make them completely vapid. The pendulum swang post Vietnam and anyone who wasn't chomping at the bit for war became a traitor, so that is perhaps why Ozzy rewrote the lyrics, and also why we have the catastrophe that is Iraq. This is heavy stuff, and just classic heavy rock with amazingly literate lyrics:

Generals gathered in their masses, just like witches at black masses.
Evil minds that plot destruction, sorcerers of death's construction.
In the fields the bodies burning, as the war machine keeps turning.
Death and hatred to mankind, poisoning their brainwashed minds.
Politicians hide themselves away. They only started the war.
Why should they go out to fight? They leave that role to the poor, yeah.
Time will tell on their power minds, making war just for fun.
Treating people just like pawns in chess, wait till their judgement day comes, yeah.
Now in darkness world stops turning, ashes where the bodies burning.
No more War Pigs have the power, Hand of God has struck the hour.
Day of judgement, God is calling,on their knees the war pigs crawling.
Begging mercies for their sins, Satan, laughing, spreads his wings.Oh lord, yeah!

6 comments:

SteeleOnSaipan said...

Dude, you are so cool you should be named Arthur Turberelli or The Turbz for short. It's too late at night for me to crank up your Geddy video but I look forward to seeing it when the sun is out. Thanks for the mention but you are premature in pushing me to the metalhead side of the quad for I now challenge you to a dual.....a dual of Rush lyric knowledge. Pre-synth years of course and you can even get me drunk first.

Vietnam veteran.. Combat search and rescue crew said...

I'm rather shocked that you, a professional teacher, inject your politics into the classroom. Is that ethical?

And out of curiosity, do you think were Generals Patton, Eisenhower, Wainright, MacArthur, Schwartzkof (sp), Powell, Puller, and others were war pigs? Was the fight against the Nazis, for example, the American Satan, spreading his wings?

Is nothing that America does noble in your eyes? You know I enjoy much of what you write.. but on this one you really suck.

Jeff said...

It's not so much that I agree with everything in there as I think it's artfully said. Artfully said tends to have impact. I want kids to see artfully said so they can do artfully said some day.

Plenty of the viewpoint you have is brought to the forefront.

Of course, I don't think all generals are war pigs, but we've had some moments we shouldn't be proud of, too.

Vietnam Vet.... etc. said...

Thank you for your reply. I like to think that our moments of shining glory and righteousness overwhelm those moments that we, admittedly, should be ashamed of.

And if your examples stimulate conversation and thought on both sides of all of the issues, then sorry I questioned your ethics. Remember though, your advanced education and experience will enable you to always win a debate with those young minds of mush that you are molding.

Just like our schools should not be churning out Billy Graham clones, they also should not create a generation of Republicans or Democrats.

Jeff said...

I think you'd appreciate it that I say on day one that assume everyone to some degree is full of it including me. There is a healthy cynicism in the youth.

That song isn't focused on the U.S, also. It's an overall incictment of war.

I've been to Normandy including Omaha Beach, Pointe Du Hocke. It is quite the experience just to be there 60 years later.

Vietnam Vet... said...

Hey you are preaching to the choir. Do you know one of our favorites back in about 1968? Country Joe and the Fish, Feel like I'm fixin' to die Rag. Listen to those lyrics. The song got no airplay on the military radio stations.. but that didn't stop us from playing our LP's and reel to reel Akai's full blast... complete with the machine gun fire (in the song).