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War Pigs - Black Sabbath

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Ross Colborne

on 15 April 2014

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Transcript of War Pigs - Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath - A History
Black Sabbath is a heavy metal band which originated in England.
The band consists of three members: Ozzy Osbourne on vocals, Guitarist Tony Iommi, and Bassist Geezer Butler.
They are commonly credited as the inventors of heavy metal.
Their hit song, War Pigs, was released in 1970, off their second studio album Paranoid.
To this day, they have released 19 albums, and are currently on tour, promoting their new album 13.
Black Sabbath's
War Pigs
was released during the peak of the Vietnam war which was fought between North and South Vietnam.
The United States played a major role in the war, as they supported South Vietnam, along with numerous other anti-communist countries.
Many citizens strongly opposed the United States' war campaign and felt that they had no reason to fight someone else's war.
Many musicians used their music as a way to protest the war and make their opinion known to the masses.
Reflection/Initial Reaction
Though it was written in 1970, the first thing that came to mind when I heard the song was President George Bush, and the countless lives he has claimed.
Many people consider George Bush to be the United States' worst president, as he has wasted trillions of dollars of taxpayers' money.
To conclude, Black Sabbath's War Pigs is a masterfully composed song, with a strong, timeless meaning.
The band followed the long-standing tradition of using music as a political protest, and executed that perfectly,
They used Biblical imagery and allusions to convey their point strongly.

War Pigs - Black Sabbath
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
...Oh lord yeah!

Politicians hide themselves away.
They only started the war,
Why should they go out to fight?
They leave that role to the poor.

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,
as you hear the bodies burning.
No more war pigs of the power,
hand of God has struck the hour.
Day of judgement, God is calling,
on their knees the war pigs crawling.
Begging mercy for their sins,
Satan, laughing, spreads his wings
...Oh lord, yeah!
Social Implications/Context
George Bush was the 43rd president of the United States, and served from 2001 - 2009. He is infamous for starting a war overseas in Iraq, and spending trillions of dollars on weapons and war related goods.
Overall Meaning
In an interview, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne stated that the group "knew nothing about Vietnam" and that it was just an "anti-war song". Though the song may not have neccessarily been written about Vietnam, the events leading up to and during the Vietnam war may have indirectly influenced the writing of the song.
Relevancy Today
War Pigs
was written in 1970, the song has a timeless meaning. As long as there are humans, there will be war. Humans are greedy by nature, and with the world's resources depleting, we could expect an increase in wars in the future. Most wars are fought over control of land, or rich resources, such as oil. Nowadays, violence still is prominent in many parts of the world.
Syrian Civil War
Russia & Ukraine
The Syrian Civil War began in early 2011, when protests broke out against president Bashar Al-Assad's regime. The United States, among other countries stepped in after Syria was accused of using chemical weapons against it's own people. Currently, the death toll exceeds over 100,000 people, with countless others displaced.
In the past few months, Russia and Ukraine have been fighting over an area called Crimea, which had formerly belonged to Ukraine. Russia began sending military troops to Crimea, and has since conquered that region. The tension between the two countries is slowly increasing, and Canada and the United States have gotten involved by imposing tough sanctions on Russia, in hope they will cease fighting.
Personal Anecdote
War Pigs, by Black Sabbath was released in 1970, as the opening track for their second studio album Paranoid.
The album did very well initially, reaching #2 on the Billboard top 200, with War Pigs being the album's most popular track.
To this day, many consider War Pigs to be one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time, with magazine Guitar World describing it as the "greatest heavy metal song ever written"
Black Sabbath's War Pigs is about man's everlasting desire for power, and the mass destruction and murder which politicians cause when wars are started.
The song brings to light the cowardness of politicians, and how willing they are to sacrifice millions of lives for political gain.
Many people mistake the last verse of the song as being "evil" or "satanic," when in reality, as Ozzy stated in an interview "War is the true evil."
Personally, I have always been strongly against war.
Needless waste of human life, an in immature way to handle one's problems.
Instead of working out their problems responsibly, politicians prefer to sit back, and watch their soldiers blast rocket launchers at each other, until one party gives up and surrenders.
When I first heard the song War Pigs, I was able to relate to it quite easily, and I was pleased that someone else shared that opinion.
The song perfectly represented my opinions about war

I do hope our future generations won't be the greedy, power-hungry war lords that are predecessors were composed of. One thing's for sure,
we must destroy war, before we destroy ourselves
Dwight D. Eisenhower
President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953 - 1961) decided to get involved with the growing conflicts in Vietnam, in an attempt to prevent communism from taking over Asia.
John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy was elected in 1961, and sent more support to Vietnam before his assasination in 1963.
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson, elected in 1963 was in power when the Vietnam war really began to heat up. In 1965, two American ships were ambushed just off the coast of Vietnam. In response, Johnson became the first to send military troops into Vietnam.
Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon (1969 - 1974) was elected after claiming he had some sort of "secret plan" which would solve the conflicts in Vietnam. Nixon slowly began pulling troops out of Vietnam, but ultimately failed, and ended up bringing the war to other parts of Asia, in an attempt to further eradicate communism.
• "Paranoid (album)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
• "War Pigs." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
• "Why Was George Bush A Bad President?" Yahoo. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
• Froomkin, Dan. "The Two Most Essential, Abhorrent, Intolerable Lies Of George W. Bush's Memoir." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 22 Nov. 2010. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
• "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum." Black Sabbath Biography. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
• "Black Sabbath." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.
• "The Presidents during the Vietnam War." The Presidents during the Vietnam War. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
• "Syria's Civil War." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 03 Apr. 2014. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
• "Russia Vs. Ukraine." Haaretz.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

Works Cited
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