War Pigs

Timeless songs move humans like history itself. Timeless songs are history, which is why songs like this are important.

Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pigs’ showcases their antiwar philosophy and speaks out against the horrors of war. The title refers to personnel who wage wars, but largely keep their distance for getting their “hands dirty.” The song fittingly came out in 1970 in Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album while the Vietnam War was in full effect, thus adding more meaning to already in-depth lyrics.

This song was a highlight of Black Sabbath’s first studio album. This song especially secures their unique place in the history of punk rock music as well as pioneering heavy metal. Today, the song is considered to be one of Black Sabbath’s best works, as well as a significant milestone in the enduring history of hard rock and heavy metal.

Comments from fans explain it best:

“If you ever wondered what it was that made ‘Sabbath one of the greatest rock bands of all time.. take a look at this live performance from 1970… this is definitive rock-n-roll…..”

“Black Sabbath with their musical undertones of a post hippie heyday, but with Sabbath it was the dawning of a new era as all the peace and love stuff was replaced with a sense of seriousness and despair regarding the current state of world affairs.”



And yet here we are today, surrounded by war, surrounded by ‘war pigs’ – nothing has changed.

Here’s the 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…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!

Interestingly, ‘War Pigs’ has a definition in the Urban Dictionary – “People who cause war for personal gain or entertainment”.


About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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