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Reading a Text - War Pigs by Black Sabbath

Reading a Text - War Pigs by Black Sabbath - Mr Aaren...

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Mr. Aaren Yandrich English 112 February 3, 2009 Reading a Text – “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath Over the years, Black Sabbath has made more than just an influential impact on devoted and dedicated fans of heavy metal and rock music. After releasing their incredibly successful first album, Black Sabbath , in 1969, the band was back in the studio preparing for the release of their follow-up album initially titled War Pigs after their hit anti-war track. However, the album title was quickly changed to Paranoid due to the recording company’s fear that supporter’s of the Vietnam War would reject the album. “War Pigs” was recorded in response to the war in 1970 and promoted anti-violence. The most obvious of questions when first hearing this song, is what exactly are war pigs? Also referred to as incendiary pigs, war pigs are speculated to have been used in ancient warfare. Supposedly, pigs were covered in flammable materials such as tar, set on fire, and driven to the enemy’s war elephants. The intention was that the elephants would be terrified by the pig’s squeals and as a result would flee through the lines of their “own army.” In this song, war pigs are mentioned in the last verse. Interpreting this last verse, the term war pigs can be viewed in a different light. The lines “Day of Judgment, God is calling, on their knees the war pig’s crawling, begging mercy for their sins” insinuate politicians as the war pigs rather than the actual animal. Earlier in the song it reads, “Politicians hide themselves away, they only started the war, why would they go out and fight?” This is where the interpretation of war pigs acting as politicians can be verified. Frequently, people criticize politicians who have “started the war.”
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