Which Songs Have Parallel Themes to “War Pigs”

This Bob Dylan song was written/released at the height of the Cold War in 1963, and while the specific time-frame is different from the one discussed in “War Pigs”, the songs share a very similar anti-war sentiment. The lyrics about the cowardness of government officials and war in general, including the lines about “building death planes” and how he can “see through their masks”, are strikingly similar to those in the Black Sabbath verses. As we can see in this example alone, the themes pertaining to anti-war protest are diverse in their scenarios, they all carry a generalized sentiment against war.

The Doors’ “The Unknown Soldier” is an interesting lineage to “War Pigs”. It has been theorized that this song a story of the character of a soldier who was killed in combat with such severe injuries that his face was unrecognizable. After further analysis of the songs’ lyrics alongside the overall sentiment they share, it makes sense to assume that it could also be about the uncaring nature of war in terms of the individual. The way the lyrics are generalized and never actually identify or introduce the soldier is thought-provoking, it’s possible that in doing so they are producing a commentary on the realities of death in combat and how little care the war has for the individuals fighting and risking their lives.

Make a grave for the unknown soldier

nestled in your hollow shoulder

the unknown soldier

The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter” is a general anti-war tune. There is definitely room for connection of themes within the two tracks. While “War Pigs” is specifically rebelling against the Vietnam War, “Gimme Shelter” has an interesting anti-war sentiment. The idea of shelter is definitely something to consider in discussions of any kind of war or incident, and it fits so well with the underlying concepts which are not so explicitly stated in “War Pigs”.

The lyrics below exhibit the importance of shelter, by essentially pointing out that when war is in the picture, no one has complete protection from either the elements or violence and suffering that ultimately comes with war.

War, children

It’s just a shot away