“Hey Geezer, what rhymes with masses?”
My friend, Mike, likes to make fun of the lyrics. I laugh, because It’s a fair cop. That doesn’t stop me from loving this song. It’s crude, and it’s angry, and frankly, I think that suits its subject rather well. When one thinks of war protest songs, Heavy Metal isn’t normally the genre that comes to mind, but perhaps this is one well-earned exception. Hell, I even like the cheated rhyme!
In fact this song has four places on my favorites play-list rather than one, because there are a few non-Sabbath versions of War Pigs that are well worth a listen. The Suck doesn’t add too much to the composition, but this apartheid era rock band seems so out-of-place in South Africa, they get triple credit for simply thinking of recording the song. Hayseed Dixie is of course funny as Hell, but I think they are as sincere about it’s message as anybody. Check out their remake of Holiday to hear these rednecks take sarcasm and bitterness right to 11. The most creative reworking of War Pigs may come from the Dresden Dolls. Theirs may also be the most earnest. Unfortunately, I don’t think they ever recorded it in a studio; one has only a few live bootlegs to choose from. The version below is the best I can find.
Postscript: Since writing this, I have discovered a couple new versions of this song; Brownout and Brass Against.