Vietnam Music Monday: “War Pigs”

War Pigs

“War Pigs” is the opening track on Black Sabbath’s 1970 album “Paranoid.” (Newseum collection)

Music played an important cultural role during the Vietnam War, representing the rebellious views of a young generation and the traditional values of an older, so-called “silent majority.” The Newseum selected 40 songs released between 1963 and 1973 that typified the music of the Vietnam era. The songs captured the emotions of people for and against the war and reflected the mood of an increasingly diverse country amid dramatic social and political change.

The 40 songs, part of the Newseum’s “Reporting Vietnam” exhibit, are a fraction of the hundreds of recordings that dealt with the war and civil disobedience. Each week, one song from the playlist will be featured. We encourage you to add your favorite songs of the era to the comment section!

War Pigs (1970)

Recorded by Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath was a heavy metal band featuring Ozzy Osbourne on lead vocals. The lyrics to “War Pigs” were written by Geezer Butler, who said the song was about “how these rich politicians and rich people start all the wars for their benefit and get all the poor people to die for them.”


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

Purchase “War Pigs” on Amazon or iTunes.

“Reporting Vietnam,” a new exhibit that marks the 50th anniversary of the start of America’s first televised war, explores the dramatic stories of how journalists brought news about the war to a divided nation.

CBS News

Contributing support for the “Reporting Vietnam” exhibit is provided by CBS Corporation, in memory of CBS News correspondent Bob Simon.

3 thoughts on “Vietnam Music Monday: “War Pigs”

  1. Blacksabbath rocks! My personal favorites are the songs War Pigs, Iron Man, Bark at the Moon, and one of the best breakup songs to me is Changes.

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