Metallica: Disposable Heroes Meaning
Disposable Heroes Lyrics
No one to play soldier now, no one to pretend
Running blind through killing fields, bred to kill them all
Victim of what said should beA servant 'til I fall
Soldier boy, made of clay
Now an empty...
anonymous Mar 12th, 2013 3:17pm report
This song delivers a very strong messege about the reality of war.
First of all, soldiers that are killed in battle can always be replaced by other troops at the ready, hence the title, "Disposable Heroes".
Second, many of the soldiers, especially in the first two World Wars were often sent to battle at an early age, specifically the ages of 16 to 21, only to die in the end "21, only son, but he served us well".
Third, the chorus lyric of the song "Back To The Front!" states that when a soldier goes out to fight, even if the situation is hopeless, he is forced to keep going, no matter what. Leaving a battle is considered desertion and is military crime punishable by death(including the United States). Therefore, he is forced to continue fighting, even if it means certain death.
(just think of the Omaha Beach invasion scene in "Saving Private Ryan"); and that is where the lyrics "You will do, what I say, when I say... You will die, when I say, you must die... you coward, you servent, you blind man" comes into play.
I know this isn't exactly accurate, but this is my interperatation of the song.
anonymous Aug 1st, 2006 8:33pm report
Like the last person said, it's how there is little regard in war for human life, so long as the objectives are met.
Commanders may play strategy games, but this song points out that they're playing with human lives, treating them as expendable, in order to try and reach a goal- like a game of risk or battleship, but real people are being killed.
anonymous Apr 17th, 2006 4:12pm report
What? That sucked! So what if that's included in the song? That doesn't mean that's all that its about!!! I think it's about how the government always talks about how much they appreciate the soldiers ("but he served us well") but in reality the government doesn't give a crap about whether the soldiers die or not.
anonymous Aug 6th, 8:45am report
I think this is an anti war song and a NY Times or New Yorker music critic - I forget who - Jon Pareles or Jon Caramanica or Kelefa Sanneh said it was one of the greatest anti-war songs ever.
Compare it to Paul Hardcastle's "Only 19" from early 80s.
Both are very sad.
Poor people are forced to go into military w/o any choice.
While Metallica may annoying conservative now, when I like them and saw them in a mid sized venue (2500) in 1986 in 8th grade with one of the last shows Cliff would play, they were very anti-everything. Of course they did not go into the military and were lucky.
anonymous Apr 4th, 2017 4:17pm report
Think hitler or Stalin both tyrants... Stalin had a shoot to kill if you were to retreat. Hitler had the same and if citizens stepped out of line they were sent to the front. Both were tyrants didn't care how many died regardless the soldiers will do what they said when they said it. It fits perfectly the eastern front of WW2 was one brutal battlefield full of disposable heroes
anonymous Apr 18th, 2011 4:07pm report
The song is about using men as war machines and not caring if they die or not becouse they were mentaly training others to do the job if they died.
this song is about a guy in the military who is trained for a soul pupose of being used as a tool to over come the enemy. if you want to go more in depth about sertain lyrics you could say that the chorus (to me) sounds like what theys say when an offical comes to the parents house of the fallen soldier.(Soldier boy, made of clayNow an empty shell.Twenty one, only son.But he served us well.Bred to.kill, not to care.Do just as we say.Finished here,greetings death.He's yours to take away)and the next verse talks about how you get used to the discomforts of war and how all you do is for a stripe on your shirt. and the last verse is pretty self explainatory. just talks about how all the time he spent working and working for the things he was told was right,he realizes the fact that he has been competely modified to be a tool and that he is just a piece to be discarded if need be. again this is just my interpretation. i apologize for any miss spelling.
anonymous Jan 5th, 2010 1:28pm report
i'm not sure, but it could just be about how in some places, you are born and then once you get to a certain age, you go in the military. The people who train you say, "Just kill anyone you see." Hence the line "bred to kill, not to care".
Its clear in the title, it's about the nature of joining the service, you're nothing but a disposable hero. Sure people will respect you, think of you as a hero, but you're about as irreplaceable as a tin can.
"21, only son, but he served us well"- a lot of young men and women die in war, and yet the government doesn't realize the impact it has on families, so what? she just lost her only son, but he served us well! He died an honorable death, but at 21, no one should die any kind of death.
"Soldier boy, Made of Clay, Now an empty Shell" - if going to war doesn't kill you, it will kill something inside of you, once you kill, you can't apologize, you can't gain forgiveness from the one you killed, you took their life, and they're dead, and that leaves you empty inside, it kills you slowly, "bred to kill, not to care..." you are forced to reassess your morals, killing is now ok, and therefore there is no morality...
"back at thr front, you will do what I say, when I say...you will die, when I say you must die" - when you're a soldier you're a fucking drone, you do as you're told, die when you're told, run into fucking gunfire, you do as you're told...
"Life planned out before my birth, nothing could I say Had no chance to see myself, molded day by day
Looking back I realize, nothing have I done Left to die with only friend Alone I clench my gun" - this line is one of the most poignant, some parents bring their child up as a patriot, love america, serve america, give your freewill to america, that's not freedom people, ITS FUCKING COMMUNISM! They then believe that they HAVE TO give their life to serve america, but in the end they realize their death did nothing, they did nothing, and war solves nothing, just overpopulation... And the draft was the worst, it forced even those who didn't want to go out onto the field, people die even when they know their death solves nothing.
Its sad, but true...
the_angry_sgt Dec 2nd, 2008 12:14pm report
Obviously this is an anti-war song... are you nuts? Why is this even being discussed? Doy. I don't like it one damn bit. War should not be glorified but sometimes war IS necessary. We go in knowing the risks. It's an all volunteer army now, not like back in Nam. No one has the right to complain anymore about how they got forced into going to war and came back a mess or not at all for that matter. We all sign on the black line and take the same fucking oath so quit bitching and grow a pair!
anonymous Oct 11th, 2008 10:53pm report
Forget all of you! This song is the truth absolute truth! When my father came home from Vietnam he was changed, changed from a quiet young man into a loud aggressive brute, that cared little for us. HE thought that the government had in fact used him to fight someone else's war, maybe I should have listened. Because I when I went to the Gulf in 1991, I know I changed I see it EVERY DAY when I look in the mirror..
fadetometallica Oct 11th, 2008 10:33am report
This song and war pigs by black sabbath are very similar. Soldiers are simply pawns to be used as a means to an end"
No it's not. War is never fought for selfishness, unless you're talking about the fact that the jews never fight their own wars.War is usually fought through altruism. People give their lives to fight for a higher cause. This could be their families, or it could be "spartanic", like the time when 300 spartans held off an army of 1 million persians until the athenians were able to assemble their troops. All 300 men knew they were going to die, but they stood their ground until they all did. So war isn't stupid, especially when you :
i beleive you are right about the meaning of war but I don't agree with your interpitation of the song. btw if your gonna watch a movie and then quote it as fact make sure you get all the facts right. don't get me wrong 300 is a bad ass movie and it is based on a true story but it is not entirly correct
Emperorlawson Jun 4th, 2007 6:23am report
Based on my listening of the song, I'd simply say it's about the horrific realities of war. I don't believe that Metallica is attempting to make any sort of political statement in this song, but are just simply trying to state the simple fact that war is Hell, not something that should be glorified or encouraged. It does so simply by telling the listener what a soldier goes through on the battlefield, physically and mentally.
anonymous Jan 24th, 2007 1:35am report
I believe that a good amount of this song has to do with the dehumanizing process of war, how it turns soldiers into killing machines who are just following orders, subsequently becoming expendable. Also the name of the song is pretty self-explanatory.
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