My Sunday Song – “Gods of War” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #156, we are going to talk about one of Def Leppard’s few politically charged songs and one of the few songs from Hysteria that was not a single.  The song is “Gods of War”.  It is an epic song at over 6 minutes and I loved it when they used to play this one live long, long ago.  They still do play it when they do the whole Hysteria album in concert of course.

This was the 80’s and there were all these little military skirmishes going on around the world and it was the end of the Cold War.  Ronald Reagan was President of the United States and Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.  Intermixed in the song were lines from the world leaders threatening the terrorists and even gun fire and battle sounds.  One of my favorite lines was towards the end when President Reagan said, “He counted on America to be passive, He counted wrong” and then there was gun fire and explosions.  For a teenage boy, that was really badass!  Plus, I can do a really great Reagan impression so I would say those lines in his voice every time I would sing it.

Joe came up with the song from watching the news and what was going on in the world. It was Def Leppard’s version of protest song which I am sure was overshadowed by the songs that the band was releasing such as “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.  People didn’t look at Leppard as a socially conscience band, but they could be and were.

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Musically, there are some great riffs and melodies throughout that Steve Clark came up with and highlight what an immensely talented player he was and he is surely missed.  The song, like the album, is full of layer and layer of vocals and guitar parts that make it sound so huge and give it that epic feeling.  Sonically, the song is head and shoulders above the sounds of other music at the time.  Mutt Lange and the band pushed themselves to create sounds that were new and would soon take over the airwaves.  It is a beast of a song.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think. I hope you enjoy it and have a great and Happy Sunday!

“Gods Of War”

Feelin’ like it’s all over, feelin’ like there’s no love
Feelin’ like it’s not easy, breathin’ life in the dust
On a countdown to zero take a ride on the nightmare machineThere ain’t gonna be heroes
There ain’t gonna be anything
Oh
Here it comes, here comes the night
Here it comes, hell in the night
Here it comes, here comes the night

When we all fall down
When we walk into silence
When we shadow the sun
When we surrender to violence
Oh
Then the damage is done
Put away that gun!

I don’t wanna be there
I don’t wanna be anywhere
Oh!

[Repeat Bridge]

That’s right!
We’re fightin’ for the gods of war but what the hell we fightin’ for?
We’re fightin’ with the gods of war but I’m a rebel

[guitar solo]

And I ain’t gonna fight no more no way!
On a countdown to zero
Take a ride on the nightmare machine
There ain’t gonna be heroes
(Whoa)
There ain’t gonna be anything
No!

[Repeat Bridge]

Don’t ya know that’s right!

[Repeat Chorus]

And (a) I ain’t gonna fight no more

(Stop)
Stop fightin’ for the gods of war
(Stop fightin’ for the gods of war)
Yeah what the hell we fightin’ for?
(What in the hell we fightin’ for?)
We’re fightin’ with the gods of war
Heavy!

Written by Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Phil Collen, Steve Clark and Mutt Lange.
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2 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Gods of War” by Def Leppard

  1. This is a great track that leads off Side 2!
    Epic and a huge wall of sound! Clark was the riff master in Leppard. Fantastic stuff John. When I saw the Adrenalize tour this song was the epic song of the night as they pulled out all the stops on it during the show.
    Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

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