Ever since high school I’ve been a huge Metallica fan. For some reason I’ve always enjoyed violent music, whether it be Punk, alternative hardcore, or thrash metal. Most people who know me find this strange because I’m such a mellow, soft spoken, nonviolent person. The message contained in Metallica lyrics appeals more to me than their aggressive music.
While I was in high school I did not have the knowledge necessary to articulate what the message contained in the lyrics was. It wasn’t until I began a detailed study of all political philosophies that I acquired the necessary knowledge to explain that message. During my study of political philosophies I discovered that I am very much a libertarian. The lyrics of Metallica songs appealed to me so much because a great many of them convey a libertarian message.
James Hetfeild, the lead singer and rhythm guitarist, is the person responsible for Metallica’s libertarian message. He wrote the lyrics for all of the songs, with the exception of some on the album St Anger. Hetfield has often been cryptic about his true political beliefs, however, this interview clearly indicates he is a libertarian. Other band members, specifically Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett, are on the opposite end of the political spectrum.
The song Escape from their second album, Ride the Lightning, clearly illustrates one of their common libertarian themes, individuals standing up against some form of tyranny or oppression.
Rape my mind and destroy my feelings Don’t tell me what to do
I don’t care now ’cause I’m on my side And I can see through you
Feed my brain with your so-called standards Who says that I ain’t right?
Break away from your common fashion See through your blurry sight
Out for my own, out to be free One with my mind, they just can’t see
No need to hear things that they say Life’s for my own, to live my own way
See them try to bring the hammer down
No damn chains can hold me to the ground
Damage Incorporated from their Master of Puppets album echoes a similar message.
Dealing out the
Charging hard and no one’s gonna give in
Living on your knees, conformity
Or dying on your feet for honesty
Inbred, our bodies work as one
Bloody, but never cry submission
Following our instinct not a trend
Go against the grain until the end
Blood will follow blood
Dying time is here
Slamming through, don’t fuck with razorback
Stepping out? You’ll feel our hell on your back
Blood follows blood and we make sure
Life ain’t for you and we’re the cure
Honesty is my only excuse
Try to rob us of it, but it’s no use
Steamroller action crushing all
Victim is your name and you shall fall
Metallica’s libertarian message is most evident in their album And Justice For All. That message takes center stage in several songs. The song And Justice For All is a very clear indictment of the growing government corruption and political correctness in this country. It is also an indictment of the corruption that is most evident in a left wing governments.
Lady Justice has
been raped Truth assassin
Rolls of red tape seal your lips Now you’re done in
Their money tips her scales again Make your deal
Just what is truth? I cannot tell Cannot feel
The ultimate in vanity Exploiting their supremacy
I can’t believe the things you say I can’t believe
I can’t believe the price we pay Nothing can save us
Justice is lost Justice is raped
Justice is gone Pulling your strings
Justice is done Seeking no truth
Winning is all Find it so grim
So true So real
Seeking no truth Winning is all
Find it so grim So true So real
I really have to watch myself when I listen to the song Eye of the Beholder since I could easily find my self singing along very loudly because of the overwhelming libertarian message. It would not be good to disturb the other walkers on the track where I do my walking and listening with headphones, and I have an atrocious singing voice,
Doesn’t matter what you see Or into it what you read
You can do it your own way If it’s done just how I say
Independence limited Freedom of choice
Choice is made for you, my friend Freedom of speech
Speech is words that they will bend Freedom with their exception
Do you fear what I fear? Living properly Truths to you are lies to me
Do you choose what I choose? More alternatives Energy derives from both the plus and negative
….Do you want what I want? Desire not a thing
I hunger after independence, lengthen freedom’s ring
Don’t Tread on Me from the album Metallica, which I don’t like because the band abandoned their thrash metal roots, disappointed me because it has a true libertarian name, yet is more of a conservative song that President Reagan would identify with. No song or band is perfect, however, most of the songs on Metallica’s first four albums come close.
Liberty or death, what we so proudly hail
Once you provoke her, rattling of her tail
Never begins it, never, but once engaged…
Never surrenders, showing the fangs of rage
Don’t tread on me
So be it Threaten no more
To secure peace is to prepare for war So be it
Settle the score Touch me again for the words that you’ll hear evermore…Don’t tread on me
It would have been a true libertarian message if the song was about standing up to a government that was abusive or infringing on the rights of individuals,
***All lyrics are copied from the website AZLyrics. This saved me a lot of time and aggravation because I’m a lousy typist.