The Rock / Metal scene is one of the best in the field of music to teach history.
If of course there is a mood, representatives of the genre can take you on a journey through historical events that changed the present and the future.
The list of songs is long and full of events that have affected the whole course of humanity.
Maybe if we lived in times where stereotypes, prejudice, and ignorance about this particular music had been eliminated…
They could be taught in schools, as well.
Rush – Bastille Day (1975)
Rush’s song refers to the French Revolution of 1789.
The Fall of the Bastille was the prelude to the French Revolution and concerned the armed occupation of the “Bastille of St. Anthony” prison.
Bastille protectors were lynched and beheaded, while the occupiers roamed their heads in the streets of Paris.
The song captures the feeling of inequality, the feeling of oppression, and absolute punishment.
Sex Pistols – Belsen Was A Gas (1979)
This song refers to the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.
An area between the village of Belzen and the town of Bergen in Lower Saxony, near the town of Celle.
It is estimated that more than 70,000 people were killed before British troops liberated it on April 15, 1945.
Celtic Frost – Into the Crypts of Rays (1984)
This song is about Gilles de Rais, who was a French general during the Hundred Years’ War, and a companion of the Joan of Arc.
Gilles de Rais was also a famous child-killer!
Europe – Cherokee (1986)
It is a song an “anthem” to the sufferings of the Cherokee people.
The Cherokee genocide left behind 4,000 rigid corpses on the side of the road, known as the “Trail of Tears”.
Bruce Springsteen – Roulette (1988)
The song is about the collapse of the “Three Mile Island” nuclear power plant in 1979.
There was a lot of talk at that time about the use of nuclear energy.
The issues of safety and environmental destruction were in the spotlight and Springsteen captured them in his lyrics.
Pink Floyd – A Great Day For Freedom (1994)
The song was written by David Gilmour’s wife, Polly, and refers to the freedom that Democracy gives you.
But also, how easily democracy can dismantle freedom through ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Just like it happened in Yugoslavia.
In fact, Polly is like saying, “In the name of democracy, the greatest crimes have been committed.”
Cradle of Filth – Thirteen Autumns And A Widow (1998)
Cradle of Filth’s entire album, “Cruelty and the Beast”, was inspired by the legend of Elizabeth Bathory.
A Countess of Hungarian descent and serial killer said to have washed in the blood of her victims.
In December 1610, Bathory was imprisoned in her castle until her death four years later.
Iron Maiden – Brighter Than A Thousand Suns (2006)
This song is about the experiment that gave life to the atomic bomb, also known as “The Manhattan Project”.
The title of the song is a comment made by one of the scientists after he saw bomb A being tested in the New Mexico desert.
Hail of Bullets – Stalingrad (2008)
The Dutch death metal band Hail of Bullets often refers to themes from World War II.
The song “Stalingrad” tells the story of the Battle of Stalingrad (July 17, 1942 – February 2, 1943).
These are the military operations of the Wehrmacht and the Red Army.
Amon Amarth – The Berserker At Stamford Bridge (2019)
This song refers to the final battle between the British and the Norwegians and is essentially the end of the Viking Age.
This is the Battle of Stamford Bridge near York in September 1066.
According to legend, a huge Norwegian blocked the narrow passage and repulsed King Harold Godwinson’s entire army on his own.
The giant named Harald Hardrada went down in history as the Viking “Berserker”, whose story they narrate through their lyrics.
The list does not end here, and we will definitely come back with a new article.
Besides, in R1 Vibes we love history and especially when it unfolds through Rock / Metal tunes.