Rooster (6:41)

Cover of Dirt

From Dirt and 47 other releases

“Rooster” is a popular single by the grunge/metal group Alice in Chains. The song was released in 1993 and is featured on their second, full-length studio album, Dirt. It was written by guitarist Jerry Cantrell for his father, who served in the Vietnam War. His nickname was “Rooster.” It is unknown where the nickname originated, but there is speculation that it may have been in relation to the 101st Airborne Division, in which Cantrell’s father served. The 101st Airborne wore patches on their arms featuring a bald eagle. There are no bald eagles in Vietnam, so the closest thing to which the Vietnamese could reference them was the chicken. They referred to them as “chicken men”.

Jerry Cantrell has stated in an interview that Rooster was the nickname given to his father as a boy growing up in the south where it was common to have a nickname.

The music video featured brutality and violence visually reminiscent of Apocalypse Now.

Jerry Cantrell on the song, from the liner notes of 1999’s Music Bank box set collection:

“It was the start of the healing process between my Dad and I from all that damage that Vietnam caused. This was all my perception of his experiences out there. The first time I ever heard him talk about it was when we made the video and he did a 45 minute interview with Mark Pellington and I was amazed he did it. He was totally cool, totally calm, accepted it all and had a good time doing it. It even brought him to the point of tears. It was beautiful. He said it was a weird experience, a sad experience and he hoped that nobody else had to go through it.”

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  • Nico616

    YOU KNOW HE AIN'T GONNA DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! <3

    11 Jul 2:26am Reply
  • redmosquito1975

    Great band, great album, great song...

    15 May 8:07am Reply
  • joshsaussey

    This must be one of my favorite Alice songs. It gives me goosebumps every time the "You know he ain't gonna die" part kicks in. [3] It's those vocals man, so powerful.

    22 Apr 7:53am Reply
  • BallaOG6

    This must be one of my favorite Alice songs. It gives me goosebumps every time the "You know he ain't gonna die" part kicks in. [3]

    15 Apr 3:06pm Reply
  • kinioha

    I love this song

    27 Mar 9:51pm Reply
  • DesertPenguins

    Ready Mickey?

    27 Feb 10:04am Reply
  • Keolia

    Neato.

    19 Feb 3:02pm Reply
  • Preacher101

    Temón!!!

    24 Dec 2013 Reply
  • proper89

    Or hate, even.

    9 Dec 2013 Reply
  • proper89

    Another amazing Alice song. LastFM says I've listened to it 18 times. Try 1800! It showed such depth, such emotion and probably one of Layne's finest vocal performances. Damn I hat that we will never hear new Layne vocals.

    9 Dec 2013 Reply
  • PinkFloydrulez

    HOLOY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITt

    21 Nov 2013 Reply
  • mclambo13

    never tire of listening to this one

    9 Nov 2013 Reply
  • grantosjones

    easily one of the best AiC songs, Layne really gets to stretch his vocal range

    29 Sep 2013 Reply
  • hazeleyedpisces

    No, we ain't gonna die... <3

    28 Jul 2013 Reply
  • pogoshrooms

    This must be one of my favorite Alice songs. It gives me goosebumps every time the "You know he ain't gonna die" part kicks in. [2] :')

    11 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Night_Bringer_

    shit,dat stuff is true greatness

    6 Jul 2013 Reply
  • benx92

    Great song indeed!

    28 Jun 2013 Reply
  • gokunirvana

    This must be one of my favorite Alice songs. It gives me goosebumps every time the "You know he ain't gonna die" part kicks in.

    24 Jun 2013 Reply
  • ninjabilli

    Reading Michael Herr's Dispatches and it always reminds me of this song.

    6 Jun 2013 Reply
  • feelthatfire

    3rd favorite song off of the Unplugged album

    3 Jun 2013 Reply
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