The song, “Hero of War”, from the fifth studio album by American punk rock band Rise Against “Appeal to Reason(released in North America on October 7, 2008) is about an Iraq War Veteran looking back on his war experiences. It is described by Rolling Stone as an “ambivalent aggro-folk track”. McIlrath said of the song, “I wanted to take the perspective of ‘What is the war going to be looked back on as?’” He went on to say, “There are not many songs…talking about what’s going on during eight years of occupation in Iraq. That, combined with meeting active soldiers and retired soldiers at our shows and hearing those stories about what is going on on the ground amid all the bullshit, showed me the differences from what is really happening to what is happening in the news media. I just thought that this needed to go into a song.” He said about the song in another interview, “It was a way to document what’s going on, like other artists documented for their generation and for generations to come.”

Songwriters: Barnes, Brandon; Chasse, Christopher; Mcilrath, Timothy; Principe, Joseph Daniel;

The lyrics:

He said, “Son, have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say if I said that you could?
Just carry this gun, you’ll even get paid”
I said, “That sounds pretty good”

Black leather boots, spit shined so bright
They cut off my hair but it looks alright
We marched and we sang
We all became friends as we learned how to fight

A hero of war, yeah that’s what I’ll be
And when I come home they’ll be damn proud of me
I’ll carry this flag to the grave if I must
‘Cause it’s flag that I love and a flag that I trust

I kicked in the door, I yelled my commands
The children they cried but I got my man
We took him away, a bag over his face
From his family and his friends

They took off his clothes, they pissed in his hands
I told them to stop but then I joined in
We beat him with guns and batons
Not just once but again and again

A hero of war, yeah that’s what I’ll be
And when I come home they’ll be damn proud of me
I’ll carry this flag to the grave if I must
‘Cause it’s flag that I love and a flag that I trust

She walked through bullets and haze
I asked her to stop, I begged her to stay
But she pressed on
So I lifted my gun and I fired away

And the shells jumped through the smoke
And into the sand that the blood now had soaked
She collapsed with a flag in her hand
A flag white as snow

A hero of war is that what they see
Just medals and scars, so damn proud of me
And I brought home that flag, now it gathers dust
But it’s a flag that I love, it’s the only flag I trust

He said, “Son, have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say if I said that you could?”

Edited by 2ndmoon on 28 Jun 2011, 03:37

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