Soldiers of Misfortune

Album: Anthems for the Damned (2008)
Play Video


  • Filter's singer Richard Patrick described this soaring anthem on their record label's website as a "sardonic anti-war/pro-troops song."
  • The first-person narrative was inspired by a letter from a Filter fan Sgt. Justin Eyerly, who had enlisted in the Army reserves to get his college tuition paid. In his final year of college, he was shipped off to Iraq where he died from a rocket attack and small arms fire after just a few days of duty.
  • Richard Patrick wrote this song three years before he recorded it. In an interview with Artist Direct, Patrick recalled how producer Josh Abraham got him to sing this in a higher key: "Josh Abraham said, 'Do you still have that song 'Soldiers of Misfortune?' You should sing that an octave higher.' So I did, and I was like, 'That was a great idea.' It scared me that I overlooked something like that. I had my reasons why I sang it low. I wanted it to be like a My Bloody Valentine song, where the vocals are almost buried. He goes, 'Dude, you have this amazing voice, and you're hiding behind all this distortion. Why? Use that s--t!" So I did. It was just little things like that. I remember thinking that was the best idea I could've gotten."
  • Towards the end of the song's video, an American flag is depicted engulfed in a pool of oil. Richard Patrick told MTV News about the clip: "We used imagery to support our view that maybe the Iraq war wasn't about freedom and democracy, but oil and greed, and the people involved in that - the soldiers over there - they're actually the soldiers of misfortune. Frank Cavanagh, Filter's former bass player, is in Iraq now, and he's found himself in this situation where he's doing what he's told, because he's a soldier - but I don't know if he necessarily agrees with why he's over there. So, the video is about that phenomenon, of being caught up in something that's bigger than you."

Comments: 3

  • AnonymousBeen to Iraq, dumb, pointless war. Song definitely hits a note with me probably my most favorite song from Filter. Keep it up we need this kind of thinking now more than ever. Thanks...
  • Rock Brook from BrooklynNation found a chance on freeing another nation... in exchange of oil.
    NOBODY loved Saddam Hussein and USA needed the energy resourses, so there.
    The man was a dictator and ruled a rogue state.
    Today Trump needs Venezuela. He's got a chance. Same case. A dictator and an opportunity to provide freedom and negotiate natural resources and a firm democracy for that freedom stolen, 5 million zombies walking, devastated, no medicines and hungry nation.
    When the goal is equilibrium and justice, there are NO soldiers of misfortune, there are heroes.
    By the way.... I love FILTER, Mr. Patrick and his music!!!
  • Casey from Glendale, AzThis is one of my least favorite songs...Songs about the Iraq war are just plain annoying. Especially if it's one sided and that's just what this song sided as with many songs on the album that talk about the war. Complete bulls--t...war is horrible, yes, but that doesn't mean that annoying songs should come of war.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Heaven And Hell

Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, Heaven And HellSongwriter Interviews

Guitarist Tony Iommi on the "Iron Man" riff, the definitive Black Sabbath song, and how Ozzy and Dio compared as songwriters.


AC/DCFact or Fiction

Does Angus really drink himself silly? Did their name come from a sewing machine? See if you can spot the real stories about AC/DC.

Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs

Richard Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Psychedelic Furs lead singer Richard Butler talks about their first album since 1991 and explains what's really going on in "Pretty In Pink."

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?

Did They Really Sing In That Movie?Fact or Fiction

Bradley Cooper, Michael J. Fox, Rami Malek, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and George Clooney: Which actors really sang in their movies?

Andy McClusky of OMD

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.