Black Swan

Songfacts®:

  • This song was originally released as a bonus track for members of Megadeth's fan club as a pre-order bonus in 2007. It was rehauled for the TH1RT3EN album with cleaner production courtesy of producer Johnny K and more intricate lead guitar work. Bassist Dave Ellefson, who returned to the band in 2010 after an eight-year gap told MusicRadar.com: "'Black Swan' had been recorded and not officially released during my time away from the band. When I heard it, it was one of my favorite tunes, and I could never figure out why it was never put out there. [laughs]"
  • The song was written before the Natalie Portman hit movie Black Swan, so despite some reports to the contrary, it has nothing to do with that film.
  • The Black Swan breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of Australia and was unknown in Europe until a few hundred years ago. When the Roman satirist Juvenal wrote in 82 AD of "a rare bird in the lands, and very like a black swan," he was saying as a black swan did not exist, neither did the supposed characteristics of the 'rare bird' with which it was being compared. For the next 1500 years the black swan existed in the European imagination as a metaphor for that which could not exist, and the phrase "all swans are white" was used as a standard example of a well-known truth. Imagine the surprise, then, when The Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh sighted a black swan in 1697 on the western coast of Australia. Today, a black swan event is a large-impact, perceived impossibility that actually came to pass. Such an event was the 9/11 attacks.
  • Mustaine explained the song's meaning on the Megadeth website: "Black Swan was just a peek into my past and things that creep me out a little bit."

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