Deadly Nightshade

Songfacts®:

  • Frontman Dave Mustaine originally penned the song's riff in the mid 1990s but it didn't find its way onto record until Megadeth's 2011 TH1RT3EN album. Bass player Dave Ellefson recalled to MusicRadar.com: "I'm so happy that the riff matured into a complete song – it's so menacing. [laughs] I seem to recall playing the basis for the song in Rome, Italy, during a soundcheck, and I remember seeing the janitor and the popcorn lady turning around and getting into it. That meant something to me." [laughs]
  • The deadly nightshade plant (common name belladonna) is native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. The foliage and berries are extremely toxic, and can cause a bizarre delirium and hallucinations. It has a long history of use as a poison and in Roman times the wife of Emperor Augustus and the wife of Claudius both used it to murder contemporaries.

    Though rarely used as a cosmetic now, historically women used drops prepared from the plant to enlarge their pupils and make their eyes sparkle. Its common name originates from the Italian 'Bella Donna' meaning 'beautiful woman.'"

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