• Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister wrote this song after watching a UK television program about the 1916 Battle of the Somme on which a veteran reminisced about his friend dying in his arms with half his face blown off.

    "It came to me in a flash," he said. "The old guy is 88 all something, and he's still in tears about it. He walked through 25 feet of muddy s--t into the teeth of machine gun fire, all for nothing: 19,000 Englishmen killed before. Think! All those lives. And some bastard on a white horse probably got a medal for it too. You can imagine the bastards can't you? Back at the club."
  • The song was arranged as a slow ballad featuring marching drums and a cello. "I adore the cello, always have," said Lemmy. The one who introduced it to me really was Paul McCartney - so effective on Yesterday and Eleanor Rigby." (Source of quotes Mojo magazine March 2016)

Comments: 4

  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaThe Battle of the Somme was even worse than the quotes from Lemmy above would imply. 19,000 men did die.... but that was in the first minutes of the battle. The battle then continued for 6 months! Worst of all, the Brits had come up with an interesting recruiting tool prior to this battle. If a group of friends enlisted together, they were permitted to serve together. So groups of men from the same town or same neighborhood signed up and served in the same unit.... and, in those first few minutes on the Somme, all of the adult males in entire villages and towns all over England were wiped out.
  • Brian from Farleton, United KingdomIt was written to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the battle of the Somme. When over 11000 allied soldiers died "The day not yet over and ten thousand slain"
  • Todd from Toronto, Canadadefinately well written it fits along with i aint no nice guy
  • Nils from Oslo, NorwayGreat song, simply a great song.
    Very non-Motörhead in fact
see more comments

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Colbie CaillatSongwriter Interviews

Since emerging from MySpace with her hit "Bubbly," Colbie has become a top songwriter, even crafting a hit with Taylor Swift.

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.

Kristian Bush of SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Kristian talks songwriting technique, like how the chorus should redefine the story, and how to write a song backwards.