The Cold War saw the construction of the Berlin Wall dividing a city and a nation; the Second World War had ended with the division of Germany into four Occupied Zones but the Wall was more that just a physical barrier, it was a psychological watershed between the Capitalist West and the Workers' Paradise. Perhaps 200 people were killed trying to cross the Wall, all from East to West.
It was finally brought down by the German public in 1989. This song, which runs to 3 minutes 55 seconds, calls for the dismantling of the Wall and the reunification of Germany. A call which turned out to be eerily prophetic.
Inspiration for the title came from the 1943 film For Whom the Bell Tolls, starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman, and based on the 1940 Ernest Hemingway novel. The song is about the saying, which means that one person's death affects all of us in some way.
Willie from Scottsdale, AzJason, you need to do some research, too. The line is from John Donne's "Meditation 17," written in the early 1600s. It is not a copyrighted phrase. Ernest Hemingway wrote a book of the same title about the Spanish Civil War.
Jason from Denver, CoHey Joel in Austin, Texas, You really need to do more research on this! There was a movie in the 1940's called "For whom the bell tolls". It starred Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. Besides the Metallica song and the Saxon song are not the same song look up the lyrics for either band.
Joel from Austin, TxInteresting. Metallica has a song also called For Whom the Bell Tolls. I guess copyright issues were not at play for this one.