Album: 1916 (1991)
Play Video
  • Sixteen years old when I went to the war,
    To fight for a land fit for heroes,
    God on my side, and a gun in my hand,
    Chasing my days down to zero,
    And I marched and I fought and I bled and I died,
    And I never did get any older,
    But I knew at the time that a year in the line,
    Was a long enough life for a soldier,

    We all volunteered, and we wrote down our names,
    And we added two years to our ages,
    Eager for life and ahead of the game,
    Ready for history's pages,
    And we brawled and we fought and we whored 'til we stood,
    Ten thousand shoulder to shoulder,
    A thirst for the Hun, we were food for the gun,
    And that's what you are when you're soldiers,

    I heard my friend cry, and he sank to his knees,
    Coughing blood as he screamed for his mother,
    And I fell by his side, and that's how we died,
    Clinging like kids to each other,
    And I lay in the mud and the guts and the blood,
    And I wept as his body grew colder,
    And I called for my mother and she never came,
    Though it wasn't my fault and I wasn't to blame,
    The day not half over and ten thousand slain,
    And now there's nobody remembers our names
    And that's how it is for a soldier Writer/s: IAN FRASER KILMISTER, KAARLE VIIKATE
    Publisher: Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

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

Editor's Picks

Classic Metal

Classic MetalFact or Fiction

Ozzy, Guns N' Roses, Judas Priest and even Michael Bolton show up in this Classic Metal quiz.

Graham Parker

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.

Chris Fehn of Slipknot

Chris Fehn of SlipknotSongwriter Interviews

A drummer for one of the most successful metal bands of the last decade, Chris talks about what it's like writing and performing with Slipknot. Metal-neck is a factor.

Jon Anderson of Yes

Jon Anderson of YesSongwriter Interviews

From the lake in "Roundabout" to Sister Bluebird in "Starship Trooper," Jon Anderson talks about how nature and spirituality play into his lyrics for Yes.

Dar Williams

Dar WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

A popular contemporary folk singer, Williams still remembers the sticky note that changed her life in college.

Divided Souls: Musical Alter Egos

Divided Souls: Musical Alter EgosSong Writing

Long before Eminem, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj created alternate personas, David Bowie, Bono, Joni Mitchell and even Hank Williams took on characters.