“War Pigs” was originally titled “Walpurgis”, dealing with a black mass which was based on the Dennis Wheatley novel “The Devil Rides Out” where a group of friends battled Satanists at a black mass on Walpurgis Night which Geezer Butler had read.
The original version was only recorded once on John Peel’s radio show in 1970. According to some sources, the band and the record company were concerned with the recent events of the Manson killings. Not wishing to be seen as Satanists or dark occultists in any way, Geezer chose to rewrite the song into an anti-war statement.
The original version of the song can be found on Ozzy Osbourne’s compilation album “The Ozzman Cometh” from that same session.
Ward’s first memory of playing “War Pigs” live was at The Beat Club in 1968 where the band had to perform multiple gigs and they didn’t have enough music written to fill the set, so they play long jam sessions. “War Pigs” was made from one of those sessions.