“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.
Generals gathered in their masses-
Just like witches at black masses-
Evil minds that plot destruction-
Sorcerer of death’s construction-
In the fields, the bodies burning-
As the war machine keeps turning-
Death and hatred to mankind-
Poisoning their brainwashed minds-
Oh, Lord, yeah-
Politicians hide themselves away-
They only started the war-
Why should they go out to fight?-
They leave that role to the poor, yeah-
Time will tell on their power minds-
Making war just for fun-
Treating people just like pawns in chess-
Wait till their judgement day comes, yeah-
Now in darkness, world stops turning-
Ashes where their bodies burning-
No more war pigs have the power-
Hand of God has struck the hour-
Day of judgement, God is calling-
On their knees, the war pigs crawling-
Begging mercy for their sins-
Satan laughing, spreads his wings-
Oh, Lord, yeah-