In 1989, readers of The Amazing Pudding fanzine voted “The Dogs of War” the worst Pink Floyd song of all time. Fans thought that David Gilmour copied the style of Roger Waters, which turned out to be very unsuccessful for him. To what extent this statement is true, decide for yourself (at the end of the publication you will find a survey). I like the song, and therefore I decided to write a short article about the history of its creation.
It is generally accepted that “The Dogs of War” condemns politicians who, guided by personal interests, unleash armed conflicts in different countries. The text does not mention specific individuals, but many music lovers believe that we are talking about Ronald Reagan, whose government spent huge sums on wars in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Grenada, Nicaragua, Libya and other states.
To shed some light on the true meaning of “The Dogs of War,” David Gilmour tells how he co-wrote it with Anthony Moore:
I had an idea, which I explained to Anthony, and he composed the first draft of the text. For quite a long time, we cut and changed it, until it became the way it is now … Generally speaking, it is about private and political hucksters.
“The Dogs of War” was released as the third single from the album “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” (1987). The song did not achieve much success in the charts, but was included in the band’s concert repertoire for several years.
The music video for “The Dogs of War” was directed by Stor Thorgerson. The video was especially remembered by the audience for the yellow-eyed German Shepherds. Footage of the band’s performance was filmed at a concert in Atlanta.
- The idea to incorporate barking dogs into the song came about when the computer accidentally played a sample of someone laughing, which sounded very much like a distant yelp.
The Dogs of War lyricsThe Dogs of War lyricsDogs of war and men of hate
With no cause, we don’t discriminate
Discovery is to be disowned
Our currency is flesh and bone
Hell opened up and put on sale
Gather ’round and haggle
For hard cash, we will lie and deceive
Even our masters don’t know the web we weave
We will never distinguish
The discovery is not destined to be recognized
Our currency is flesh and bones
Hell is open and up for sale
Get together to bargain
For cash we will lie and dissemble
Even our masters do not know what kind of web we weave Chorus:
One world, it’s a battleground
One world, and we will smash it down
One world, one world
One world is a battlefield
One world – we will destroy it
One world, one worldInvisible transfers, long distance calls,
Hollow laughter in marble halls
Steps have been taken, a silent uproar
Has unleashed the dogs of war
You can’t stop what has begun
Signed, sealed, they deliver oblivion
We all have a dark side, to say the least
And dealing in death is the nature of the beast
False laughter in marble halls
Steps have been taken, mute concern
Unleashed the dogs of war
You can’t stop what you started
Sealed with a signature and a seal, it brings oblivion
We all have a dark side to say the least
And to trade death in the nature of the beast The dogs of war don’t negotiate
The dogs of war won’t capitulate,
They will take and you will give
And you must die so that they may live
You can knock at any door
But wherever you go, you know they’ve been there before
Well winners can lose and things can get strained
But whatever you change, you know the dogs remain.
The dogs of war don’t give up without a fight
They will take and you will give
And you must die so they can live
You can knock on any door
But wherever you go, know they’ve already been there
Well, the winners can lose, the tension will escalate
But no matter what you change, know that the dogs will remain
I like “Dogs of War” because it’s a great rhythm and blues track to play live.
Do you think The Dogs of War is the worst Pink Floyd song?