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Megadeth - Holy Wars...The Punishment Due

Megadeth - Holy Wars...The Punishment Due - Meaning of the song

This song has been interpreted to be about the troubles in Northern Ireland, but Dave Mustaine has indicated that the song is about Israel (Mustaine's mother is Jewish though he is Christian). In an interview with Rock Detector, Mustaine said: "'Holy Wars' doesn't talk about any specific place in time. It doesn't talk about any country. It just says, 'Don't look now to Israel it might be YOUR homeland.'" On Israel National Radio, Mustaine said: "I've mentioned Israel in songs before, in 'Holy Wars.' Holy wars don't necessarily have to start in Israel. It can be anywhere. There are so many holy wars taking place in the world right now anyway. People are dying for a cause. It's so unbelievable.

Mustaine has explained that the second half of the song was inspired by the comic book The Punisher, which he loves (the Megadeth song "Killing Is My Business…and Business is Good," is about The Punisher). As for the first part, he explained when the album was first released that it was about an experience that happened in Ireland. Said Mustaine:

"I had found out that the IRA wasn't as apparently opposed to the English as I was told. Yet the way that was described to me was very watered down. So, I shot my mouth off while there, saying, 'This one is for the cause! Anarchy in Ireland! Give Ireland back to the Irish!' I caught a lot of flack from the English press, and I caught a lot from the Irish... and like I give a f--k for the IRA!"

Holy Wars...The Punishment Due - Lyrics

Brother will kill brother

Spilling blood across the land

Killing for religion

Something I don't understand

Fools like me who cross the sea

And come to foreign lands

Ask the sheep for their beliefs

Do you kill on God's command?

A country that's divided

Surely will not stand

My past erased, no more disgrace

No foolish naive stand

The end is near, it's crystal clear

Part of the master plan

Don't look now to Israel

It might be your homelands

Holy wars

Up on my podium, as the

Know-it-all scholar

Down in my seat of judgement

Gavel's bang, uphold the law

Up on my soapbox, a leader

Out to change the world

Down in my pulpit as the holier-than-thou

Could-be-messenger of God

Wage the war on organized crime

Sneak attacks, rappel down the rocks

Behind the lines

Some people risk to employ me

Some people live to destroy me

Either way they die, they die

They killed my wife and my baby

With hopes to enslave me

First mistake, last mistake

Paid by the alliance, to slay all the giants

Next mistake, no more mistakes

Fill the cracks in with judicial granite

Because I don't say it, don't mean I ain't thinking it

Next thing you know, they'll take my thoughts away

I know what I said now I must scream

Of the overdose and the lack of mercy killings

Mercy killings, mercy killings, killings, killings, killings

Next thing you know they'll take my thoughts away

Megadeth - Holy Wars...The Punishment Due - Live


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