Metallica - The Four Horsemen - Meaning of the song
This song was brought to the band by Dave Mustaine, who worked on it with James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. They called it "The Mechanix" at the time and included it on their 1982 demo cassette No Life 'Til Leather.
After Mustaine was fired from Metallica in 1983, the band released Kill 'Em All, which included a reworked version of this song, renamed "The Four Horsemen." Megadeth, Mustaine's new band, released it as "Mechanix" as the final track on their debut album, Killing Is My Business....
The lyrics in Mustaine's version are completely different, but the music is very similar. Because the Metallica song had already been released, Mustaine would frequently introduce "Mechanix" in concert by explaining that it was a track he co-wrote with Metallica.
"The Four Horsemen" is a biblical allusion. The "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" of the New Testament travel in different directions to spread the news of the end of the world. The Four Horsemen concept is not limited to the Bible. The Notre Dame football team's backfield was dubbed "The Four Horsemen" by a sportswriter in 1924, and the school had the players pose on horses while wearing their uniforms to publicize the team, which was coached by the legendary Knute Rockne. When the photo was picked up by wire services, it became famous, and the nickname stuck. Metallica's The Four Horsemen could refer to the band's four members.
The Four Horsemen - Lyrics
By the last breath of the fourth winds blow Better raise your ears The sound of hooves knock at your door Lock up your wife and children now It's time to wield the blade For now you have got some company The Horsemen are drawing nearer On leather steeds they ride They've come to take your life On through the dead of night With the Four Horsemen ride Or choose your fate and die You have been dying since the day you were born You know it has all been planned The quartet of deliverance rides A sinner once a sinner twice No need for confessions now Cause now you have got the fight of your life The Horsemen are drawing nearer On leather steeds they ride They've come to take your life On through the dead of night With the Four Horsemen ride Or choose your fate and die Time Has taken its toll on you The lines that crack your face Famine Your body it has torn through Withered in every place Pestilence For what you have had to endure And what you have put others through Death Deliverance for you for sure Now there is nothing you can do So gather round young warriors now And saddle up your steeds Killing scores with demon swords Now is the death of doers of wrong Swing the judgement hammer down Safely inside armor blood guts and sweat The Horsemen are drawing nearer On leather steeds they ride They've come to take your life On through the dead of night With the Four Horsemen ride Or choose your fate and die