Saturday, May 18, 2013

Song Meaning & Analysis: Creeping Death by Metallica

Creeping Death from Ride the Lightning

A well known song among heavy metal headbangers, "Creeping Death" has been a live staple on the Metallica settlist since it's been released. It's often to the concert opener.

The song is referring to the Exodus, where Moses guided Jews out of Egypt to Israel with the help of God. Every line of the song has a specific meaning to it. Before I analyze the song myself, I'd like to say that Wikipedia already has a very detailed article on it. So I won't rehash it; instead I'll just plagiarize it :-):
  • To kill the first born Pharaoh's son: The tenth and most severe strike — The God of Israel killed every firstborn Egyptian that was a boy (In reference to the Pharaoh's order to throw every Hebrew firstborn into the Nile). One such child was the Pharaoh's firstborn
  • I will be with thee, bush of fire: Refers to God speaking to Moses through a burning bush.
  • Blood, Running red and strong, down the Nile: The first of the ten plagues, water of the Nile turned to blood
  • Plague: This line refers to any of the ten plagues
  • Darkness three days long: The ninth of the ten, the sun was blocked for three days
  • Hail to fire: The seventh of the ten, burning hail fell from the sky
  • Blood, lamb's blood painted door; I shall pass: Passover; the night God slew the firstborns of Egyptian families. The Hebrews were warned earlier by Moses to paint the doorpost with lamb blood so God would pass over their houses and not kill their sons (this is actually why the holiday is called Passover).
 Lines that weren't mentioned on Wikipedia:
  •  Slaves, Hebrews born to server: Jewish slaves served pharaoh
  •  Of the unknown one: refers to Moses
  •  So let it be written / Let it be done: pharaoh says "for the record" Jews shall remain as slaves. (  correct me if I'm wrong).
  •  Die by my hand: Angle of Death was sent by God to kill every first born of Egypt.
p.s. the video isn't the official music video of the song!

Slaves
Hebrews born to serve, to the pharaoh
Heed
To his every word, live in fear

Faith
Of the unknown one, the deliverer
Wait
Something must be done, four hundred years

So let it be written
So let it be done
I'm sent here by the chosen one

So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first born pharaoh son
I'm creeping death

Now
Let my people go, land of Goshen
Go
I will be with thee, bush of fire

Blood
Running red and strong, down the Nile
Plague
Darkness three days long, hail to fire

So let it be written
So let it be done
I'm sent here by the chosen one

So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first born pharaoh son
I'm creeping death

Die by my hand
I creep across the land
Killing first born man

Die by my hand
I creep across the land
Killing first born man

I
Rule the midnight air, the destroyer
Born
I shall soon be there, deadly mass

I
Creep the steps and floor, final darkness
Blood
Lamb's blood painted door, I shall pass

So let it be written
So let it be done
I'm sent here by the chosen one

So let it be written
So let it be done
To kill the first born pharaoh son
I'm creeping death

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