Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Song Meaning: Hells Bells by AC/DC

ARTIST: AC/DC | ALBUM: BACK IN BLACK | RELEASED: 1980
"Hells Bells" is the first track of AC/DC's best settling album, Back in Black. I don't know if the song is a reference to band's previous album, Highway to Hell. Nevertheless, the song conforms to most of the material on their previous albums, emphasize by the fact that Angus was still struggling to learn new chords! It's a low-blow, I'll admit :-).

A nice addition to the songs is the actual ringing of bells that can be heard at the beginning of the song. The concept is incorporated into their live shows as well. Brian Johnson usually accompanies himself with a bell on stage, and rings it to Angus' riff.

The song is written from Satan's perspective. Throughout the song Brian Johnson sings from the first person's point of view, but putting himself in the shoes of Satan.

I don't know if "Hells Bells" is a hard rock or heavy metal, because Satan and death are common themes heard in heavy songs. Nevertheless, I'm incline to lean towards hard rock genre because AC/DC is definitely not a heavy band. Regardless of the genre of music, there no denying that this is good music.
Analysis of lyrics: 

I’m coming on like a hurricane2 - "hurricane" symbolizes death, as it's often the case with real hurricanes

my lightning's flashing across the sky / you're only young but you're gonna die3,4- if Satan wants someone, he'll strike a lightning on that person

I won't take no prisoners won't spare no lives5 - Satan has a "take no prisoners" attitude, meaning it's always going to be death for the captured

I’ll give you black sensations up and down your spine15 - scary tactics of Satan, but implementation of such aren't described well enough.

if you're into evil you're a friend of mine16 - Satan likes evil people apparently, so if you don't want to get tortured by Stand in hell, do bad things while living on Earth.


  1. I’m rolling thunder pouring rain
  2. I’m coming on like a hurricane
  3. my lightning's flashing across the sky
  4. you're only young but you're gonna die
  5. I won't take no prisoners won't spare no lives
  6. nobody's putting up a fight
  7. I got my bell I’m gonna take you to hell
  8. I’m gonna get ya satan get ya

  9. hells bells, hells bells
  10. hells bells, you got me ringing
  11. hells bells, my temperature's high
  12. hells bells

  13. I’ll give you black sensations up and down your spine
  14. if you're into evil you're a friend of mine
  15. see the white light flashing as I split the night
  16. cos if good's on the left then I’m sticking to the right
  17. I won't take no prisoners won't spare no lives
  18. nobody's puttin' up a fight
  19. I got my bell I’m gonna take you to hell
  20. I’m gonna get ya satan get ya

  21. hells bells, hells bells
  22. hells bells, you got me ringing
  23. hells bells, my temperature's high
  24. hells bells

  25. hells bells, satan’ coming to you
  26. hells bells, he's ringing them now

  27. those hells bells, my temperature's high
  28. hells bells, across the sky
  29. hells bells, they're taking you down
  30. hells bells, they’re dragging you down
  31. hells bells, gonna split the night
  32. hells bells, there's no way to fight

  33. hells bells

Lyrics from: http://www.acdc.com/us/music/who-made-who/hells-bells

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if it was intentional as it can be with art, but this song lyrics to me are abut the US bombing of N. Vietnam. Rolling Thunder is the name of the program that starting bombing N. Vietnam in about 1964-65. Sure looks like it to me.

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