Megadeth Lyrics

Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! :: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? :: So Far, So Good... So What! :: Rust in Peace :: Countdown to Extinction :: Youthanasia :: Hidden Treasures :: Cryptic Writings :: Risk :: Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years :: The World Needs a Hero :: Rude Awakening :: Still Alive... And Well? :: Other Songs

Rust in Peace

Rust in Peace


Holy Wars... The Punishment Due :: Hangar 18 :: Take No Prisoners :: Five Magics :: Poison Was the Cure :: Lucretia :: Tornado of Souls :: Dawn Patrol :: Rust in Peace... Polaris

Holy Wars...

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

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

Upon my podium, as the
Know it all scholar
Down in my seat of judgment
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

Holy Wars... The Punishment Due

"It's revolving around the way that war is immanent and it doesn't really matter what country it's in... Khadafi [Libya]... Khomeini [Iran]... It's funky how these guys have weird names, these idiots that lead different countries. But it shows you... war's war, no matter where you're at." (Mustaine)

"I had to fight to record the second electric solo in this tune the way I wanted! The first take I did as I was just warming up was the one that producer Mike Clink liked. When he heard it, he said, 'That's fine. Good job.' And I was like, 'Whooooaaaa! Wait a minute. I haven't even tuned my guitar yet. Let me play a real solo here.' He and Mustaine both thought it was fine and that we should move on to something else, so we left it at that. As the days went on and on, just knowing that solo was on there really bugged me. So I kept bringing it up to the guys that I wanted to redo it. Everybody liked the solo that was there, so I had no allies! Eventually I wore down Mike Clink's nerves and he had me come back in and re-cut the solo, and the new solo is the one that made the record." (Friedman, 2002)

The Punishment Due

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Wage the war on organized crime
Sneak attacks, repel down the rocks
Behind the lines
Some people risk to employ me
Some people live to destroy me
Either way 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

This song is inspired by the Marvel comic book, "The Punisher," which Mustaine no longer reads because "it's been commercialized."

Hangar 18

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Welcome to our fortress tall
Take some time to show you around
Impossible to break these walls
For you see the steel is much to strong
Computer banks to rule the world
Instruments to sight the stars.

Possibly I've seen too much
Hangar 18, I know too much

Foreign life-forms inventory
Suspended state of cryogenics
Selective amnesia's the story
Believed, foretold, but who'd suspect
The military intelligence
Two words combined that can't make sense

Possibly I've seen too much
Hangar 18, I know too much

Hangar 18

"It was an idea that Nick came up with... The idea's based on a place in the four corner state region of the United States... it's a place where the military intelligence is housing alien aircraft and alien life-forms. Not that I subscribe to this point of view or any of that kind of BS, but Nick is way into it. I mean, the guy thinks that Jesus was a Martian! But, I guess those of you who know Nick probably know that the possibility, the way he explains it, it could be real. So we tried to bring it to you guys in a song form, and it's up to your imaginations to see whether or not you believe it." (Mustaine, 1990)

"Hangar 18 is a military installation that holds UFO artifacts and alien creatures as far as we know." (Menza, 1991)

Yes, Nick's explanation makes a believer out of me.

"This tune was actually much longer, but got seriously edited. I remember walking into the studio and wading through the miles of 2 inch tape all over the floor. Clink said, 'Check out the lyrics of this song. It's about aliens and Martians, so play something that sounds like you are coming from outer space.' That was good advice, and from then on, I really paid a lot more attention to the lyrics in a song than I had before." (Friedman, 2002)

This song was nominated for a "Best Metal Performance" Grammy in 1991, but lost to Metallica's Metallica.

Take No Prisoners

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Got one chance, infiltrate them
Get it right, terminate them
Panzers will, permeate them
Break their pride, denigrate them
And their people, retrograde them
Typhus, detriate them
Epidemic, devastate them
Take no prisoners, cremate them

Going to war, give'em hell
D-Day, next stop Normandy
Beginning of the end
We know how to and sure as shit, we'll win
"War is peace" sure man
A retreat for the damned
A playground for the demented
A haven for those who walk this world
Bereft of heart and soul

Love and war, they say all is fair
Take his life but won't take his hair
Your body has parts your country can spare
By the way, son, here's your wheelchair

He once had to be all he could be
Now he's nothing for one one, nowhere to see
Funny thing, he's like you and me
It's a funny thing, a funny thing
Tears streak his solemn stare
Abandoned for wreckage, nobody cares
No one knew what would happen there
No one spoke, no one even dared
Don't ask, what you can do for your country
Ask what your country can do for you

Take no prisoners, take no shit!

"I was finally fed up with all of the shit that I had put up with from Jeff and Chuck and was having so much fun with Nick and Marty that I started writing the most obnoxious stuff that I could think of. I did not take into account that Marty was Jewish and singing about the panzer divisions and having him sing backups was not cool, now that I think about it. I do however say my favorite line that I always tell new bands at the end of this song, 'Take no shit from anyone ever!'" (Mustaine, 2001)

"There are some busy rhythm/lead breaks/stops in the middle of this song that were a bitch to play in time! This was before ProTools and quantizing so you really had to nail stuff." (Friedman, 2002)


Panzer is German for 'tank,' this word is often associated with World War II German tank units taking part in the 'Blitzkrieg' against European countries.

Typhus is an infectious disease caused by a microorganism. The symptoms include intractable headaches, extensive skin rash, and high fever. Such a disease could be used as a biological warfare agent, as suggested in the song.

Normandy is region in France which was the site of the D-Day invasion in which the Allied forces liberated Europe from the Axis to end the war in Europe during World War II.

The slogan, "War is peace," is borrowed from George Orwell's 1984, where it was a slogan of "The Party," along with "Freedom is Slavery,"and "Ignorance is Strength". The three major global powers in the book were constantly at war with one another, but they were all about equal in strength so no one was ever going to win or lose the war, hence, "war is peace."

Five Magics

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Bestow upon me knowledge
Wizard, all-knowing, all-wise
I want to rule this kingdom
Make sweet the breeze, now defiled
Dethrone the evil prince's
Iron fists in velvet gloves of sin
Parade the grey-robed monks,
The vestal virgins
And wheel the wyvern's in

Let the ceremony consecrate the marriage
Let me be the protege of five magics

Give me alchemy!
Magic if you please
Master all of these
Bring him to his knees
I master five magics

Possessed with hellish torment
I master magics "5"
Hunting the abyss lord
Only one will stay alive
He who lives by the sword will surely also die
He who lives in sin will surely live the lie

"I'm quite pleased with the main solo in the middle of this tune. The rhythm underneath the solo is in some crazy time signature and I managed to do something with the solo that makes the whole section sound a little less progressive and a little more eerily aggressive. I was having a hard time nailing the fast thrashy pedaling rhythm part towards the end, so Clink gave me one of Slash's guitar picks that was lying around and then I nailed the part in one take. Magic!" (Friedman, 2002)

The meaning of this song can be summarized by the line, "He who lives by the sword will surely also die," which is an adaptation of Matthew 26:52, "He who lives by the sword will die by the sword."

The speaker in the song lives under an evil, oppressive ruler and wants to overthrow him and become king. To do this, he masters five magics but in doing so, he becomes power-hungry and evil, just like the Abyss Lord that he opposes. Furthermore, the Abyss Lord already knows the five magics so he has the advantage and wins the fight. This is the only Megadeth song that's real fantasy-adventure oriented.


Alchemy is a medieval chemical philosophy aimed at changing base metals into gold, the discovery of the panacea (the mythical cure for all diseases), and the preparation of the elixir of longevity.

Wizardry is the art, skill, or practice of a wizard.

Sorcery is the use of supernatural powers over others through the assistance of evil spirits.

Thermatology is the control of heat and heat-associated phenomena.

A wyvern is a mythical two-legged dragon having wings and a barbed and knotted tail.

Poison Was the Cure

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

I miss the warm embrace I felt
First time you touched me
Secure and safe in open arms
I should have known you'd crush me

A snake you were when me met
I loved you anyway
Pulling out your poisoned fangs
The venom never goes away

Serpent swims free in my blood
Dragons sleeping in my veins
Jackyl speaking with tongue
Roach egg laying in my brain

Once stalked beneath your shadow
Sleepwalking to the gallows
I'm the sun that beats your brow in
'Til I finally threw the towel in

Never knowing if I'd wake up in a whirlpool
Got redundant
My brain was just some driftwood in a cesspool,
I became dead
From a rock star to a desk fool was my destiny,
Someone said
Love's a tidepool, taste the waters,
Life's abundant

Taste me

"Another insane rhythm! That Mustaine can sure come up with some killer riffs! The solo in "Poison..." was the first one that I did on the album. It feels good to get one good one under your belt as you make your way through recording an album." (Friedman, 2002)

This song is a reflection of Dave Mustaine's former heroine addiction. The title is analogous to methadone, a narcotic often used in treating heroine addiction. In theory, doses of methadone will substitute those of heroine and can gradually be decreased until the patient is free of his addiction. Often, however, the patient's methadone addiction will simply replace his heroine addiction.

"It just wasn't working anymore. In the end I wasn't even getting high, and I started to see my life falling apart around me. I wasn't interested in the things that I was good at - which are making people think and playingmusic - so I decided to give it away". (Mustaine, 1990)

Another interpretation is that when Dave first turned to drugs, his life was not going very well and he was looking for a cure. Drugs were the temporary cure but turned out to be poison.


(Music, lyrics: Mustaine, Ellefson)

Sitting up, late at night
I tiptoe through the darkness
Cold as hell, black as spades
Aware of my immediate surrounding
In my place I escape up into my hideout
Hiding from everyone
My friends all say,
"Dave you're mental anyway" hey!
Drift into a deeper state
I stalk the cobwebbed stairways
Dirt grits between my feet
The stair creaks, I precariously sneak

Hypnosis guides my hand
I slipside through the walkways
Sit in granny's rockin' chair
Memories are whirling by, yeah
Reminisce in the attic
Lucretia waits impatiently
Cobwebs make me squint
The cobra so eloquently glints
Moonbeams surge through the sky
The crystal ball's energized
Surely that like the cat waiting
Lucretia rocks away

"This solo is a great example of my playing. It's got it all. It sounds worked out, but it really wasn't. I follow all the chord changes differently, almost like a jazz player, which I definitely am not. To explain this solo technically would take a page and a half and a music professor. I'm quite pleased with this one." (Friedman, 2002)

This song is about a ghost that lives in Dave's attic that Dave hangs around with every once in a while. He sneaks up there at night when everyone else is sleeping so no one thinks he's crazy.

Tornado of Souls

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine, Ellefson)

This morning I made the call
The one that ends it all
Hanging up, I wanted to cry
But damnit, this wells gone dry
Not for the money, not for the fame
Not for the power, just no more games
But now I'm safe in the eye of tornado
I can't replace the lies that let a thousand days go
No more living trapped inside
In her way I'll surely die
In the eye of the tornado, blow me away

You'll grow to loathe my name
You'll hate me just the same
You won't need your breath
And soon you'll meet your death
Not from the years, not from the use
Not from the tears, just self abuse

Who's to say what's for me to say?
Who's to say what's for me to be?
Who's to say what's for me to do?
'Cause a big nothing it'll be for me
The land of opportunity
The golden chance for me
My future looks so bright
Now I think I've seen the light

Can't say what's on my mind
Can't do what I really feel
In this bed I made for me
Is where I sleep, I really feel
I warn you of the fate
Proven true too late
Your tongue twists perverse
Come drink now of this curse
And now I fill your brain
I spin you round again
My poison fills your head
As I tuck you in your bed
You feel my fingertips
You won't forget my lips
You'll feel my cold breath
It's the kiss of death

"I wrote that one about my fiancé of six years, who I broke up with last October. I'd just had it! The way I look at it, most redheads are either gorgeous or ugly. I don't consider myself gorgeous - and don't think I'm the latter - but I get my share of nice women, and I intend to go out and show my oats, if you know what I mean. I want to go out and see what I can do, as I am extremely healthy and look a lot different because I've been exercising a lot. I don't just sit around inside the house and party. I still have a great time, but I am looking forward to seeing the women who are out there after I have done my job and worked my ass off with the best music I can play. Now I want to see what the rewards are, instead of looking for the guy who's standing on the corner with certain things that I want or need. This time I am looking to the opposite sex to give me what I want! Without beating around the bush, I'm trying to tell you that I don't want to get high, I'd rather get horny!" (Mustaine, 1990)

"'Tornado of Souls' is about me getting out of a dysfunctional relationship. It has nothing to do with killing anybody." (Mustaine, 1993)

"Dave wants girl, Dave can't have girl, Dave kills people!" (Mustaine, 1998)

"When I finished the solo to this one, Mustaine came into the studio, listened to it down once, turned around and without saying a word, shook my hand. It was at that moment that I felt like I was truly the guitarist for this band." (Friedman, 2002)

Dawn Patrol

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine, Ellefson)

Thermal count is rising
In perpetual writhing
The primordial ooze
And the sanity they lose

Awakened in the morning
To more air-pollution warnings
Still we sleepwalk off to work
As our nervous systems jerk

Pretending not to notice
How history has forbode us
With the greenhouse in effect
Our environment is wrecked

Now I can only laugh
As I read our epitaph
We end our lives as moles
In the dark of the dawn patrol

"No guitar here, but in the original version, there was a heavy, dissonant guitar riff that was so strange I couldn't believe we were planning to record it. The song took shape in the studio." (Friedman, 2002)

This song examines the possibility of a nuclear holocaust; more specifically, what life would be like after the incident. Humans would be forced to live underground because the atmosphere would be so contaminated with radioactive pollution left over from the nuclear weapons.


Dawn patrol is a military term referring to early-hours patrols by fighters.

The Dawn Patrol is the name of a 1930 movie by Howard Hawks. The movie is set in World War I and is about a British Royal Flying Corp. squadron. Because the movie was remade in 1938, the original movie has been retitled Flight Commander.

Rust in Peace... Polaris

(Music, lyrics: Mustaine)

Tremble you weaklings, cower in fear
I am your ruler, land, sea and air
Immense in my girth, erect, I stand tall
I am a nuclear murderer, I am Polaris

Ready to pounce at the touch of a button
My systems locked in on military gluttons
I rule on land, air, and sea
Pass judgment on humanity
Winds blow from the bowels of hell
Will we get warning? Only time will tell
Satan rears his ugly head to spit into the wind

I spread disease like a dog
Discharge my payload a mile high
Rotten egg air of death wrestles your nostrils
Launch the Polaris, the end doesn't scare us
When will this cease?
The warheads will all rust in peace!

Bomb shelters filled to the brim
Survival such a silly whim
World leaders sell missiles cheap
Your stomach turns, your flesh creeps

High priest of holocaust, fire from the sea
Nuclear winter spreading disease
The day of final conflict all will pay the price
The third world war rapes peace, takes life

Back to the start, talk of the part
When the earth was cold as ice
Total dismay as the sun passed away
And the days were black as night

Eradication of Earth's population loves Polaris

Where did Dave Mustaine take the title from?

"I was driving home from Elsanon... um, Lake Elsanon. I was tailgating somebody, racing down the freeway, and I saw this bumper sticker on their car and it said... you know, this tongue in cheek stuff like, 'One nuclear bomb could ruin your whole day,' and then I looked on the other side and it said, 'May all your nuclear weapons rust in peace,' and I'm goin', ''Rust in Peace.' Damn, that's a good title.' And I'm thinkin' like, 'What do they mean, rust in peace?' I could just see it now - all these warheads sittin' there, stockpiled somewhere like seal beach, you know, all covered with rust 'n' stuff with kids out there spray-painting the stuff, you know." (Mustaine, 1991)

"The title track 'Rust in Peace' was written prior to my being in Metallica." (Mustaine, 1991)

"This was my fave tune on the record at the time. [Mike] Clink was also excited about it. The main riff in 'Rust...' is like no other in rock. Absolutely unique!" (Friedman, 2002)

This song is a protest of nuclear war, mocking and provoking a nuclear attack throughout with lines like, "Launch the Polaris, the end doesn't scare us," but ultimately predicts peace with the now-familiar aphorism, "The warheads will all rust in peace."


Polaris is a nuclear, submarine-launched, ballistic missile developed by the United States Navy in 1957, with the first being fired in 1960. The Polaris has since been replaced by the Trident missile. However, the British Royal Naval has several nuclear submarines still carrying them.

Holy Wars... The Punishment Due :: Hangar 18 :: Take No Prisoners :: Five Magics :: Poison Was the Cure :: Lucretia :: Tornado of Souls :: Dawn Patrol :: Rust in Peace... Polaris
Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good! :: Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? :: So Far, So Good... So What! :: Rust in Peace :: Countdown to Extinction :: Youthanasia :: Hidden Treasures :: Cryptic Writings :: Risk :: Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years :: The World Needs a Hero :: Rude Awakening :: Still Alive... And Well? :: Other Songs

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