Don't Tread on Me (Metallica song)
|"Don't Tread on Me"|
"Don't Tread on Me" cover
|Promotional single by Metallica from the album Metallica|
|Released||August 29, 1991|
|Recorded||October 1990 - June 1991 at One on One Recording, Los Angeles, California|
|Writer||James Hetfield / Lars Ulrich|
|Producer||Bob Rock, James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich|
"Don't Tread on Me" is a song by the American heavy metal band Metallica, from the eponymous fifth album, Metallica. The title is connected with the American Revolutionary War. The words "Don't Tread on Me" constitute the motto of the Gadsden flag, and the snake image on the flag is pictured on the cover of the album.
The instrumental introduction uses the famous eight bar phrase from "America", a popular song from the musical and film West Side Story. It is in a moderate tempo of 104 bpm in a 12/8 time signature except for the overlapping 6/8 in "America". The lyrics also feature a reference to American Revolutionary Patrick Henry's famous quote "give me liberty or give me death" with the line "liberty or death, what we so proudly hail". The lyric, "To secure peace, is to prepare for war" refers to the Latin adage, Si vis pacem, para bellum. The lyrics containing rattlesnake imagery are inspired by Benjamin Franklin's essay suggesting the rattlesnake is a good symbol for the American Spirit.
Hetfield said the song was a reaction to the anti-American tone of their album ...And Justice for All - "This is the other side of that. America is a fucking good place. I definitely think that. And that feeling came about from touring a lot. You find out what you like about certain places and you find out why you live in America, even with all the bad fucked-up shit. It's still the most happening place to hang out."
The song was performed live for the first time in Prague, the first show of the band's 2012 tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Black Album. At the end of the concert, Hetfield mentioned that they liked the live sound of songs ("Don't Tread on Me" and "My Friend of Misery") that they played live for the first time. Previously, Hetfield was said to have disliked the song, as revealed in an April 2001 interview with Playboy magazine, in which he stated: "There are some songs on there I don't like. 'Don't Tread on Me', probably not one of my favorite songs musically."
Interestingly, the tune was named by journalist John J. Miller of the conservative news-magazine National Review as one of the "50 Greatest Conservative Rock songs", placed as #9 on the list Miller praised it as a "tribute to the doctrine of peace through strength".
|Promotional CD single|
|1.||"Don't Tread on Me"||3:59|
- "Metallica Don't Tread On Me Guitar Tab". musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2013-11-25.
- Fricke, David (November 14, 1991). "Metallica". Rolling Stone (617). Archived from the original on March 21, 2009.
- "Playboy April 2001 interview transcript". Archived from the original on Dec 5, 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-02.
- Miller, John J. Rockin' the Right, National Review