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The Price Of A Mile is the eleventh song on the album The Art Of War album by Sabaton.

Information

  • The song tells about chapter eleventh - "The Nine Situations" in Sun Tzu's "The Art Of War" book.[1]
  • The song was written very late during the recording session for The Art Of War album.[2]
  • Joakim understands that it might look like a paradox when they are performing songs like "The Price Of A Mile" live with a smile being overall happy people, and when they encourage people to clap along.[3]
  • Pär said that "The Price Of A Mile" is probably his favorite song to play live from The Art Of War album.[4]
  • Hannes van Dahl likes to play the song live, "because it's slow and got that really nice rhythm".[5]
  • The song is referenced in the bridge of Great War: "and feet by feet, we pay the price of a mile here".
  • During The Great Tour, Sabaton performed the song with Apocalyptica.

Background

Pär: "I remember also that "The Price Of A Mile" was written very late. One night in the studio Joakim showed the main riff with the melodies that he was thinking. I loved it the second I heard it and basically forced him to write the rest of the song overnight and include it on the album."[6]

Historic fact

The third battle of Ypres, also known as the battle of Paschendale in 1917 has been described as "Hell on Earth" by the survivors, and considering that over 700 000 men lost their lives there they were probably right.

"I fell in a trench. There was a fella there. He must have been about our age. He was ripped shoulder to waist with shrapnel. I held his hand for the last 60 seconds of his life. He said only one word: 'Mother'. I didn't see her but she was there. No doubt about it. He passed from his life into the next, and it felt as if I was in God's presence. I never got over it. You never forget it. Never." - Harry Patch, last living survivor of Paschendale.[7]

The Battle of Passchendaele was a major campaign of the First World War, it opposed the Allies and the German Empire. The battle took place between the 31st of July and the 6th of November 1917 in Passendale for the control of the ridges south and east of Ypres, 8 kilometers away from a vital railway junction for the Germans. The campaign was composed of several battles and subsidiary operation. The whole campaign turned out to be a disaster which cost more than 500’000 lives (Text credits: Gregory Sandoz))[8]

Lyrics

Throw your soldiers into positions once there is no escape,
And they will prefer death to flight.

Hear the sound of the machine gun
Hear it echo in the night
Mortars firing, rains the scene
Scars the fields that once were green
It's a stalemate at the front line
Where the soldiers rest in mud
Roads and houses, all is gone
There's no glory to be won

Know that many men will suffer
Know that many men will die
Half a million lives at stake
At the fields of Passchendaele
And as night falls, the general calls
And the battle carries on
And on
What is the purpose of it all?
What's the price of a mile?

Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army on the march
Long way from home, paying the price in young mens' lives
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army in despair
Knee-deep in mud, stuck in a trench with no way out

Thousands of machine guns
Kept on firing through the night
Mortars placed and wrecked the scene
Gone's the fields that once were green
Still a deadlock at the front line
Where the soldiers die in mud
Roads and houses, since long gone
Still no glory has been won

Know that many men have suffered
Know that many men have died
Six miles of ground have been won
Half a million men are gone
And as the men crawled, the general called
And the killing carried on
And on
What was the purpose of it all?
What's the price of a mile?

Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army on the march
Long way from home, paying the price in young mens' lives
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army in despair
Knee-deep in mud, stuck in a trench with no way out

Young men are dying
They pay the price
Oh how they suffer
So tell me what's the price of a mile?

That's the price of a mile!

Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army on the march
Long way from home, paying the price in young mens' lives
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army in despair
Knee-deep in mud, stuck in the trench with no way out

Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army on the march
Long way from home, paying the price in young mens' lives
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army in despair
Knee-deep in mud, stuck in the trench with no way out

Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army on the march
Long way from home, paying the price in young mens' lives
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army in despair
Knee-deep in mud, stuck in the trench with no way out

Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army on the march
Long way from home, paying the price in young mens' lives
Thousands of feet march to the beat, it's an army in despair
Knee-deep in mud, stuck in the trench with no way out

References

  1. The Art Of War booklet
  2. Sabaton.net
  3. metalunderground.com
  4. Sabaton.net
  5. stargazed.net
  6. Sabaton.net
  7. The Art Of War booklet
  8. Sabaton.net
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