Dogs of war and men of hate
With no cause, we don't discriminate
Discovery is to be disowned
Our currency is flesh and bone
Hell opened up and put on sale
Gather 'round and haggle
For hard cash, we will lie and deceive
Even our masters don't know the web we weave

One world, it's a battleground
One world, and we will smash it down
One world, one world

Invisible transfers, long distance calls,
Hollow laughter in marble halls
Steps have been taken, a silent uproar
Has unleashed the dogs of war
You can't stop what has begun
Signed, sealed, they deliver oblivion
We all have a dark side, to say the least
And dealing in death is the nature of the beast

One world, it's a battleground
One world, and we will smash it down
One world, one world

The dogs of war don't negotiate
The dogs of war won't capitulate,
They will take and you will give,
And you must die so that they may live
You can knock at any door,
But wherever you go, you know they've been there before
Well winners can lose and things can get strained
But whatever you change, you know the dogs remain.

One world, it's a battleground
One world, and we will smash it down
One world, one world


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by Mellow_Harsher, DagoMaster

"The Dogs of War" as written by Anthony Moore Dave Gilmour

Lyrics © CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Dogs of War song meanings
Add your thoughts

56 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +1
    General CommentI don't know about anyone else, but this song scares me. I grew up around this song, and it still bothers me. I like music that deals with things a lot darker than this, and those songs don't bother me as much as this one does. It's that dark.
    thatsreallymessedupon March 10, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat, incu!? What!? WHAT!? The title is a reference to a line from Shakespeare's Juilius Caesar: "Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war!" "Dogs of war" is a metaphor for the wild ferociousness of war. Jackass. The song is extending the metaphor.
    pigeggDSOTMon May 07, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've heard the same thing that pigegg stated, but another story i also heard was about an outnumbered group of marines fighting in France during WWII. There was a forest that the marines had to get through to either take or just to accomplish some other mission, but in the forest was a large group of german soldiers. There were about 50 marines, and over 200 germans, so the marines charged into the forest, killed damned near every german, took some captive, and accomplished their mission. The marines had 0 casualties. The surviving germans begans calling the marines Devil Dogs after the battle. Supposedly one of the Members of PF learned of this story and they penned the song. Could be true, could be bunk. Don't know, but I thought it was an interesting piece to add.
    ledbaronon May 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOkay, opinions aside, you people are really of track. I dont mean to offend anyone, but what David is writing about is the governments use of Mercenary forces in foriegn wars. The Gulf? Anybody remember that? Mercenaries are referred to as "Dogs of War". This is a cultural lexicon from the world around.

    "no cause we dont discriminate" "discovery is to be disowned" "for hard cash we will lie and decieve"
    all things that can be easily said about Mercenaries. As well as the fact that War is their business, and as long as there is war, there will be mercenarys "...but whatever you change you know the dogs remain"

    simple meaning, pretty good song
    johnnytoweron January 09, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI guess there are many ways this can be construed, but in plain English, "dogs of war" are mercenaries. This is made pretty clear from the start of the song:

    Dogs of war and men of hate
    with no cause, we don't discriminate
    discovery is to be disowned
    our currency is flesh and bone
    hell opened up and put on sale
    gather round and haggle
    for hard cash, we will lie and deceive
    even our masters don't know the webs we heave

    The first two lines talk about how mercenaries fight for causes they don't understand or care about. Their currency is flesh and bone, meaning that they are paid based on how much damage they do. "even our masters don't know the webs we weave" in reference to how some mercenary groups set up their own governments in sub-Saharan Africa in the period following the 1960's decolonizations. The rest of the song deals with how mercenaries are hired in secret by people with their own hidden agendas, rouge politicians, etc.
    The Oligarchon August 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOligarch, you are, I think, the only person on here to understand what the song is really about.

    It's about mercs, straight and simple. How could anybody not see this?

    "Dogs of War and Men of Hate"
    Mercenaries are men of no remorse

    "With no cause we don't discriminate"
    We have no cause and don't care what religion, color or nationality you are, we'll kill you if we're payed to do it.

    "Discovery is to be dissowned, our currancy is flesh and bone"
    We have to play the game right if we're going to play it, and we sell ourselfs to war.

    "Hell opened up and put on sale, Gather' round and haggle"
    We bring hell TO anybody, FOR anybody with the hightest price.

    "For hard cash we will lie and deceave, even our masters don't know the webs we weave"
    Pay us well and we'll deliver you the world, but don't think that you can buy our blind loyalty. There's always a bigger buyer. We might decide to abandon you on the promise of more money from your enemie, or we could just decide to leave. You don't control us, and you never know what we're planning.

    "One world, it's a battleground. One world we're going to smash it down."
    The entire world is our playground, and we decide when it falls.

    "Invisible transfers, long distance calls"
    You can't find us if we don't want you to, and we have contacts all acrost the world.

    "Hollow laughter in marble halls"
    We're the true puppetmasters in the marble halls of politics.

    "Steps have been taken, a silent uproar
    has unleashed the dogs of war"
    Steps have been taken and we'll cause your citizens to turn against you, there's always another war around the corner to look forward to.

    "You can't stop what has begun
    signed, sealed, they deliver oblivion"
    You can't stop our advance, can't slow our progress.
    The money payed, the contract signed, and now we'll topple everything you've built for yourself.

    "We all have a dark side, to say the least
    and dealing in death is the nature of the beast"
    We all are normal people with loving families, homes, and lifes, but then, everybody has a dark side to say the least. Death is just a job for us, and we do it the best we can.

    "The dogs of war don't negotiate
    the dogs of war won't capitulate
    they will take and you will give
    and you must die so that they may live'
    When we decide you will die, you can't buy your way out of it. Even if you beat us we will never give in to you. You WILL give anything we ask, and believe me we WILL take it if we want. And if our employer wants you to die, then you die.

    "You can knock at any door
    but wherever you go, you know they've been there before"
    You can ask anybody for help, but you won't find any, becouse everybody belongs to us now. We're nothing if not thorough.

    "Well winners can lose and things can get strained
    but whatever you change, you know the dogs remain"
    Well we may die, and you may gain the upper hand, but whatever you do there will always be people who will kill for money. You can never get rid of us all, and the harder you crack down on your people, trying to root us out, the more they will resent you and the more allies we will have. We're always here to stay.


    That's my end of the story anyways. Hope it brightened your understanding of one of their greatest later songs.
    RN-777on November 23, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI've always assumed Pink Floyd's song "The Dogs of War" was inspired by Frederick Forsyth's book "The Dogs of War", published in 1974. Not based on, but drew a lot from. It's a novel about a British company that hires a mercenary group to replace the dictator of a small African nation with a government that would give it favorable mining rights.

    I'm sure they were also thinking about the larger context of mercenaries in the world, but some of the lines brought Forsyth's book to my mind. "You can't stop what has begun" and "even our masters don't know the webs we weave" fit with the plot twist. I mean, usually the employer *can* stop what has begun-- pay them off and tell them to go home. And he *does* know the webs they weave, because he's the one that weaved them! "Invisible transfers, long distance calls" recalls Forsyth's detailed logistics.

    Replacing a government is something new for a private army, but otherwise there's nothing very astonishing with the story line, historically speaking. Forsyth was an investigative reporter, and much of the material for the book was drawn from his work on the illegal arms market. What the salient reviewer on Amazon thought was boring-- the logistics-- I thought was fascinating.

    One thing i want to say about mercenaries is that they fight for someone other than their own government, but that doesn't mean, in general, that they have no loyalties or ideals. American Airmen that flew with the British before the US entered World War II were mercenaries, and so were the Flying Tigers in China. Foreign fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan are mercenaries, but I doubt they'd switch to the American side if only they were offered more money. There was a mercenary company in Africa, I think based in South Africa, that only worked for legitimate governments. Floyd's song wasn't about them, but I think the song sort of romanticized the reality.
    glhansenon March 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo be honest with you I think the meaning of this song is pretty obvious: its a criticism of warmongers. But God, I love that saxophone.
    NickDolanon August 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn my opinion, this song could be about most anything...from the sale of apples to the destruction of the world...it all depends on how you want to perceive it...I'm glad to see most are not as narrowed minded and jealous as werumm...I personally am still studying the opportunities set forth by Pink Floyd...and by the way, THEY FUCKING ROCK...!!!
    Candee69on November 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"hell opened up and put on sale, gather round and haggle". think that has anything to do with it?
    pinkubus_floydon July 12, 2002   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top