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Rise Against Collapse KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas 2009

The Good Left Undone
Long Forgotten Sons
The Dirt Whispered
Audience Of One
Prayer Of The Refugee
Swing Life Away
Hero Of War
Give It All

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Hero of War on Wikipedia
"Hero of War"
Hero Of War picture.jpeg"Hero of War" cover
Song by Rise Against from the album Appeal to Reason
ReleasedMay 20, 2009 (2009-05-20)
  • Digital download
  • Music video
RecordedJanuary–June 2008
StudioBlasting Room, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Acoustic rock
  • Protest song
  • DGC
  • Interscope
  • Tim McIlrath
  • Joe Principe
  • Brandon Barnes
  • Zach Blair
  • Bill Stevenson
  • Jason Livermore

Hero of War is a 2008 song by Rise Against from the album Appeal to Reason. The song was mistaken to be the album's third single, after a music video of the song was released on the band's Myspace on May 20, 2009. However, It was later revealed it was just a promotional video and "Savior" is in fact, the third single.


  • 1 Song meaning
  • 2 Music video
  • 3 Personnel
  • 4 Chart positions
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

Song meaning

The song starts out with an army recruiter asking the protagonist, a potential recruit, to enlist. With promises of adventure and money, they do indeed sign up. At the end of the song, the enlistee, now a veteran, recalls with bitter irony the army recruiter's promise that signing up would mean he could "see the world."

The enlistee sees how destructive wars are, including the destruction of his own moral scruples, as the protagonist is convinced, after initially protesting, to join in and participate in the torture of a prisoner. The soldier declares, "I'll carry this flag, to the grave if I must, because it's a flag that I love, and a flag that I trust." But after killing a woman who he later learns was carrying a white flag, he changes his mind about his former flag-waving patriotism, explaining, regarding the white flag, "I brought home that flag, now it gathers dust. But it's a flag that I love, it's the only flag I trust."

Tim McIlrath wrote this song due to all the violence in the war, but also for the troops that serve overseas protecting their respective countries.[1]

Near the end, the veteran reacts with revulsion to those who see him as "A hero of war. Is that what they see, just medals and scars, so damn proud of me!" Tim says he was expressing sarcasm because many people treat soldiers like heroes, even though many don't feel like heroes.[1]

Music video

A music video was made for the song, although it wasn't released as a single from the album, and thus the song was mistaken to be the album's third single. The music video was released on May 20, 2009, on the band's Myspace page.

The video fades between lead singer Tim McIlrath sitting and singing the song while playing the acoustic guitar, and shots of soldiers in war. Along these are clips of a visibly distressed soldier. The video ends with the soldier walking down a street, bare-chested, with paint on his face, while sirens go off in the background, implying he had descended into violence due to PTSD while in "normal" society.


  • Tim McIlrath – lead vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar
  • Zach Blair – acoustic & electric lead guitar
  • Joe Principe – bass guitar
  • Brandon Barnes – drums, percussion


  1. ^ a b "Hero of War, Rise Against". Tim McIlrath. October 2, 2008.  |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ "Rise Against – Hero of War". Swedish Recording Industry Association. Hung Medien. Retrieved August 16, 2015. 

External links

  • Lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics

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