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Song
…and Justice for All (album)

Harvester of Sorrow is a song on Metallica's fourth album "...And Justice For All" and is written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.

About

In 1986, two years before the live debut of the song, a book was written called The Harvest of Sorrow. It revealed the story of the deaths of five to ten million Ukrainians at the hands of the Soviet government, called the Holodomor. The Metallica song is strikingly similar to the images presented in the book. The term "Harvester of Sadness" has been used to refer to the Grim Reaper, but in this case it is especially appropriate because the Holodomor was a mass starvation due to government destruction and takeover of farming: the communist farm "Collectivization" program, in which soldiers invaded peasant villages, beat and killed people or sent them to be worked to death in concentration camps, destroyed their crops and executed anybody who stockpiled food or tried to replant. Holodomor means "death by hunger". The collectivization was presented to the public as sowing the seeds of a better world through more efficient central farms, but the reality was the destruction of the Ukraine.

Structurally, it is similar to Leper Messiah, a song in the "Master of Puppets" album.

Live

  • Harvester of Sorrow was first performed live on May 23, 1988, in Los Angeles, CA.
  • As of the Beginning of 2012 Harvester of Sorrow has been played 714 times live.

Lyrics

    My life suffocates
    Planting seeds of hate
    I've loved, turned to hate
    Trapped far beyond my fate
    
    I give, you take
    This life that I forsake
    Been cheated of my youth
    You turned this lie to truth
    
         Anger
         Misery
         You'll suffer unto me
    
              Harvester of sorrow
              Language of the mad
              Harvester of sorrow
    
    Pure black looking clear
    My work is done soon here
    Try getting back to me
    Get back which used to be
    
    Drink up
    Shoot in
    Let the beatings begin
    Distributor of pain
    Your loss becomes my gain
    
         Anger
         Misery
         You'll suffer unto me
    
              Harvester of sorrow
              Language of the mad
              Harvester of sorrow
    
    All have said their prayers
    Invade their nightmares
    To see into my eyes
    You'll find where murder lies
    
         Infanticide
    
              Harvester of sorrow
              Language of the mad
              Harvester of sorrow
              Language of the mad
    
    Harvester of sorrow

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