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What's The Song In The King's Man Trailer?

The second trailer for Kingsman series prequel The King's Man has arrived, and while it transports the action from the modern day to the dawn of the First World War, the spot lets us know that the flick will be quite true to the tone of the first two films. There's intrigue, quips, and (of course) a ton of action — all soundtracked by a tune that probably rings several bells, although you may not be able to put your finger on where you've heard it before.

Somehow, the song is a perfect fit for a spot teasing the awesome exploits of British spies over a century ago, despite the fact that it is one of the songs that gave birth to the genre of heavy metal. We know you're dying to know: what the heck is that screamingly badass song in the King's Man trailer, and who performs it?

Well, we won't keep you in suspense: the name of the tune is "War Pigs," and it is the first song on Paranoid, the second album by the British band Black Sabbath. That's none other than Ozzy Osbourne on lead vocal, and at the time this song was released in 1970, nobody had heard anything quite like it before; the start-and-stop, thrashing drums, the plodding, bottom-heavy bass, guitarist Tony Iommi's innovative power chords, and Osbourne's tortured wail all combined for a sonic experience heavier than virtually anything that popular music had yet seen.

The version of the song in the King's Man trailer is remixed, and contains a few embellishments: the original tune has no string section or piano, but for those familiar with the song, these orchestral elements announce the arrival of the tune proper loud and clear. (The syncopated, burbling synth underlying the verses is also a nice touch.) 

Bassist Geezer Butler wrote the song's lyrics, and the snatches we hear in the trailer line up perfectly with the images of warfare and of the old, moneyed men in the halls of power deliberating over the fates of the grunts in the trenches: "Generals gathered in their masses / Just like witches at black masses / Evil minds that plot destruction / Sorcerer of death's construction."

Before you ask, we know what you're thinking: is that right? Why did Butler rhyme "masses" with "masses" instead of using a different word? Well, he's been asked the question before, notably in a 2013 interview with SPIN magazine. His answer was incredibly thoughtful and profoundly enlightening — eh, we're just kidding. "I just couldn't think of anything else to rhyme with it," he said. "And a lot of the old Victorian poets used to do stuff like that — rhyming the same word together. It didn't really bother me. It wasn't a lesson in poetry or anything."

At any rate, Paranoid has cast a towering shadow over popular culture, and not just because it's arguably the first-ever true entry into the metal genre. Several of the album's selections were among the first tunes in rock to be mistakenly pegged as endorsing the very things they were written to decry, such as the anti-heroin tune "Hand of Doom," and "War Pigs" itself, an anti-war tune which earned the ire of religious groups with its references to "bodies burning" and its explicit name-dropping of Satan. 

The album helped set the stage for the moral panic surrounding popular music which took off in the mid-'80s, which targeted everything from metal to rap to, well, Prince. In a strange bit of serendipity, Ice-T — one of the most outspoken critics of the Parents' Music Resource Center, the group of politicians' wives who led the charge against "indecent" music — sampled "War Pigs" on the title track to his first album, 1987's Rhyme Pays.

It's also worth mentioning that Marvel fans could be forgiven for thinking that the band were huge comics geeks. "War Pigs" contains the lyric, "As the war machine keeps turning," which is actually not a reference to Tony Stark's best buddy James Rhodes; that character didn't debut in the pages of Marvel comics until 1979, but his code name may very well have been influenced by the Sabbath tune. 

Oh yeah, and Paranoid also contains a song which may be the band's most well-known: "Iron Man," which is not about Stark, but a time-traveling dude who inadvertently brings about the end of the world. This is the song that Stark blasts when he arrives to assist Captain America with Loki in The Avengers, and throughout that film, the "billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist" is sporting a Black Sabbath shirt.

At any rate, Paranoid and its iconic opening track may be nearly 50 years old, but they constitute proof that truly kickass music never goes out of style. Also, if you're only familiar with Osbourne from his second career as a doddering, old reality show star, you now know what made him famous in the first place: the man had some seriously powerful pipes, and he used them to help create the genre that's been scaring the hell out of parents for five decades and counting.