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Metallica - One

One began as a song written by James Hetfield, centered on the concept of "simply having a brain and nothing else," before Cliff Burnstein suggested he read Dalton Trumbo's novel, Johnny Got His Gun, published in 1939. The story of Joe Bonham, a good-looking, all-American boy encouraged to fight in World War I by his patriotic father, Bonham loses his legs, eyes, ears, mouth and nose to a German shell. Bonham uses the one part of his physical existence he still has control over - his mind – to tap out a message in Morse code:

'Please murder me' after coming to terms with his horrible situation in hospital while surrounded by frightened physicians and nurses. Lars Ulrich, drummer and co-writer, noted, "James received a lot of input from that."


I can't remember anything

Can't tell if this is true or dream

Deep down inside I feel the scream

This terrible silence stops me

Now that the war is through with me

I'm waking up, I cannot see

That there's not much left of me

Nothing is real but pain now

Hold my breath as I wish for death

Oh please, God, wake me

Back in the womb it's much too real

In pumps life that I must feel

But can't look forward to reveal

Look to the time when I'll live

Fed through the tube that sticks in me

Just like a wartime novelty

Tied to machines that make me be

Cut this life off from me

Hold my breath as I wish for death

Oh please, God, wake me

Now the world is gone, I'm just one

Oh God, help me

Hold my breath as I wish for death

Oh please, God, help me


Imprisoning me

All that I see

Absolute horror

I cannot live

I cannot die

Trapped in myself

Body my holding cell


Has taken my sight

Taken my speech

Taken my hearing

Taken my arms

Taken my legs

Taken my soul

Left me with life in hell


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