Enter Sandman – Metallica

Metalica was formed in 1981 when drummer Lars Ulrich posted an advertisement in a Los Angeles paper called The Recycler looking for musicians who were interested in forming a band.

The original members consisted of Ulrich, James Hetfield, Dave Mustaine and Ron McGovney. Mustaine and McGovney were later kicked out of the band and replaced by Kirk Hammet and Cliff Burton. Burton was killed when the tour bus skidded out of control and was later replaced by Jason Newsted, who eventually was replaced by Robert Trujillo.

Metalica is considered the pioneer of “thrash metal”, and some critics consider their 1986 release of Master of Puppets to be one of the most influential and heavy “thrash metal” albums.

Enter Sandman

“Enter Sandman” was the first song Metallica had written for their 1991 self-titled album, Metallica. Metallica’s songwriting method involved lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Jason Newsted submitting tapes of song ideas and concepts to rhythm guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, who then used the material in conjunction with their own ideas to write songs in Ulrich’s house in Berkeley, California. “Enter Sandman” evolved from a guitar riff that Hammett wrote. Originally, the riff was 2 bars in length, but Ulrich suggested the first bar be played 4 times.  The song was quickly finished, but Hetfield did not come up with vocal melodies and lyrics for a long time. The song, in fact, was among the album’s last to have lyrics, and the lyrics featured in the song are not the original; Hetfield felt that “Enter Sandman” sounded “catchy and kind of commercial” and so to contradict the sound, he wrote lyrics about “destroy[ing] the perfect family; a huge horrible secret in a family” that included references to crib death.  For the first time in Metallica’s history, however, Ulrich and producer Bob Rock told Hetfield that they felt he could write better lyrics. Nevertheless, according to Ulrich, the song was the “foundation, the guide to the whole record” even before it had lyrics.

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Say your prayers little one
Don`t forget my son
To include everyone
I tuck you in
walk within
Keep you free from sin
’til the sandman he comes

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight

Exit light
Enter night
Take my hand
We’re off to never never-land

Something’s wrong, shut the light
Heavy thoughts tonight
And they aren’t of Snow White
Dreams of war
Dreams of liars
Dreams of dragons fire
And of things that will bite, yeah

Sleep with one eye open
Gripping your pillow tight

Exit light
Enter night
take my hand
We’re off to never never-land

(whisper)
Now I lay me down to sleep (x2)
Pray the lord my soul to keep (x2)
If I die before I wake (x2)
Pray the lord my soul to take (x2)

Hush little baby don’t say a word
And never mind that noise you heard
It’s just the beasts under your bed
In your closet and in your head

Exit light
Enter night
Grain of sand

Exit light
Enter Night
Take my hand!
We’re off to never never-land

Yeah, ha ha ha

Boom

Yeah, yeah
oh, whoa

We’re off to never never-land

Take my hand
We’re off to never never-land
Take my hand
We’re off to never never-land

We’re off to never never-land

  • Audio from the 1991 album, Metalica (Black Album):

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About DJ Allyn

DJ Allyn is a burned out radio guy who went on to become a burned out sound engineer for a few Seattle area grunge bands in the 1980s and 1990s. Left the madness of worldwide tours with bands, cleaned up my act and went into the relative sanity of sound engineering for television series. Currently working as the Director of Sound for a television series being filmed in North Vancouver, British Columbia. I am always on the lookout for interesting videos, old music, and fun.

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