“Mars, Bringer Of War” by Gustav Holst

So, you like music. Chances are, you’re getting a little tired of your standbys, and even your favorite tracks are getting a bit stale. Well, you’re in luck! I’ll listen to just about anything, and I have…let’s call it “discerning” taste. This Is My Jam provides you with alternatives; stuff you may have never heard of before, and insight as to why it’s worth a listen.


You may not have expected any symphonic music in This Is My Jam. I hope you are prepared to listen to discordant POWER. “Mars, Bringer Of War” is the first movement of Gustav Holst’s The Planets an astrologically inspired orchestral suite. Specifically astrological; the songs are means to connect with the emotional qualities associated with the way each of the (known at the time) celetial bodies. In astrology, Mars is connected to intensity, passion, drive, and other active emotions. It is all about getting shit done, and crushing challenges. It is aggressive, uncompromising, and kind of a dick.

“Mars, Bringer Of War” captures all of these emotional qualities, and injects them into you. This song isn’t shy about its power; it’s got plenty, and it’s going to give you as much power as you can hold. The song as a whole is a threatening growl; at first against you, to break down your static status quo, and then with you, egging you onwards against those who might stop you. It is insidious, and I couldn’t possibly love it any more than I already do.


I’m sure I’ve heard this song before in several different forms of media, as a mood piece. The first time I looked into and identified the melody as “Mars, Bringer Of War” was while watching season two of The Venture Brothers. It’s…not the best rendition, except maybe unless it IS the best possible rendition. You decide:


If you are not living up to or exceeding your full potential, this song will help you get there. It will motivate you to fight, claw, bite until your challenges lay in tattered, bloody shreds before you. If that feels a little too visceral for you, please turn up the volume on your computer and listen to the song again.

Sometimes, you will find you need an evil glint behind your eyes to get shit done, but you can’t get quite in the right mindset. This song will make getting there as easy-mode as one of those horizontal escalator things.

If you are creating some kind of movie or game and need some super-dramatic music for a scene where the dominant emotions are determination and ruthlessness, look no further. This is the song for you. You should check and make sure that it is public domain, obviously, but the song’s about 100 years old. It could be exactly what you need.

Uh, I guess you could also use this track as a soundtrack if you were involved in an actual war. It would certainly help get you in the mood, but I expect people around you would give you funny looks. I can’t imagine bloodlust is good for esprit de corps, these days.


If you want to purchase this song so you can have an mp3 on your computer/device so you can listen to it without using up your data plan, you can get it from iTunes by following this link:

Please note: This link is for the London Symphony Orchestra’s recording of The Planets in 2003, and is a different performance than is emdedded above. There have been many recordings of this orchestral suite, but I found this one to be exactly what I wanted. Your mileage may, of course, vary.


Well, there’s a bit of trivia I can tell you. “Mars, Bringer Of War” is writing in quintuple meter, or in 5/4 time if that makes more sense. To my ears, this helps contribute to the deeply unintuitive beat, and forces me to accept the music as an entity of its own instead of picking it apart like so many techno rhythms or rap beats. Personally, I find this refreshing.

Also, a bit of an apology: If this article came across as a bit too aggressive or forceful, please realize that I was hopped up on “Mars, Bringer Of War” the entire time I was writing this. In a twisted way, this is kind of exactly what I’ve been talking about.

Previous Jam – “Goku vs. Superman” by Epic Rap Battles of History

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