Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

The War Song

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7" 12"



"La Cancion de Guerra", "La Chanson de Guerre" "Der Kriegsgesang" "Senso Hantai"

6 October 1984 (1984-10-06) (US)

New wave, reggae fusion

"The War Song" is a 1984 song by the British band Culture Club which features background vocals by Clare Torry. It was the lead single from the band's third album Waking Up with the House on Fire. The song became the group's seventh top-five hit on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number two. In the U.S. the single peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit the top ten in many countries including Canada (#7), Ireland (#1), Italy (#3) and Australia (#2). While very popular at the time, it was not appreciated by some music critics for some weakness in the lyrics and less original arrangements.


The song was assisted by a popular music video, directed by Russell Mulcahy, which features hundreds of children dressed as skeletons. Lead singer Boy George is shown with his new flame-red hair, and also employs four wigs in black, white, yellow and blue. The video cost more than £100,000 to make.

In many countries, the single was released with a B-Side consisting of a native-language version (Spanish, French, Japanese or German) of the song. It was available in two different extended versions, a first in Culture Club discography. Its 7" picture disc was shelved, and the only remaining copies are very rare.

It was Culture Club's last UK top 5 hit before 1998's "I Just Wanna Be Loved".

At the time of its release, Boy George claimed that the song was "the best thing we've ever done." However, since then he has joked about the song: "It ruined my career", mentioning often that he is not proud of this song. It has also been excluded from some music compilations of the band. Though not performed live by Culture Club since 1985, it was performed on New Year's Eve 2011 when Culture Club reunited for a one-off gig. The band also played the song in 2014. It was parodied on the satirical British TV series Spitting Image as "War Is Naughty", a reference to the main phrase of the original song's chorus ("War is stupid").


Released at least in UK, USA, Australia, Spain

A. The War Song
B. La Cancion De Guerra

Released in France and Canada

A. The War Song
B. La Chanson De Guerre


Released at least in UK, Australia, Spain, USA

A1. The War Song (Ultimate Dance Mix)
B1. The War Song (Shriek Mix)
B2. La Cancion De Guerra


The War Song Wikipedia

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