7734

Music: Broden/Lyrics: Broden/Sundstrom

The dawn of time breaks
See the sun rise to the sky
The wheel of time begins to turn
But then we heard it
A divine voice out of nowhere
Spoke to our hearts and showed the way

Almighty Lord, we have come to your hall
Do glatem live, creator of all
Open your heart and you will find a way
Paradise calling and enter you may (Falling down)

Now your soul returns to paradise
(Falling down) Double seven thirty-four

The wheel kept turning
Ages came, time passed us by
We lived in perfect harmony
But then it happened our ranks decreased rapidly
But now it’s time for our return

Once we were numerous but that’s long ago
We are no more double seven thirty-four
The last two united and two became one
One hundred eleven, they perished in flames (Falling down)

Now your soul returns to paradise
(Falling down) Double seven thirty-four

Almighty Lord, we have come to your hall
Do glatem live, creator of all
Open your heart and you will find a way
Paradise calling and enter you may (Falling down)

Now your soul returns to paradise
(Falling down) Double seven thirty-four

Now your soul returns to paradise
(Falling down) Double seven thirty-four

 

MEANING OF SONG LYRICS 7734 BY SABATON
https://youtu.be/-9Ls1jWX-TM
Song analyzation by Mintaka, November 2019

 

PREFACE

There has been a lot of speculation and discussion of the meaning of 7734 – everything from Satanic worship (7734 upside-down spells “HELL”) to a tribute to the last surviving member of The Great War, WWI.  Until now, I, personally believed it was just one of those songs that one could read into it whatever one wanted as the song had no hidden message nor true meaning.  But now, having studied the song for years – and loving the song as I do – I believe I have found the “Holy Grail” meaning of this great song.

Like so many of Sabaton’s works, I believe 7734 was inspired by a real-life wartime subject and told poetically in song. It is highly metaphoric so I had to do extensive research to find all the facts.  The song combines a musically brilliant, well played composition with an intriguing, real-life war story sung perfectly by Joakim Broden.

BREAKDOWN AND ANALYSIS OF THE SONG

The true story behind 7734 is based on the fate of 3 mighty WWII warriors – an American Boeing B-17G, serial number 42-37734 and the last two remaining members of her brave crew.  Double Seven Thirty Four (affectionately named “Cuddle Cat” by the boys who flew her into combat) was assigned to the 336th Bomb Squadron of the 95th Bomb Group, Horham England.  She flew her first mission to Marienburg Germany on October 9, 1943 and many subsequent missions over Germany and France until she met her fate.   Now please follow along and let Sabaton and me, tell you my version of the true* meaning of the song 7734. The verses and chorus have been split up in sections followed by an explanation of each.  Enjoy!       *Some artistic license may have been used.

The dawn of time breaks
See the sun rise to the sky
The wheel of time begins to turn

In the years following “The Great War”, WWI, it was widely accepted that it had been “the war to end all wars” and that peace and freedom from evil dictators was over, once and for all.  The first verse starts off to describe the tranquil passing of time during peacetime.

But then we heard it
A divine voice out of nowhere
Spoke to our hearts and showed the way

As Hitler’s tyrannical reign began forcefully taking control of Europe by invading Poland in 1939, a desperate Call-To-Action was heard ’round the world  as if God Himself were broadcasting it from a loud speaker from the heavens. This call to action motivated people in every nation to rally together to build armies that would stop this awful scourge. Not unlike the rest of the world, the United States went to work in mass to quickly build factories and technically advanced war machines in record numbers, one of which was the B-17 Bomber. Designed by Boeing Aircraft of Seattle, Washington, the B-17 was built by 3 different contractors, Boeing, Vega and Douglas. There were 12,731 B-17s produced by the 3 companies, one of which was a Douglas-built “G” model B-17, Serial Number – 42-37734.

Almighty Lord, we have come to your hall
Do glatem live, creator of all

In answer to “God’s call-to-action”, the United States began sending large numbers of B-17s to England in August of 1942, setting up bases from which multiple Bomb Groups of the 8th Army Air Force could fly and easily reach Germany. One such Bomb Group was the 95th Bomb Group which began its precision daylight bombing of military targets in Germany for the first time on January 27th, 1943. They had “come to his hall” alright – with a force so powerful that Hitler himself was undoubtedly incredulous.  Known by the Germans as the “Evil Metal Gods” (Do Glatem Live backwards), B-17s of the Mighty 8th covered the skies high above Germany in daily raids dropping tons of bombs of Hitler’s aircraft factories, shipping yards and ball bearing factories, crippling his ability to wage war.

Open your heart and you will find a way
Paradise calling and enter you may (Falling down)

Expounding on the old saying, “if there’s a will, there’s a way”, the song is saying that America – and the whole World for that matter – could defeat Hitler if they just put their mind to it – and THAT they did.  By rallying together, the allies could defeat Hitler and return to peace and freedom even though it meant that many lives would be sacrificed in order to do so (Paradise calling and enter you may, falling down).

Now your soul returns to paradise (Falling down)
Double seven thirty-four

It is important to realize at this point that the flight crews and ground crews alike believed that each B-17 had “a soul” of its own. When they did not return from the missions, the entire base felt as though they had lost a member of their family. When the song talks about souls returning to Paradise, it’s not just the loss of life of the crews but the aircraft as well.

On mission #68 to Elberfeld Germany on January 5, 1944, Double Seven Thirty Four went Missing In Action (MIA). It is suspected that she was hit by flak and went down in flames.  Of her 10 crew members, 7 were captured (POW), 1 killed in action (KIA) and 2 evaded capture (EVD).

The wheel kept turning
Ages came, time passed us by
We lived in perfect harmony

Camaraderie among the combat crews was strong. When radio operator Sergeant Theo Woznicki and ball turret gunner Sergeant Ray Davis parachuted to safety after 7734 was hit and then evaded capture, the two became life-long friends. Like millions of WWII veterans, they both were able to survive an horrific experience, get home and live out the rest of their lives in perfect harmony with their families in the United States.

But then it happened
our ranks decreased rapidly
But now it’s time for our return
Once we were numerous but that’s long ago
We are no more double seven thirty-four

Sadly, through the 1970s, 80s and 90s, large numbers of surviving 8th Air Force veterans passed on to “Paradise”. Only 3% of the “once numerous” [350,000] members of 8th Army Air Force are still living. Additionally, the once numerous B-17s [12,731] are nearly all gone with only about 13 of the Fortresses still flying.

The last two united and two became one

The last 2 surviving members of Double Seven Thirty Four’s crew were Sergeant Woznicki and Sergeant Davis. On May 28, 2009, Theo Woznicki joined the rest of his crew in Paradise “and 2 became 1”. Later in the same year, on August 13, 2009, Ray Davis also returned to Paradise leaving all but the memory of Double Seven Thirty Four and her crew in the past.

One hundred eleven, they perished in flames (Falling down)

This line in the last verse is a tribute to, specifically, B-17, 42-37734. She was one of 156 of the 95th Bomb Group’s B-17s to be lost in combat. Of those 156 aircraft, 111 were reported to have “gone down in flames”.

THANK YOU AND CREDITS

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my interpretation this great Sabaton song. Not only does it pay tribute to Double Seven Thirty Four and her crew, but serves to keep alive the memory of the sacrifices of “The Great Generation” – men and women who fought to preserved our freedom so long ago. Thank you to the teams of aeronautical engineers and skilled workers in the factories that produced the amazing, state-of-the-art weaponry. Thank you to the brave men and women who flew and fought. And finally, Thank You Sabaton for your epic songs that pay tribute to ALL brave warriors throughout time!