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The Meaning Behind The Song: Sawney Bean by Sol Invictus

The Meaning Behind The Song: Sawney Bean by Sol Invictus


I have always been fascinated by songs that delve into historical events or legends, especially when they bring to light the darker aspects of human nature. Sol Invictus’ haunting song “Sawney Bean” is one such piece that explores the chilling tale of the 16th-century criminal and his inbred clan who practiced cannibalism in rural Scotland. In this article, I will delve into the meaning behind the song and share my personal experiences with it.

The Lyrics

Listening to the lyrics of “Sawney Bean,” one is instantly transported to a time of darkness and horror. The song begins with the haunting image of a family inbred like serpents entwined, lacking both heart and mind. Sol Invictus paints a vivid picture of the clan’s madness and the curse they brought upon the earth as the Sawney Bean.

Throughout the song, the verses reveal the gruesome actions committed by Bean and his clan. They lurk in the fog, preying on unsuspecting travelers whom they capture, kill, and consume. The victims of these ghouls and fiends find no graves but become food for the twisted appetites of the Sawney Bean.

The lyrics also delve into the disturbing details of how the family sustained themselves. They made meals from their victims’ flesh, using their skin as flooring for their children to kneel and their skulls as a table to eat from. It is a terrifying depiction of the savagery and depravity that unfolded within the hellish caves of the Sawney Bean.

The song concludes with a repetition of the opening verses, highlighting the cycle of horror perpetuated by this inbred clan. The emphasis on their lack of heart and mind reinforces the notion that they were nothing more than instruments of evil, forever cursed with the legacy of the Sawney Bean.

The Legend of Sawney Bean

The inspiration behind “Sawney Bean” comes from the legend of Alexander “Sawney” Bean, a criminal who terrorized Scotland in the 16th century. Bean led a clan of inbreds who, for years, lived in secluded caves and subsisted on the flesh of unsuspecting travelers they captured. Their heinous acts of cannibalism went on undetected until their arrest and subsequent execution.

The legend of Sawney Bean has captivated people for centuries, serving as a cautionary tale of the depths of human depravity and the consequences it brings. The chilling nature of the story and the sheer horror of the crimes committed continue to haunt our collective imagination.

Personal Connection

As a fan of dark folklore and historical legends, “Sawney Bean” captivated me from the first time I heard it. The haunting melody and chilling lyrics contribute to an eerie ambience that sends shivers down my spine. The song’s ability to transport me to a dark time in history, where humanity’s darkest impulses were laid bare, is both unsettling and immensely captivating.

Moreover, “Sawney Bean” acts as a reminder of the depths of human capability, both in terms of horror and survival. It forces us to confront the savagery that lies within us and question the boundaries of morality under extreme circumstances. Sol Invictus masterfully brings this tale to life through their evocative lyrics and powerful vocals.


Sol Invictus’s “Sawney Bean” is far more than just a song – it’s a chilling exploration of one of history’s most gruesome tales. By delving into the legend of Alexander Bean and his inbred clan, the song forces us to confront the capacity for darkness within the human soul. It serves as a macabre reminder that the horrors of the past continue to fascinate and terrify us, forever leaving their mark on our collective consciousness.

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