Video footage of the Brazilian army orchestra performing the song "Smoking Snakes" from the Swedish metal band SABATON can be seen below.
SABATON wrote "Smoking Snakes" as a tribute to the three Brazilian soldiers who fought an entire platoon of German soldiers to their deaths in the mountains of Italy in 1944.
In an interview with the Brazilian Army's official blog, SABATON bassist Pär Sundström explained that the idea for "Smoking Snakes" came when he was doing some research for the band's latest album, "Heroes". "I tried searching for the word 'Helden', which means heroes in German," he said. "I then came across the story of the Drei Brasilianischen Helden (Three Brazilian Heroes) and, from that point on, we deepened our research and decided to write the track."
The smoking snake is the mascot of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force (BEF) sent to fight the Nazi army in Europe during World War II in response of German U-Boast attacking Brazilian shipping in the Atlantic.
The expression "when the snake smokes" would be equivalent to "when pigs fly" in the USA. At the time, many believed that was that it was more likely that one would see a snake smoking a pipe than a bunch of blacks and Indians from the Brazilian army being able to defeat Nazi soldiers in combat. So the Brazilian army adopted the smoking snake as its mascot and that is how the Expeditionary Force become known: as the "smoking snakes."
After the Brazilian army's successful return from Europe, the meaning of the expression was reversed. Instead of meaning that something unlikely to happen, the expression "the snake will smoke" was used to refer to something that had a high probability of becoming a reality.