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The Mercenary by Iron Maiden

Album: Brave New WorldReleased: 2000
  • The lyrics are likely based on the movie Predator. Lyrics to support this theory include "Lose your skin, lose your skull," "You have to kill to stay alive." Iron Maiden's lyrics are often based on books or movies. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Lewis - Inglasa
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Comments: 7

It's about Predator...

"Diablo come again to make trophies out of men"
Predator is often referred to as "el Diablo."

"Lose your skin, lose your skull, one by one the sack is full"
Predator skins its victims and takes their skulls as trophies. "one by one" comments on the predator's hunting style, it doesn't bust in guns blazing, it picks its targets off when they separate.

"In the heat dehydrate"
Predators are attracted to warmth, they are only found in hot places and if they are in a cold region, they will find warmth.

"Focus sharp in the night, watch the jungle burning bright"
May be a direct reference to the ending scene in the first movie.

"Toe to toe throw the line, everyone's caught hand tied"
"hand tied" isn't to be taken literally, it represents how a predator hunts. It outsmarts its prey and traps them in a position where their "hands are tied" (where they cant do anything, or can only do one thing)

"Show them no fear, show them no pain"
This is about the predator's honor system. It has to do with never running away. If you don't win, you die. Running away would disgrace them.

The lyrics are not about the movie, just about the predator in general.
Jon - Sd, Ca
Also, there are the lyrics that say "you have to kill to stay alive", but if they don't kill then the Predator won't kill them, just like the spanish girl. So that doesn't make sense. So, while some of the lyrics do fit with the predator, most don't. It's about something else.John - Philadelphia, Pa
Lol@ the hitler comment... obviously never heard the song before. This song definately isn't about the predator although a lot of the lyrics fit... the ending lyrics before the final chourus state that everyone gets caught and that their hands are tied. "Toe to toe throw the line, everyone's caught hand tied Iron will iron fist, how could it have come to this?" Nowhere in predator does that happen. And also mr scottland the lyrics are "one by one the sack is full". If it is predator then a lot of things don't fit. As simple as "show them no fear, show them no pain". Who are they? Sounds like someone got caught and now being tortured. But if anyone finds out if its an actual story or just a mercenary killing everyone let me know.Mike - Lakewood, Co
I think it is about the war in Vetetnaim. Reason for "Watch the jungle burning bright."Joey - Douglas, Ga
I didn't know at first it was about the movie Predator, but it makes sense. I think however that bands who get inspiration from books and movies, have better songs in many cases. I knew what the song meant to 'me' right away, in a general essence it can be viewed as not allowing evil to win, and don't let the evil feed on fear and pain. It's about being strong and knowing your 'trapped', but knowing who your enemy is and knowing you are really free. at least to me that is what it's about.Xavier - Usa, Il
The song is about the movie "Predator" it has nothing to do with Hitler as stated by the chap Damien from Canada. How can anyone even come up with that as a result. Nothing in the lyrics points towards Hitler. The woman in the movie Predator spoke of a devil making tropheys out of men. Hence the lyrics that Bruce sang: "Diablo come again to make tropheys out of men" and as the chap above (Lewis) stated the lyrics: "Lose your skin lose your skull" which is what the Predator does to it's victims - strips them of their skin and skull which it keeps for a trophey, and also the lyrics "one by one the sidekicks fall" meaning Arnold's sidekicks getting taken down one by one.

The Mercenary = Predator.
Jaymz - Ayr, Scotland
Meh, I think this song is about Hitler. Great song though.Damien - Edmonton, Canada
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