The song is about a method of torture used during the Spanish Inquisition. They would take people and hang them by their thumbs, if they didn't convert to Catholicism.
Suggestion credit: Cody - Kansas City, MO
This song dates back to the mid-'70s, when lead singer Steve Kudlow ("Lips") and drummer Robb Reiner were in an early version of Anvil called Gravestone. In our interview with Kudlow, he said, "We were emulating Black Sabbath because that's what we loved. When we first started we created songs that were dark and very heavy. That was one of them. And I couldn't think of anything darker or heavier than the Spanish Inquisition."
Gravestone didn't record the song, but Anvil included it on the 2009 re-release of their album This Is Thirteen.
You probably noticed some similarities between this song and Black Sabbath's classic "Iron Man." The songs are in the same key and have many similar elements. Lips from Anvil says that it reflects their Sabbath fascination at the time.
Bruce Springsteen wrote "Blinded By The Light," which was a #1 hit for Manfred Mann's Earth Band. The "Madman Drummers" line is a reference to Springsteen's first E-Street drummer, Vinnie "Mad dog" Lopez.