Hallowed Be Thy Name

Album: Number Of The Beast (1982)
Charted: 9
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This song is about a man who is on death row and about to be executed, it is from the perspective of that man. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kyle - Montreal, Canada
  • This song has been covered by Iced Earth and Cradle of Filth. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kyle - Montreal, Canada
  • The live version of this song off of A Real Dead One was released as a single in 1993 after Bruce Dickinson announced he was leaving the band. The single's cover shows Eddie as Satan stabbing Bruce to death with a triton. Killing the departing vocalist in album art was an idea that was also used on the cover of Maiden Japan in 1981 (with Eddie holding Paul Di'Anno's severed head), as well as in the video of Bruce's farewell concert with the band, "Raising Hell," where horror illusionist Simon Drake appears to impale Bruce to death in an iron maiden torture device. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Caitlin - Colmesneil, TX
  • Several of this song's lines were lifted from British prog band Beckett's 1974 track "Life's Shadow" by Steve Harris. The Iron Maiden bassist saw Beckett perform in 1973 and their debut LP was one of his favorite albums when it was first released. He initially used the lyrics as a placeholder and did not have time to change them before Number of the Beast was released.

    After Beckett's retired band manager Barry McKay filed a lawsuit, £100,000 (approximately $138,000) was paid by Iron Maiden out of court to "Life's Shadow" songwriters Brian Quinn and Robert Barton.
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Comments: 47

  • Peter from Glens Falls NyI think that you hear Bruce's vocal range in the part about the sands of time. I love this song because you hear the tremendous vocal performance by Bruce, also the bass line, and drum beat. Totally AWESOME!!!
  • Anthony from Richmond, VaI feel like this song isn't played enough on the radio... I've only heard it once on the radio and loved it since then. Easily my favorite Iron Maiden song.
  • Scott from Russell, NyI had heard that this song was about Bruce Dickinson's past life.
  • Ray from Ccs, VenezuelaThe greatest Metal song ever!!!! Great lyrics, great music, great solos! Clive Burr rocks big time!
  • Shingami from Lusaka, ZambiaThis is definitely one of maidens best songs and without doubt my personal favorite. I heard Ride the Lightning by metallica before this and i thought that is a pretty awesome song to. I loved the way it tells the story of someone on death role then I heard this song and i was blown away it rules on so many different levels and the way Bruce Dickson sings it makes it all the better. A song about impending doom and what would run through ones mind. its wicked.
  • Dylan from Euclid, Ohthis song is number 1 on the top 100 metal songs
  • Justin from Lousville, Kysounds like the guitar riff to Last Resort by Papa Roach
  • James from Newark, , NjI love this song! Great lyrics. What kyle from prince george canada wrote really shows how deep Iron Maiden's lyrics are.
  • Budoshi from Sandnessjøen, NorwayBruce Dickinson really shows his metal mettle in this song... He has a kick-ass voice..
  • Edgar from Athens, GreeceA metal masterpiece, without a doubt!Maiden have so great lyrics and this is one of their best!!I guess there might be an inspiration from Victor Hugo's novella "The Last Days of a Sentenced Man"(or something like that,because i know it in greek!).Steve has inspired from many books,anyway!But i would like to highlight Bruce's work here:he is totally incomparable,he is the only one that can sing this properly!UP THE IRONS and UP BRUCE!!!!!!!
  • Alex from Newcastle Upon Tyne, United KingdomI have to agree with you Anthony.
  • Nick from Cairns, Australiahey ranjit, i think i saw some of that live footage in bangalore. If anyone has seen the documentary, global metal , then you'll know what I mean. Whoever hasnt seen global metal i reccomend them to see it, it is a great film about the growth of heavy metal and the countries metal has impacted on. Its also a sequel of the previous documentary, metal: a headbangers journey so its a must see. Anyway great song, i'm so surprised how much metal bands have coverered this, but the best cover i've heard is Iced Earth's cover.
  • Anthony from Park City, Uti might be going out on a limb here but i'll just come out and say it: The greatest metal song of all time there I said it agree or disagree I don't care it still is the greatest metal song of all time
  • Jason from Syracuse, NyAlso Machine Head covered this song. Personally I think that both Machine Head and Cradle of filth did a very good job with this song, for there genre. Though nothing will ever come close to the original.
  • Nathan from Marion, Iamy all time favorite song
  • Patrick from Boston, MaWhen I first heard this song, I immediately thought of a short story I read in high school.

    My own personal belief is that this song is based on the classic short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". Go to this website.
    http://www.answers.com/topic/an-occurrence-at-owl-creek-bridge-story-5

    Maiden cannot copy the story word for word, so my opinion is that they changed some of the context.

    Things to think about:
    -both the song analyze the feelings of someone about to be hanged-the doom, fear, confusion.
    - Iron Maiden loves to use war as a topic in their songs, which is part of the main story line.
    -Maiden also refers to "illusion". The story is based on the illusion of the fated soldier's escape.
    -Maiden's long guitar solos in the song could, very intelligently, represent the soldier's many plights during his "escape", followed by the reality that he never really escaped.
    -The band is intelligent and well-read. I could see Bruce Dickinson using the theme of this classic story as the basis for a song.
  • Lee from Brigg, EnglandMAIDEN F*****G RULE
  • Ranjit from Madras, IndiaI finally had my wish fulfilment when I got see Iron Maiden live at Bangalore, India. Having grown up on their music - with Number of the Beast being the first IM-album that i heard with some standout tracks such as the title track, Children of the Damned and of course - Hallowed be thy name. My college band used to play this - how hard they practised to get the rolls and the riffs!

    Back to 2007 - and that show in Bangalore, after their last number they quit the stage, and the crowd screamed for more! a couple of minutes later they were all back and guess what they played at long last? HALLOWED BE THY NAME - it couldnt have been more purrfect!
  • Chris from Abingdon, Vathis song was covered by Cradle, but anyone who has any love for this band will detest the version that cradle came out with, Dani Filth's voice butchers this song so horribally its not even funny...
  • Devon from Westerville, Ohthis song kicks a**. one of my favorites from Iron Maiden.
  • Jordan from Hammond, LaI love the way the instruments pait a picture for the song. You know how, after the protagonist of the story talks about his soul going on? I picture the instrumental after that him being hung, then the continues "Bang Bang" in the background are inmates going crazy trying to escape from their cells.
  • Evan from Otway, OhEDDIE KICKS ASS!!! Now that thats outta the way...this is my favorite Maiden song, hands down. The lyrics, the music, the way it goes from slow to faster to...well faster....gah this song owns! MAIDEN KICKS RECTUM!!
  • Ben from Nyc, MsGREATEST METAL SONG EVER. when they played this live in camden in 2006, i swear to god they allmost friggin blew the stadium to peices
  • Brooke from Otway, OhI love this song, probably my favorite Iron Maiden song along with The Number of the Beast...its so great but yet sad...Iron Maiden has never had a bad album which is great because most bands normally have at least one or two or something.....LONG LIVE MAIDEN!!!
  • Alberto from Carpi, ItalyGreat song. There are at least 3-4 Maiden songs that I prefer, but I think this has the best lyrics. So deep and touching.
  • J.e. from Anchorage, AkGood solid metal.
  • Humberto from Saltillo, Mexicoin all the songs that Staeve Harris(the god of metal) has written, you can feel like if you where there, but when you here Hallowed be thy Name, you really get into the character, and you feel like you are dying. The melodic sadness of the guitars, the dessperate screams of bruce, the rude drums and the dark bass of steve makes me get nostalgic.
    This is definitly the best song ever. No match.
    Up the Irons.
    Viva MÃ?xico!
  • Kyle from Prince George, CanadaThis is an excellent song, well deserving if it was called the greatest 'Maiden song ever. and because of its greatness, i recently wrote a paper about this very song for a school project (i got 100% on it :D).. so here is a light skimming of what this song means, and quotes to prove this.......................
    Hallowed Be Thy Name is obviously a song about imprisionment, and what goes through one's mind during this time. The first two lines, "I'm waiting in my cold cell when the bell begins to chime/Reflecting on my past life and it doesn't have much time" tell you that the man is in prison, and that he does not have much time, meaning he is to be executed. The mentioning of 'Gallows Pole' indicates that the death would be done by hanging, therefore setting the story in older times. The song also outlines most of the stages that one goes through after knowing he is to die. "Can it be there's been some sort of an error .... Is it really the end not some crazy dream" shows the first stage, denial.. the man is searching for a way out of the situation. "It's not easy to stop from screaming" is the most obvious stage, fear of death. "Tears they flow but why am I crying? After all am I not afraid of dying Don't believe that there never is an end" shows the acceptance stage of death, and it also shows that the man understands that no one can live forever, and this is his end. This song also shows how people can turn to religion when near death, "If there's a God then why has he let me die?" is an almost plea for there to be a God, and for some deity to save the man. The death man ultimately finds religion, for his soul is sent to heaven, and he sees the truth, the light you might say, "Mark my words believe my soul lives on Don't worry now that I have gone I've gone beyond to see the truth". The final three lines summarize the whole song, if only very vaguely. "When you know that your time is close at hand Maybe then you'll begin to understand Life down there is just a strange illusion" .. this means, when you near death, many things come to your attention, and only then can you truely believe in yourself, and what you were mean to do, and in the afterlife, what was meant to be. -----------Well i hope you liked my explaination of the song :D (P.S. im not that other Kyle .. he cant explain it at all LMFAO.. ) --- hope this wasnt too long, but hopefully this shows the depth of Maiden as well, most of their songs are like this.. well not quite.. but if you like epic songs, check out their new album, A Matter Of Life And Death.. its excellent!!
  • Rob from PretoriaYes, one of their best songs by far along with paschendale
  • Anthony from Parsippany, NjForgot to mention "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" also as one of the BEST ever!
  • Anthony from Parsippany, NjBesides 'Phantom', the BEST friggin Maiden song. Rikki hits the money here....perfect analogy of Maiden vs. Metallica and the like. While Metallica is good, definitely...they are NOT Maiden and really can't touch Steve Harris' masterful song writing ability...Bruce too. The thing here is...Maiden writes thought provoking music seemingly EVERY SONG. Ghengis Kahn??? Are you kidding me? Brilliant! You reaaly feel like you're on the battle field! But, back to 'Hallowed'....it gives me chills....putting myself into the main character's mind set as he's just about to be hung....the lyrics, the music.....unbelievable.
  • Phil from Niagara Falls, CanadaThis song= Iron Maidens Best
    I can also play the riff on the guitar =D
  • Myrna Maria from Tegucigalpa, HondurasThis is my boyfriend´s personal favorite of Iron Maiden! He almost died when they played it live on a metal festival in Germany two years ago.
  • Apoorv from Bhopal, Indiakooler than thje koolest.i recommend maiden fans check out afraid to shoot strangers
  • Rikki from Ashtabula, OhThis song is right up there with War Pigs and Master of Puppets for greatest metal song ever made. I have always said Maiden is better than Metallica, though not many agree which is odd. I can understand when they disagree with me picking Megadeth WAY over Metallica, but not Maiden. They were there before Metallica and stayed longer. Even though Metallica is still releasing music, Maiden has been MUCH better over the years. Anyways, this song is tied with the Trooper for my favorite song by them. The whole Album of Number of the Beast is incredable and not a bad song on it. In my opinion, the best metal album.
  • Matt from Calgary, CanadaThis song is probably one of the best that Steve Harris ever wrote, if you liked this one check out: Brave New World, Stranger in a Strange land, Dream of Mirrors, Infanit Dreams and pretty much any other Iron Maiden song ever written, with the exception of Quest for Fire wich is probably the only bad song steve harris ever wrote.
  • Eighteen from Marysville, MiIron Maiden's "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is a metal masterpiece as is the whole album "Number of the Beast" Up The Irons!
  • Noah from Mt. Eden, Kybest maiden song ever
  • Kyle from Montreal, CanadaWow I cant believe Im the only one whos written a comment for this song
  • Alexander from Newburgh, NyIron Maiden is one of my favorite bands, and this is one of my favorite songs by them
  • Phil from Niagara Falls, Canadageez, i just started listening to maiden and i already like them!
  • Ben from Chinatown, Hong Kongit was funny when maiden was playing this song at the 05' ozzfest and during the intro part, bruce was cussing out jack osbourne in the crowd
  • Erik from Somers, NyThis is probably Maiden's greatest achievement.
  • Jason from Bellingham, Wairon maiden is one of the top five best bands on earth they kick-ass
  • Leah Peah from Glen Burnie, Mdi love this song n they kicked ass at ozzfest2005!!!
  • Brian from Meriden, CtThanks, Kyle and PerfectStranger, for the clarification. I never put together the idea of imprisonment and the lyrics of scripture and impending doom. Another awesome Maiden song.
  • Perfectstranger from Lisbon, PortugalThe Gallows Pole is the place of the execution (normally by hanging)
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