This song was inspired by the short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. They both describe the gruesome murder of two girls in Rue Morgue, Paris. In the song, an Englishman hears the girls being murdered, runs for the Rue Morgue, and finds their corpses. He gets blood on his hands, however, and when a crowd gathers everyone thinks he's guilty. He can't speak French, so he can't explain and becomes a fugitive from the law. He eventually leaves France to keep from being hunted, but is still so paranoid that simply being stared at makes him think he's recognized as a murderer. As a result, he never stops trying to escape the French police, no matter where he goes.
This was the first time Steve Harris performed the bass with a significant amount of harmonics.
Another track on the album, "Innocent Exile," is the continuing story of the fugitive in this song (Iron Maiden was into sequel songs; see "Charlotte the Harlot" and "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"). The album itself had a running lyrical theme of death and murder (hence the title), and the cover art shows Eddie murdering someone clinging to him with an axe.
The band In Flames did a cover of this for the 1997 compilation album Made In Tribute - A Tribute to The Best Band In A Whole Goddamn World!>>
Suggestion credit: Brett - Edmonton, Canada, for all above
Jim from Long Beach, CaGreat song. I love Dianno's voice but for the long run Dickerson's voice is the key to their on going success..
Emarkm from Cheshire, United KingdomTo Rae from Sydney: yes, as you say in the story the killer is found to be an orangutan, but Maiden changed the story so that the narrator of the song indicates he is mad and may in fact have been the murderer after all.
Sasuke Uchiha from Hidden Leaves Village, JapanThis totally makes me wanna bang my head. *rocks out while Naruto nor Sakura aren't looking*
Sebastian from Fredrikstad, United Statesyes it charlotte the harlot then 22 acacia avenue
Rae from Sydney, Australiadid the dude actually kill the girls, cause at the end doesnt the lyric say something about the doctor saying he had done it before?
and what relationship does this actually have with Poe's work?
Poe's story pretty much involves, mr Dupin as 'detective' who decides to take case for his daughter as her fiance is being accused of committing crime. Dupin ultimately deduces that an evil orangutan killed the people in the Rue Morgue...
unless it is meant to be that the dude is just an offshoot story who was present, or is Harris appropriating the story?
Steve from London, EnglandSurely the sequel song to "Charlotte the Harlot" was "22 Acacia Avenue", and not Seventh Son?!?