This song is based on the Crimean War, which was fought by the Russians and the Ottoman Empire (England, France, and Sardinia). There are several mentions of the Russians such as, "The mighty roar of the Russian guns" and "When a Russian gets me in his sights."
Suggestion credit: Michael Olsen - West Hills, CA
The opening with the galloping horses is based on The Charge Of The Light Brigade, a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Suggestion credit: Rae - Sydney, Australia
Iron Maiden released a live version as a single that was recorded at Iceland's Reykjavik Egishorllin Stadium in June 2005. The single was released to promote their double CD/DVD album Death On The Road, and hit #5 in the UK.
The B-side of the single was a cover of the Jethro Tull song "Cross-Eyed Mary."
Iron Maiden developed a beer named after this song. In 2013 the band unveiled the 4.8% alcohol Trooper Ale, which is produced by Cheshire brewery Robinsons. Bruce Dickinson said: "I'm a lifelong fan of traditional English ale, I thought I'd died and gone to heaven when we were asked to create our own beer I have to say that I was very nervous. Robinsons are the only people I have had to audition for in 30 years. Their magic has been to create the alchemical wedding of flavour and texture that is Trooper. I love it."
Groovus Maximus from Boston, MaVery cool mention of the B-side here ("Cross-Eyed Mary" by Jethro Tull), hope you all get a chance to hear it someday -- it will absolutely blow your mind! I'll never forget the 1st time I heard it, back in '83 on the "Two Hour Metal Hour" on WHJY / Providence, RI. It was after midnight, my room was dark, and the opening trills sent shivers down my spine as I tried to figure out why it sounded like I knew the song -- Maiden stomps a mudhole in Tull's version you see, with overdriven electric guitars replacing the gentle flute twitters, Nicko pounding in with the first note and "Arry already galloping from the get-go... When Bruce shouted out the familiar opening line, "Who would be a poor man, a beggar-man, a thief / If he had a rich man in his hands?" an octave higher than Ian Anderson & with the Irons rocking full-force behind him, it hit me (and never let me go!). This may be the BEST cover EVER -- it's certainly up there with the likes of "All Along The Watchtower" (Hendrix demolishing Dylan), "Dancing In The Street" (Van Halen vandalizing Martha & The Vandellas), or "Set Me Free" (Saxon smashing Sweet) -- check out any or all of 'em!
John from Satsuma, AlThis song is from the British perspective of the Battle of Balaclava, October 1854, and is inspired by Tennyson's poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, which is also about that very battle. It also serves as a wonderful compare/contrast piece in my classroom - the students read the poem, listen to the song, and compare/contrast. A number of Iron Maiden songs can be used to introduce history lessons, and beat reading books hands down!
Joaquin from Juarez, Mexicowhen you play the bass parts to this song, you don't play bass, you gallop!
Luke from Dayton, OhThat is one of the best intros ever, so epic
Jeff from Casa Grande, AzEddie is coming for you in your dreams with a death-grip on the Union Jack to the thunderous sounds of The Trooper dialed up to 11 in the background. His mission is to bring you back to the holy king where you will be put into the Iron Maiden for you insolence.
Corey from West Portsmouth, Oh, AfghanistanI know this is way out there... but for some reason... I'd like to see Green Day cover this song...
Avery from Bucksport, MeOhh and did i mention that this song does not caompare to the wicker man!!! i rocks but the wicker man is more extreme!!
Avery from Bucksport, MeThis song is Extrem!!!But it bugs the crap outta me when people only hear Extreme songs from thos stupid giutar hero games and rockband! if your a real maiden worshiper you would have known this song way before guitar hero came out!!
Billy from Cresco, PaI don't know if this song was based on the Crimean war. Don't forget, the song never references which side the singer was fighting on. All he mentions is that he's fighting the russians "as the russians fire another round" It could very well be the napoleonic wars or the crimean war
V-starr from ?????????, Mithis song rocks! it took me FOREVER to find a free download of it but it was worth the hard core searching! and it rocks on GH2
Robbie from Nashville, TnThis song OWNS
Lee from Brigg, Englandthis is one of my fave songs ever MAIDEN RULE
Max from Long Beach, NyThere a band out there called "children of bodem" and they did a remake of this song.Its amazing its faster and louder and the riffs much stronger.But maiden is still better than them.I saw them live in union dale new york and they were amazing(the tickets were exspensive).
Josh from Los Angeles, Cathis is my all time favorite song. but a lot of my so called "friends" say they dont like maiden.
Jarrad Vd from Perth, AustraliaThis song rokz its 1 of mi favourite songz next 2 master of puppetz i luv tha intro riff.
Zac from Sydney, Australiaup the irons baby. got peace of mind for my birthday... great album. i hadn't actually heard the trooper then but i listened to the album start to end and when "track 5" started i was like 'whoah, what's this.." look at the back of the cd and there's the trooper. shoulda guessed
Jordan from Calgary, CanadaGreat song, love the music and lyrics.
Ringgo from Montclair, CaMaiden truly rules as always, and this song shows why. Yup, it's the gallopping bass, yes its the vocals, and yes it's the historical basis for it..(they should play this if England and Russia could play an Olympic ice hockey game one day)...simply one of the best rock songs ever.
Kara from Cadillac, MiThis is Iron Maiden's "anthem song" aside from Number Of The Beast & Run To The Hills. Probably because it is the most recognized Maiden tune. I have been listen in to Iron Maiden for about 6 years now an they had a heavy impact on my playing style as a guitarist. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith are 2 of the most talented guitarists and song writers ever. I'm not really a huge fan of Janick Gers though. I give him credit for tryin' but he isn't the lead player that Adrian Smith is. In fact I think that if it came down to it, Adrian would kick Janick's a** on guitar. Adrian is a phenomenal guitarist and Janick cant even compare. the main problem I have with Janick is that his leads all sound repetitive and the same. it sounds to me like he's using the same 2 or 3 scales over and over. it gets rather annoying. he sounds somewhat like Yingvay Malmstine (sorry if I spelled his name wrong). With Adrian Smith his notes seem to fall over one another and you never know what's coming next. He is also a very technical player and uses very difficult licks & riffs.(Check out Rime of the Ancient Mariner & Back In The Village from Powerslave, Alexander The Great and Caught Somewhere In Time from the Somewhere In Time album, Die With Your Boots On & Flight Of Icarus from Piece of Mind, 22 Acacia Avenue & Number Of The Beast from the Number Of the Beast album) But those are only a few of Adrian?s best leads (in my opinion). I also love Dave Murray. He never fails to amaze me when he plays a lead. He has a very clean and smooth style that makes what he's playing sound as if it's effortless and simple. but if you try to play it you have a b**** of a time figuring it out(speaking from personal experiences). (Check out Phantom Of The Opera & Transylvania from the 1st album, Wrathchild & Killers from the Killers album, To Tame A Land & Where Eagles Dare on the Piece Of Mind album.) If you want some good Janick leads listen to the third solo in No More Lies & the lead to Face In the Sand on the Dance Of Death album. Some more favorites of mine by Maiden are Hallowed Be Thy Name, Infinite Dreams, The Evil That Men Do, Brave New World, Dream Of Mirrors, Out Of The Silent Planet, Nomad, Wicker Man, Fear of the Dark, Ides Of March, Prowler, Children of the Damned, Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Deja Vu, Wasted Years, Total Eclipse, Strange World, and most of the others including this song. - Rob Cook
Paul from Warrenpoint, IrelandThis is diffenitly Maidens greatest song, although all the others come close. It is just so powerful.
Brandy from Seattle, WaI LOVE this song! This is definitely the best Iron Maiden song that I've heard. The vocals are great and the guitar is awesome! It's impossible for me to listen to this song without singing and doing the "Air guitar".
Devon from Westerville, Ohthis song is awesome. the main riff is a bitch to play on bass the way Steve plays it. Iron Maiden rules.
Mark from Cebu City, OtherExtremely awesome song, the best vocals by Bruce ever. In fact, practically the most awesome Iron Maiden song! This kicks ass big time!
Jason from Bellingham, Wayeah i dont know what the hell those others where saying this is a kick ass song
Anthony from Howell, NjThe first Iron Maiden song I've heard and I love it.
Bob from Fresno, Cairon maiden rocks and so does this song great riff
Johhn from Middletown, NjYou can't hear this song without singing it. Great vocals.
Steven from Penzance, EnglandAs it mentions in the songfacts section this track is indeed about the Crimean War Between Russia and Britain. It's one of Iron Maiden's all time classics. Im getting the CD single of it this coming Monday, and so should you.
Rae from Sydney, Australiai used to think this song was really lame because of the lyrics, but i love it heaps now... maybe cause after i heard the lyrics of Quest for Fire i realised these are good :p its really run... btw y do aussies have a higher % on this site?
Cmcb from Canberra, AustraliaNot the only one...This song Rocks!...as does pretty much any song by iron maiden...
Cameron from Cairns, Australiawow. Am I the only person who likes this song? Helloooo?? Anybody??