Hallowed Be Thy Name" is a song written by Steve Harris for the 1982 Iron Maiden album The Number of The Beast.
The song describes a man's thoughts just before being sent to the gallows. He begins to feel terror and realizes he really is afraid of dying, despite claims that he's not ("tears flow, but why am I crying?/after all, I'm not afraid of dying/don't I believe that there never is an end?"). At the end of the vocal section, the man gets executed; this is followed by a long instrumental section, culminating in his ambiguous final words, "Hallowed be thy name". When the album "Number of the Beast" was profiled on VH1's Classic Albums, Steve Harris said the song was about "having faith, whether it be in religion or whatever, but could that faith fail you at the last second when you need it most?"
"Hallowed Be Thy Name" begins with a slow tempo and builds up later in the song. Bruce Dickinson showcases his wide vocal range and power at both slow and fast tempo. This song is considered one of Iron Maiden's classics, and is a staple at live concerts. The first guitar solo is played by Dave Murray, and the second by Adrian Smith. Since Smith left the band and was replaced by Janick Gers, Gers has played Smith's solo, even after Smith returned to the band. All the solos vary from concert to concert. During many live performances, one of the guitarists, normally Janick Gers or Dave Murray, will make a large amount of guitar feedback or force the whammy bar on their guitar high up to create very high pitched sounds.
The cover of the live version recorded in 1993 depicts Bruce Dickinson being impaled from behind by Eddie, in the form of Satan. The same idea of Eddie killing the departing vocalist had previously been used on the cover of the Venezuelan release of Maiden Japan (with him holding the severed head of Paul Di'Anno). This theme was also used during Bruce Dickinson's farewell performance, during the Raising Hell concert, where horror Illusionist Simon Drake, after seemingly killing Dickinson in an iron maiden torture device, gets impaled by Eddie.
The song has also been released as a live single from the 1993 album "A Real Dead One" and on The Best of the Beast, and has become a live staple for Iron Maiden. The band recorded a newer version of this track in 2006 and it was used as a b-sides on the "Different World" single.
Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band from Leyton in east London, formed in 1975 by bassist Steve Harris. Since their inception, the group have released a collective total of thirty-one albums: fifteen studio albums; seven live albums; four EPs; and five compilations.
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