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When it comes to lyrical storytelling, Iron Maiden is definitely one of my favorite and probably most frequently cited sources.  This one, like so many of their songs, is very interesting.  To hear it is to go on a musical journey into another world, I can almost picture it actually as it’s happening, and to me for a song to have that power, that the music almost tells the story itself, the words are just add-on, I think that kind of thing is just really cool.

It’s easy enough to simply enjoy the story for what it is, which often I like to do.  It’s a story about a man who sees the other side and lives to tell about it.  There’s certainly potential for all kinds of deeper meaning, I have my own thoughts even on the subject (something along the lines of enjoying life and respecting, but not fearing, death), but any way you look at it, it’s a very interesting story.

“Dance of Death”

Let me tell you a story to chill the bones
About a thing that I saw
One night wandering in the Everglades
I’d one drink, but no more
I was rambling, enjoying the bright moonlight
Gazing up at the stars
Not aware of a presence so near to me
Watching my every move
Feeling scared, and I fell to my knees
As something rushed me from the trees
Took me to an unholy place
And that is where I fell from grace
Then they summoned me over to join in with them
To the dance of the dead
Into the circle of fire I followed them
Into the middle I was led…

As if time had stopped still I was numb with fear but still, I wanted to go
And the blaze of the fire did no hurt upon me, as I walked onto the coals
And I felt I was in a trance, and my spirit was lifted from me
And if only someone had the chance
to witness what happened to me
And I danced, and I pranced, and I sang with them, all had death in their eyes
Lifeless figures, they were undead, all of them, they had ascended from Hell…

As I danced with the dead, my free spirit was laughing and howling down at me
Below, my undead body just danced the circle of dead
Until the time came to reunite us both, my spirit came back down to me
I didn’t know if I was alive or dead as the others all joined in with me

By  luck then a skirmish started and took the attention away from me
When they took their gaze from me was the moment that I fled
I ran like hell, faster than the wind, but behind I did not glance
One thing that I did not dare was to look just straight ahead…

When you know that your time has come around, you know you’ll be prepared for it
Say your last goodbyes to everyone and drink, and say a prayer for it

When you’re lying in your sleep, when you’re lying in your bed
And you wake from your dreams to go dancing with the dead
When you’re lying in your sleep, when you’re lying in your bed
And you wake from your dreams to go dancing with the dead

To this day I guess I’ll never know
Just why they let me go
But I’ll never go dancing no more
‘Til I dance with the dead…


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