Hallowed Be Thy Name is the eigth and final track on the British heavy metal band Iron Maidens 3rd studio 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. 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.
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.
The cover 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, 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.
Im waiting in my cold cell when the bell begins to chime
Reflecting on my past life and it doesnt have much time
Cos at 5 o clock they take me to the gallows pole
The sands of time for me are running low
When the priest comes to read me the last rights
I take a look through the bars at the last sights
Of a world that has gone very wrong for me
Can it be theres some sort of error
Hard to stop the surmounting terror
Is it really the end not some crazy dream?
Somebody please tell me that Im dreaming
Its not so easy to stop from screaming
But words escape me when I try to speak
Tears they flow but why am I crying
After all I am not afraid of dying
Dont believe that there is never an end
As the guards march me out to the courtyard
Someone calls from a cell God be with you
If theres a God then why has he let me die?
As I walk all my life drifts before me
And though the end is near Im not sorry
Catch my soul cos its willing to fly away
Mark my words please believe my soul lives on
Please dont worry now that I have gone
Ive gone beyond to see the truth
When you know that your time is close at hand
Maybe then youll begin to understand
Life down there is just a strange illusion. Iron Maiden – Hallowed Be Thy Name (Studio Version)