"Aces High" as written by and Stephen Percy Harris....
There goes the siren that warns of the air raid
Then comes the sound of the guns sending flak
Out for the scramble we've got to get airborne
Got to get up for the coming attack.

Jump in the cockpit and start up the engines
Remove all the wheelblocks there's no time to waste
Gathering speed as we head down the runway
Gotta get airborne before it's too late.

Running, scrambling, flying
Rolling, turning, diving, going in again
Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die
Run, live to fly, fly to live. Aces high.

Move in to fire at the mainstream of bombers
Let off a sharp burst and then turn away
Roll over, spin round and come in behind them
Move to their blindsides and firing again.

Bandits at 8 O'clock move in behind us
Ten ME-109's out of the sun
Ascending and turning our spitfires to face them
Heading straight for them I press down my guns

Rolling, turning, diving
Rolling, turning, diving, going in again
Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die
Run, live to fly, fly to live,
Aces high.


Lyrics submitted by numb

"Aces High" as written by Stephen Percy Harris

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Aces High song meanings
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  • +6
    General Commentmy grandad listens to this song. He was an RAF pilot during WWII. He says it sums it up perfectly.
    Emtee-Shellon May 13, 2003   Link
  • +4
    General CommentExplanation for Americans:
    The Supermarine Spitfire was the RAF's (British Royal Air Force) best fighter in WWII (for attacking other fighters at least) and is now legendary and known to almost everyone in Britain. The Messerschmitt was the Luftwaffe's (germen air force) main fighter, and was regularly used for escorting bombers. This song is can't possibly be about Pearl Harbour, because neither the Japanese or the USAAF used either aircraft.

    After France was occupied by German forces, large areas of England were within bomber range for the Luftwaffe. The song is obviously set during the Battle of Britain, as Axis bombers flew over London escorted by ME-109s, trying to destroy Britain's capacity to resist a land invasion. The Spitfires would have gone after the escorting fighters while Hawker Hurricanes took out the bombers.
    "Flak" = Anti-aircraft fire
    "Scramble" = Getting out to the planes and into the air as fast as possible when incoming bombers are detected. RAF pilots would wait inside at their airbase, and a siren would sound when Fighter Command ordered them to take off.
    Ace = A highly skilled fighter pilot.

    It's interesting to compare this with The Trooper, which take a very different view of war. They seems to actually celebrate the heroism of the pilots in Aces High. I suppose Iron Maiden recognise that it was not just pointless conflict and that Britain was actually saved from a Nazi invasion.
    BCMMon October 05, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIs it about the Battle of Britain?

    I know that the spitfires were British during WW2 but i don't know if the ME-109's were German or not. It would make sense that they were though.

    The air raid siren, scrambling to get airborne to fight...sounds a lot like the Battle of Britain to me.
    Mitch1on August 17, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentYeah, I love this song. Is it just me or are all of Iron Maiden's best songs their war songs?

    "Aces High", "Paschendale", "Where Eagles Dare" and "The Trooper" for instance...
    6th_sadistic_sniperon May 12, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentExactly. This is a truly brilliant song. It's definately about all the dog fights in world war 2 happening during the battle of Britain. That's fight between planes, not literally between dogs by the way. A song about dogs fighting wouldn't be a good song.
    UpTheIronson September 23, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWWII and the Battle of Britain. That's this song. ME 109 refers to the Meessersmicht BF 109E series, the choice of aircraft for most of the German aces, though the Flocke Wluff 190 and several other German aircraft were much faster and beter handlers than 109s. That's not to say it outperformed the Spitfire, which was a more stable and reliable plane with more firepower and a better dive and roll capability. But I won't go on a warplane rant here...
    Great song and a nice tribute to the RAF and everything they did for not just Britain but the world at large. For nearly 3 years, these guys kept the Germans at bay over England and prevented Hitler from following through with the invasion of England, which could have very well succeeded and defeated the Allies in Europe.
    crpb1on May 21, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthe greatest metal band ever. a great song too.
    TheSkankingRaton May 29, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love this part of Churchill's speech they added as intro when playing live:

    [...] We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
    We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air,
    We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be,
    We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds,
    We shall fight in the fields, and in the streets,
    We shall fight in the hills; We shall never surrender, [...]

    June 4, 1940
    House of Commons
    Sir Winston Churchill
    We Shall Fight on the Beaches
    chanceon June 14, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThat is damn good point. But they other great songs too
    UpTheIronson May 28, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about how The Royal Air Force defended Britain agaisnt over 5000 German bombers in the beginning of WWII

    "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" -Winston Churchill
    SMUSER17010578on December 08, 2004   Link

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