"The Evil That Men Do" as written by Adrian Frederick Smith, Bruce Dickinson and Stephen Percy Harris....
Love is a razor and I walked the line on that silver blade
Slept in the dust with his daughter,
Her eyes red with the slaughter of innocence
But I will pray for her, I will call her name out loud
I would bleed for her, if I could only see her now
Living on a razor's edge, balancing on a ledge
Living on a razor's edge, balancing on a ledge
Balancing on a ledge, living on a razor's edge
Balancing on a ledge, you know, you know

The evil that men do lives on and on
The evil that men do lives on and on
The evil that men do lives on and on
The evil that men do lives on and on

Circle of fire my baptism of joy at an end it seems
The seventh lamb slain, the book of life opens before me
And I will pray for you, someday I may return
Don't you cry for me, beyond is where I learn

Living on a razor's edge, balancing on a ledge
Living on a razor's edge, you know, you know

The evil that men do lives on and on
The evil that men do lives on and on
The evil that men do lives on and on
The evil that men do lives on and on

Living on a razor's edge, balancing on a ledge
Living on a razor's edge, you know

The evil that men do lives on and on
The evil that men do lives on and on, yeah
The evil that men do lives on and on
The evil that men do lives on and on
The evil, the evil that men do
The evil, the evil, the evil that men do


Lyrics submitted by numb

"The Evil That Men Do" as written by Bruce Dickinson Adrian Frederick Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Evil That Men Do song meanings
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  • +11
    General CommentKristaps is almost right. It is based on the concept album story in Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. I know the story very well, as I bought this—tape—when it first came out. I was a teen at the time and very into it. It's still one of the greatest albums ever, iMHO. Anyhow, the concept is about a boy who is born with certain mystical powers—clairvoyance being the most prominent one. For reasons that are not clear, both God and Satan want him for their own, so to speak. Initially, Satan wants him killed in the womb (see "Moonchild"): "Be the mother of a birth-strangled babe." Apparently God sees potential for good in him, and Satan wants that stopped. When the "hero's" mother turns down Lucifer's request and the boy is born, it becomes a sort of cosmic struggle for the child's life on earth, and ultimately his eternity. One way the devil seeks to accomplish is goal is for his beautiful daughter to seduce the boy (who at this point is a young man): "Slept in the dust with his daughter, her eyes red with the slaughter of innocents." (above lyrics inaccurately say "innocence." The plan works double, because she more than seduces him; he falls in love with her. Hence, the actually pretty touching lyrics: "I will pray for her; I will call her name out loud." It seems he believes that even the devil's daughter is not beyond redemption. The song concludes intentionally ambiguous (Bruce Dickinson confirms this intent). The seventh lamb who is slain is the "hero" himself. For reasons that are unclear, it appears the "hero" has been murdered (perhaps in a trap set by Satan's daughter), and he is standing before God, as the Book of Life (a Biblical image confirmation of one's redemption or lack thereof by God) opens before him. He states that he will pray for—someone. The devil's daughter, perhaps? Again, maybe he hopes that she can still shed the ways of her father. He states, "Beyond is where I learn." This is the closest to suggesting that he overcame the tricks of the devil and will move on to Heaven, which is where he will learn, and perhaps he may even return from someday. If it were hell, neither would be an option.
    But all in all, it is a song about his falling in love with the devil's daughter, his agony over the effects of the evil schemes against him as well as his own failings, and his quest for redemption and the road that remains ahead after his death.
    deathwayon February 04, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe quote is from William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". The exact line(s) are: "The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones, So let it be with Caesar".

    The main line draws from this now commonplace saying.

    The end seems to referrence the Revelations of John, "The seventh lamb slain, the book of life opens before me". The following lyrics seem to support this as well.

    The first seems a bit out of place, but "Love is a razor" is another quote from somewhere.

    All in all this song is totally killer and Maiden rules!

    \m/ UP THE IRONS! \m/
    Otmon March 22, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentComes from a Shakespearean phrase "The good that men do, is often interred with their bones. But the Evil that men do lives on"
    pretty damn wiked song tho. The video of it live from Rock in Rio is particually good :D
    BeastWithinon September 17, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song was origianlly on the 7th Son of a 7th Son concept album, where all the songs follow a certain story.
    This song does as well.

    This is a great song, and is criminally overlooked.
    Ddaduttaon November 06, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti hate how so many people on this damn site arrogantly proclaim every song to be about drugs. far out. shut up already
    ialmostbelieveon April 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThese lyrics #$%&ing kill me:

    Love is a razor and I walked the line on that silver blade
    Slept in the dust with his daughter,
    Her eyes red with the slaughter of innocence
    But I will pray for her, I will call her name out loud
    I would bleed for her, if I could only see her now

    I can't hear them without crying. They're the story of my life, man. A demonic woman ruined my life, but still I would give anything to be with her again..
    Operations666on November 09, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIts not about drugs, such conclussions overlook soo much of the rhetorical stratagies in the song
    Rebbal Aceon July 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is not about fucking drugs...
    max-d-()on January 08, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about Romeo & Juliet.

    'slept in the dust with his daughter'
    'Him' sounds suspiciously like Lord Capulet

    'Her eyes red with the slaughter of innocence'
    Juliet has to suffer because of the slaughter of innocence, the killing of Mercutio

    'But I will pray for you
    And some day I may return
    Don't you cry for me
    Beyond is where I learn'

    All that is after he is banished from Verona.

    And the dust part might refer to the fact that their engagement was secret.

    Awesome song.
    Setallicaon January 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentby the way - i forgot to mention that this is one of my favourite maiden songs. i love it to bits
    ialmostbelieveon April 28, 2006   Link

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