"Gangland" as written by Clive Ronald Burr and Adrian Frederick Smith....
Shadows may hide you but also may be your grave
You're running today maybe tomorrow you'll be saved
You pray for daylight to save you for a while
You wonder if your children will face the killer's smile

Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, murder's up for sale
Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, where jail birds die

Face at the window leers into your own
But it's only your reflection still you tremble in your bones
How long can you hide? How long till they come?
A rat in a trap but you've got to survive

Once you were glad to be free for a while
The air tasted good and the world was your friend
Then came the day when the hard times began
Now your alone but alive for how long?

A knife at your throat another body on the pile
A contract to keep and it's service with a smile
Murder for vengeance or murder for gain
Death on the streets or a blackened out jail

Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, murder's up for sale
Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, where jail birds die

In Gangland you tell no tales

Lyrics submitted by numb

"Gangland" as written by Kenneth Smith Bobby Turner

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Gangland song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about a formet gangmember who's left his life of crime behind, and is now a father. He is constantly on the watchout for his former friends, he's scared theyll come for him and kill him and/or his family for his betrayal. He used to enjoy his life of freedom, but now he's paranoid, and for good reasons too!
    AjaxWarrioron January 29, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWasn't too impressed with this one. Had okay drumming and guitar, I liked the lyrics. But I don't really like the way Bruce Dickinson things this, not even the chorus.
    Teufelon September 01, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt took me a while to get used to this song, but I think it's pretty good.

    It kind of reminds me of the movie Mad Max 2 for some reason.. haha.
    prowler88on October 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthey make it sound like they r talkin about a really bad prison or something. I dont know just a thought
    spooner113on April 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfkn awsum drum intro
    clive burr was such a gun, but mcbrain is kik ass 2
    maidenforceon January 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhy do most Iron Maiden fans hate this song? I kinda like the jazzy-ness of it. If you are a drummer you can appreciate it more.
    Luke50001on July 24, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnother great song - don't know why so many people criticize it. I think the lyrics are very evocative, they really tell a story and put you in it.

    Anyway, a pretty straight-forward thriller/adventure story based on Gangster films and such - just some guy on the run from the mob. Some of the books on Iron Maiden have pointed out this whole album seems to be about "escape" of one form or another, and this song certainly fits the bill.
    Heavymetalharpon August 22, 2016   Link

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