"Dance Of Death" as written by Janick Gers and Stephen Percy Harris....
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
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


Lyrics submitted by ricoetc

"Dance of Death" as written by Stephen Percy Harris Janick Gers

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Dance Of Death song meanings
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49 Comments

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  • +4
    General CommentI think this song is just a fantasy story made up by steve harris, hes really good at that kinda stuff
    Painkilleron January 04, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentLyrically, I think it sounds almost like a sequel to the awesome "The Number of the Beast."
    TheJoeInMeon May 11, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentBrilliant new sound on the Dance of Death album, headlined by this brilliant title song. This song was awesome when I heard it live. Bruce is just great.
    UpTheIronson May 28, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI'm not sure, but the lyrics strongly suggest a witch's commune in the woods, like the ones that that the puritans were always accusing each other of in 17th century America.
    I would also venture a connection to "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller. The imagery is powerfully reminiscent of the short story "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
    Solinuson May 28, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentits about someone who has had a near death expeirience. firstly the everglades is filled with nasty animals and diseases, second "I'd one drink but no more" suggests that he was drunk. then something "rushed him from the trees", could be an alligator or something attacking him. then he went to a place of the dead.

    "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"

    this means he could see his dead body, there are reports of people that have had near death expeiriences have seen themselves flaoting above there body.

    "Until the time came to reunite us both
    My spirit came back down to me"

    he then regains concoiseness.

    then the dead started being distracted and he runs away.

    "When you know that your time has come around
    You know you'll be prepared for it
    Say your last goodbyes to everyone
    Drink and say a prayer for it"

    he warns people to take care of this life and what you do, and when you do know your going to die- make sure you say goodbye.

    "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"

    he saying that he is not ganna do anymore stupid things in his life until he dies.
    crossed gunson February 18, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyup, just another fantasy adventure from Iron Maiden.
    Great Song.
    I imagine this song about a guy who's drunk, and has delirious visions, but is so profoundly shook by them that he changes his lifestyle and starts preparing for death and living his life to the fullest.
    Ddaduttaon October 04, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment...uhh alcohol doesn't make you hallucinate and specially not like that
    Nameless123on January 12, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentone drink of absynth could make you see this....
    carljenkon November 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's definitely "The Number of the Beast", Part 2! Read the lyrics to "The Number of the Beast", and read the lyrics to "Dance of Death". Very similar! Whenever i think of this song, i think of that creepy scene of the mask ritual in "Eyes Wide Shut".
    snafuoneon January 06, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the song is acutally meant to be a fantasy thing. Not really based on any real life things. The way it goes on about the spirit and mysterious being seems surreal and eerie. That's what makes it so good.
    UpTheIronson September 23, 2004   Link

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