"Paschendale" as written by Stephen Percy Harris and Adrian Frederick Smith....
In a foreign field he lay
Lonely soldier, unknown grave
On his dying words he prays
Tell the world of Paschendale

Relive all that he's been through
Last communion of his soul
Rust your bullets with his tears
Let me tell you 'bout his years

Laying low in a blood filled trench
Kill tim 'til my very own death
On my face I can feel the falling rain
Never see my friends again

In the smoke, in the mud and lead
Smell the fear and the feeling of dread
Soon be time to go over the wall
Rapid fire and the end of us all

Whistles, shouts and more gun fire
Lifeless bodies hang on barbed wire
Battlefield nothing but a bloody tomb
Be reunited with my dead friends soon

Many soldiers eighteen years
Drown in mud, no more tears
Surely a war no-one can win
Killing time about to begin

Home, far away
From the war, a chance to live again
Home, far away
But the war, no chance to live again

The bodies of ours and our foes
The sea of death it overflows
In no man's land, God only knows
Into jaws of death we go

Crucified as if on a cross
Allied troops they mourn their loss
German war propaganda machine
Such before has never been seen

Swear I heard the angels cry
Pray to god no more may die
So that people know the truth
Tell the tale of Paschendale

Cruelty has a human heart
Every man does play his part
Terror of the men we kill
The human heart is hungry still

I stand my ground for the very last time
Gun is ready as I stand in line
Nervous wait for the whistle to blow
Rush of blood and over we go

Blood is falling like the rain
Its crimson cloak unveils again
The sound of guns can't hide their shame
And so we die on Paschendale

Dodging shrapnel and barbed wire
Running straight at the cannon fire
Running blind as I hold my breath
Say a prayer symphony of death

As we charge the enemy lines
A burst of fire and we go down
I choke a cry but no-one hears
Fell the blood go down my throat

Home, far away
From the war, a chance to live again
Home, far away
But the war, no chance to live again

See my spirit on the wind
Across the lines, beyond the hill
Friend and foe will meet again
Those who died at Paschendale


Lyrics submitted by ricoetc

"Paschendale" as written by Stephen Percy Harris Adrian Frederick Smith

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Paschendale song meanings
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53 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentThere's a difference between supporting a cause and being pro-war. Due to the nature of war, anyone that says that they are pro-war is a fool, but that doesn't mean you can't suppot a particular military action. What Bruce says in A Real Dead One is rather generic, but true. Through the history of mankind war has been wages by the leaders and fought by the commoners. Howerver, even the in lyrics to the song he was introducing (Afraid to Shoot Strangers), the character realizes that even though he doesn't want to go to war, it's necessary.

    Paschendale is a really great example of a neutral war song, focusing more on the history of details and events rather than the political aspect of war. I'm actually surprised to see that Adrian wrote the lyrics for this. This song had Steve Harris written all over it, from the way it was structured to the lyrics
    Zughiaqon August 14, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentOne of my favorite on Dance of Dead, written by Adrian Smith.

    About a horrific WWI battle also known as "The Third Battle of Ypres" on October 12-26 1917. In this battle, there were many casualties - the Germans lost approximately 250,000 men, while the British forces lost about 300,000, including 36,500 Australians; 90,000 British and Australian bodies were never identified, and 42,000 were never recovered.
    Freemanon May 10, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is one of my favorite Iron Maiden songs... I had no idea what it was about prior to getting a start on this website. Bruce Dickinson is the best history teacher I've ever had.
    tapandslapon February 10, 2005   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionOn the topic of whether Iron Maiden as a whole are "pro" or "anti" war, I have to go with the sentiment expressed above that anyone who truly considers themself "pro-war" is either an ignoramus, a fool, or both. No one who understands war really wants it to happen, except perhaps a few sociopaths both with and without uniform. And even sociopaths tend to have at least some sense of self-preservation, if nothing else...

    Above and beyond that, though, I disagree that Maiden have any songs that truly glorify war. It seems to me that if you interpret a song like Aces High as being in any way positive, you're not really paying attention. The emotional charge of the song is ultimately terror and destruction -- running, scrambling, flying, rolling, turning, dying. IMO the only reason it sounds "happier" than, say, Paschendale, is because England won that battle, so there's a bit of a triumphant spin to it. There's also a triumphant edge to the last part of Montsegur, but that doesn't mean that Bruce Dickinson is in favor of what was done there or thinks that kind of thing should be done more often.

    Ultimately, every Maiden war song has a negative slant about war itself. It may not be overt about it, instead allowing the listener to come to their own conclusion... but I don't understand how you can hear these songs, over and over, for years, really listening to and thinking about them, and come up with any other idea than that Maiden are ultimately anti-war. I think most people are ultimately anti-war when you get right down to it, though. And like someone else said above, you can understand the necessity of a military action without being in favor of war in general.
    knifesmileon February 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah, it's the most powerful war song I've ever heard, and still moves me each time I hear it. Like Freeman said, it's about the 3rd battle of Ypres on the plain of Paschendale - one of the bloodiest trench battles of WW1.
    6th_sadistic_sniperon May 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOne of the best Iron Maiden songs on Dance of Death, and one of their best "epics" ever. The segment beginning at about 4:41 and ending at 6:25 is one of the most powerful in metal. Two awesome guitar solos with an awesome lyrical part wedged in between.
    Solinuson May 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's a pretty sweet song. I've only heard it once, though--my world history teacher read the lyrics then played it in class when we were going over WWI.
    crimeofpassionon April 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPaschendale was hell. People were drowning in mud, and those unfound bodies will probably somewhere under the mud.
    But The best song of Dance of Death, and one of maidens classics.
    Cpt. Yossarianon April 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMaiden rules! *wipes tear*
    Popcorn_adleron May 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbrilliantly done. meaning full words, moving and great music. remindded me why i fell in love with iron maiden
    skalra63on August 29, 2005   Link

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