"Machine Men" as written by Bruce Dickinson and Adrian Smith....
Bring the toys out for the boys
Let the children make their noise
See the monsters in their metal cages

Turn the lights down in your soul
Cut the power to your heart
See the carcass in its dying rages

Machine men, cannibals of rust

Machine men, iron bites the dust

Machine men, built with feet of clay

Are coming to sweep you all away
What bitter vampire made you this?
Gave you life with its deathly kiss
Ground your limbs to bloody stew
Made a new machine of you

Turned a nightmare into day
Sucks your breath, takes your life away
Beating harder through your veins
Someone else's cold remains

Machine men, cannibals of rust

Machine men, iron bites the dust

Machine men, built with feet of clay
Are coming to sweep you all away
They're coming to sweep you all away

Machine men, cannibals of rust

Machine men, iron bites the dust

Machine men, built with feet of clay

Are coming to take you all away

Machine men, cannibals of rust

Machine men, iron bites the dust

Machine men, built with feet of clay

Are coming to take you all away

They're coming to sweep you all away
Iron, in the soul


Lyrics submitted by Bruce

"Machine Men" as written by Bruce Dickinson Adrian Smith

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Machine Men song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentMachine Men, a phrase that to my knowledge was coined or at least popularized by another personal hero of mine, Charlie Chaplin in his famous speech at the end of the movie "The Great Dictator". The song seems to suggest that industrialization will eventually over-take humanity.
    Kaine_lawlesson April 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReminds me of the cybermen xD
    Xenimmeon May 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationI think this song is about Bruce's feelings about Iron Maiden at the time. He had left on acrimonious terms a few years previously and around the time of Chemical Wedding's release Maiden were at the lowest point in their history, having just released the poorly received Virtual XI album.

    There are lots of references which could be interpreted as criticisms of the Iron Maiden "Machine":

    Let the children make their noise
    See the monsters in their metal cages

    "Metal cages" may refer to the perceived limited scope of Maiden's music, which apparently frustrated Dickinson. One of the reasons he left was that many of the song ideas he brought to the band were rejected in favour of more "Maiden sounding" material.

    Turn the lights down in your soul
    Cut the power to your heart

    Could refer to how he felt creatively stifled at the end of his first stint in Maiden.

    See the carcass in its dying rages

    Points to the fact that Iron Maiden were at the lowest point in their career, with poor sales of their previous and new albums, a poorly attended tour, and rumours abounding that the band were on the verge of splitting up.

    Machine men, iron bites the dust

    Perhaps the clearest indication he is singing about Iron Maiden.

    What bitter vampire made you this?
    Gave you life with it's deathly kiss
    Ground your limbs to bloody stew
    Made a new machine of you

    This could be referring to Bruce's replacement in Maiden, Blaze Bailey, and how they fared under his vocal leadership.

    Turned a nightmare into day
    Sucks your breath, takes your life away
    Beating harder through your veins
    Someone else's cold remains...

    "Sucks your breath, takes your life away" and "Someone else's cold remains..." could be interpreted as criticism of Blaze's vocal talents and his inability to perform the Iron Maiden classics to the standard that Bruce did.

    Iron - in the soul (repeated)

    Was perhaps a nod to the fact that Bruce still felt a strong affiliation to Maiden despite everything that had happened in the preceding years. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), he rejoined Maiden the year after this came out.
    MikeRotchon August 01, 2013   Link

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