I'm waiting in my cold cell when the bell begins to chime
Reflecting on my past life and it doesn't have much time
'Cause at 5 o'clock, they take me to the Gallows Pole
The sands of time for me are running low
Running low, yeah

When the priest comes to read me the last rites
Take a look through the bars at the last sights
Of a world that has gone very wrong for me

Can it be that there's some sort of error?
Hard to stop the surmounting terror
Is it really the end, not some crazy dream?

Somebody, please tell me that I'm dreaming
It's not easy to stop from screaming
The words escape me when I try to speak
Tears flow, but why am I crying?
After all, I'm not afraid of dying
Don't I believe that there never is an end?

As the guards march me out to the courtyard
Somebody cries from a cell, "God be with you"
If there's a God, why has he let me go?

As I walk, my life drifts before me
Though the end is near I'm not sorry
Catch my soul, it's willing to fly away

Mark my words, believe my soul lives on
Don't worry now that I have gone
I've gone beyond to seek the truth

When you know that your time is close at hand
Maybe then you'll begin to understand
Life down here is just a strange illusion

Yeah-yeah-yeah, hallowed be thy name
Yeah-yeah-yeah, hallowed be thy name


Lyrics submitted by Novartza

Hallowed Be Thy Name Lyrics as written by Stephen Percy Harris

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Hallowed Be Thy Name song meanings
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  • +10
    General Commentprobably describes the feeling of nearing death, and how you seem to appreciate the simple things a lot more when you understand your time is running out...
    soul_asylumon April 24, 2002   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI don't get where people get a pro-atheist or anti-God message from this song at all. I suppose people are just seeing what they want to see in the song.

    With that said, it is very, very clear that the man in the song is a spiritual and/or religious person and not only carries this with him until his death, but embraces it during his final moments and tells others to do the same.

    Throughout the song, we see that the man, who is innocent, is quickly coming to terms with his misfortune, only to eventually realize that he really had nothing to be worrying about. The last several lines are actually after he has died, I think (hence the past tense). He telling us that "Life down there (on Earth, a lower state of being) is just a strange illusion, and isn't worth throwing a huge fuss about.

    I think the final line tells us that... when we know our time is up, when we are face to face with God (whatever he may be), most of us realize this.
    TheDesertFoxon May 29, 2009   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis is one of the most dramatically intense Iron Maiden songs and it's not surprising it's the band's favorite. To me it's about a man within a prison cell who is going to be executed and he is wondering why he is so afraid of dying since he believes in God and that He will grant him life after death. While he is being brought out of his cell to be hung he really begins to question if God is really real and he is even more scared. However, he knows it's okay that he's afraid since it's only human nature and he still believes that he will live again in heaven. I'm not trying to be preachy or anything I'm just giving my interpretations. Awesome tune,IRON MAIDEN RULES!!!!!
    flamingtoungeon June 25, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe inner struggle of a man whose death is near. Its about religion: he doesnt think of himself as the guilty of his crimes but rather asks why did god allow it to happen if he exists.
    Bible prolly said that through repentance youre forgiven (and get to heaven as a bonus hehe). The convict here doesnt want to be that humble in the face of death.. at first. He says to himself that he doesnt fear death and only goes "to see the truth". But at the last moments he breaks, screaming "hallowed be thy name", asking forgiveness.
    Durang0on January 04, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General CommentHallowed Be Thy Name

    Everyone knows the experience of getting obsessed with a new song in your library. It seems really catchy, and you just can't seem to get it out of your head. Then, a week later, you lose that feeling. You may listen to it again, here and there, but it just isn't the same as when you first got it.

    Of course, there's the songs that are different. This is one. If you like metal, from ANY time period, this song is a prayer or anthem. It isn't that kind of song that you like for a week and never listen to again. This is the type of song that you still get chills from, even 20 years after you first heard it. The lyrics, the music, everything.

    The lyrics are really yours to interpret, but i think it tells the story from a convicted man's perspective- one in which he knows he is going to die, and there is nothing he can do. No cliche heavy metal lyrics about war or murder or other rather cheesy macho concepts. He is able to find comfort in faith, or religion, or God or however you want to phrase it- but the universally applicable message is there- that anyone can find comfort in something, even in the most dire of circumstances. And with the powerful, churning, crisp guitar backing up Dickinson, Iron Maiden produces a classic metal song that still hasn't been forgotten.
    HardRocker666on January 29, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentDesribes the feelings & thoughts of one whose destiny awaits at the gallows pole.
    han2on February 22, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentsomeone on death row
    the best Maiden song
    master of puppetson April 27, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthe absoloute best song from iron maiden. love the music, plus the great lyrics.
    yeah, why is it called Hallowed Be Thy Name?
    auroraon October 14, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI disagree. It mentions priests, cells, hanging. Jesus was crucified, not hanged. I also dont think it was about the Salem witch trials because witches were burned not hanged(unless I'm mistaken.). Anyways, great song and I cant beleive people prefer Cradle of Filth to Iron Maiden. Bruce is just plain one of the best vocalists ever. Cradle of Filth is scratchy and just screams, sure its hard to do, but its not amazingly awesome sounding like Bruce.
    Sucroseon January 02, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think, and maybe un-intentionally, there is some Crucible/ Salem Witch Trial theme in here...I wouldn't put it past Maiden to make it extrememly unobvious. The song is called Hallowed Be Thy Name for and obvious reason, though. Hallowed is synonymous somewhat and mostly in colonial times with the word "honor" So, the character of this song wants his name to be honored. He wants to be remembered...as we all do.
    Journeyman7on June 18, 2009   Link

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