To ride the storm, to an empire of the clouds
To ride the storm, they climbed aboard their silver ghost
To ride the storm, to a kingdom that will come
To ride the storm, and damn the rest, oblivion

Royalty and dignitaries, brandy and cigars
Related giant of the skies, you hold them in your arms
The millionth chance they laughed, to take down his majesty's craft
To India they say, magic carpet float away, an October fateful day

Mist is in the trees, stone sweats with the dew
The morning sunrise, red before the blue
Hanging at the mast, waiting for command
His majesty's airship, the r101

She's the biggest vessel built by man, a giant of the skies
For all you unbelievers, the Titanic fits inside
Drum rolled tight, a canvas skin, silvered in the sun
Never tested with the fury, with a beating yet to come

The fury yet to come

In the gathering gloom, a storm rising in the west
The coxswain stared into the
We must go now, we must take our chance with fate
We must go now, for the politicians he can't be late
The airship crew awake for thirty hours at full stretch,
But the ship is in their backbone, every sinew, every inch

She never flew at full speed, a trial never done
A fragile outer cover, her Achilles would become

An Achilles yet to come

Sailors of the sky, a hardened breed
Loyal to the king, and an airship creed

The engines drum, the telegraph sounds
Release the cords that bind us to the ground
Said the coxswain, sir, she's heavy, she'll never make this flight
Said the captain, damn the cargo, we'll be on our way tonight
Groundsmen cheered in wonder, as she backed up from the mast
Baptizing with her water, from the ballast fore and aft

Now she slips into our past

Feeling the wind as it blows you
Feeling the beams as they pass you along
Watching the channel below you
Lower and lower, into the night

Lights are passing below you
Northern France, asleep in their beds
Storm is raging around you
A million to one, that's what he said

Reaper standing beside you
Wind inside cuts to the bone
Panicked to make a decision
Experienced men, asleep in their graves

The cover is ripped and she's flooding
Rain is flooding into the hold
Bleeding to death and she's falling
Lifting gas is draining away

We're down lads, came a cry, bow plunging from the sky
Three thousand horses silent as the ship began to die
The flares to guide her path ignited at the last
The empire of the clouds, just ashes in our past
Just ashes at the last

Here lie their dreams as they stand in the sun
On the ground where they built, and the engines they run
To the moon and the stars, now what have we done?
Oh the dreamers may die, but the dreams live on

Dreams live on
Dreams live on

Now a shadow on a hill, the angel of the east
The empire of the clouds may rest in peace
And in a country churchyard, laid head to the mast
Eight and Forty souls who came to die in France

Lyrics submitted by SergeF2007, edited by jwild777, Rhys0806, ASharpCow

Empire of the Clouds Lyrics as written by Bruce Dickinson

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Empire Of The Clouds song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +4
    General CommentCurrently listening to this for the first time... absolutely brilliant. If this happens to be their last album, their swansong will have been just...... perfect.
    boneyard23on September 08, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General Commentit should say "Eight and forty souls" instead of "1840 souls" on the last line; 48 people were killed in the r101 crash
    irondethon September 14, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentRest in peace, R101.
    Bleachfananon2on September 09, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat a spectacular journey is this work. Iron Maiden never ceases to amaze me. This whole record is just wonderful. Didn't think they had another one like this in them. Shame on me.
    cwg46and2on October 05, 2015   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top