Sacrifices buried with kings
Accompany them on a journey with no end
To an afterlife that's rich with fruit of all the gods
And to face the demons
Of their underworld haunts

The sentient is sent to seek out all the truth
A flight to earth that is a given from his birth
To rise from ashes of the dead
Out of the fire is sent to full fill man's desire

The power day and night and death he ruled them
The sky and earth and the fires too
Two headed reptile symbol of his reign
Universes of the underworld

A life that's full of all the wealth and riches
Can never last for an eternity
After living in a golden paradise
The ultimate sacrifice

Prophecy of sky gods, the sun and moon
Passing of old ways will come true soon

Falling of ages, forest of kings
The search for the truth, the book of souls

The rulers of planets and stars
The power of the kings of traders and the wars
Planetary cycles and the phases of the moon
Is in the document a kingdom they will learn

They were praying to the gods of nature
And were living in the cities of stone
Towers reaching upward to the heavens
Sacred wonders for the world unknown

Make their lives be a mystery no more
Records kept and the passing of laws
Sacred gods to the book of lies
When a civilization dies

Prophecy of sky gods
The sun and moon
Passing of old ways will come true soon

Falling of ages
Forest of kings
The lost book of souls, destruction begins

Ascending the throne wearing feathers and shells
He brought back their lives from the void
Alien invasion brings nothing but death
Mass exodus and plant life destroyed

Domain of the earth to the journey of truth
The underworld caves, Mayan slaves

Defeat of the dark lords
The ultimate proof
In the place where the ancestors rule

The book of souls


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher

The Book of Souls Lyrics as written by Stephen Percy Harris Janick Gers

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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The Book of Souls song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentOK, I don't believe I have anything really insightful or deep to say about this song, but it probably deals with the history of the Mayan empire and its eventual downfall, brought about by the "alien invasion" referenced in the last few verses. The Maya peoples engaged a long series of bitter battles against the Spaniards but were ultimately defeated and conquered by them.
    Marquezon September 14, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti saw them on sunday in vienna. Before they played this song bruce said what it is about. It is about empires in every kind you know them (religious, military, companies and so on)
    He said that history has told us that all empires, doesn't matter how big they were, alway fall. And so it will be in the future, we need not to be afraid of empires because we know that there time is always runnig out.
    BenjaminBreegon June 09, 2016   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI concur with BenjaminBreeg. Bruce also talked at the show I saw, about how all world leaders just plain suck and this song is about how they all just want to rule and seek power over others
    Hokieguy95on June 04, 2017   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning"The Book of Souls" is a musical sequel to Powerslave.

    Both draw heavily from Egyptian mythology laid out in the Book of the Dead.

    Fittingly, there were several versions of the Egyptian Book of the Dead representing the fall of the Egyptian Kingdoms when the Book was rewritten for the new Egyptian Kingdom
    Bwoodingon September 29, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe underlying message in these lyrics is that the cause of the fall of ALL empires (countries, religious, military, companies) is "HYPOCRISY."

    "They were praying to the gods of nature
    And were living in the cities of stone"

    This would go along with the parts about living incongruently with the laws of nature.

    "A life that’s full of all the wealth and riches
    Can never last for an eternity"

    I flew to ROME to see them, and Bruce started off the song talking about how Rome was a great empire but fell, and that all empires fall; USA, Europe, Rome, Etc. He really wanted to make that point. Hypocrisy seems to fit within the fall of all empires to some degree. Rome got to a point that they had a "facade" they were powerful but in reality they were lazy.
    dan1112264on November 15, 2017   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe Mayan civilization is used as a metaphorical analyzation of other societies. The Book of Souls just means the history of the souls in all societies. All societies have an end, and every fallacy pertained by each led them to a heavy demise.
    SeynNeron November 04, 2018   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation"Sacrifices buried with kings
    Accompany them on a journey with no end
    To an afterlife that's rich with fruit of all the gods
    And to face the demons
    Of their underworld haunts"

    The song begins with a foreshadowing of its end. A ruler is buried along with their followers. Many ancient societies had this custom-slaves and followers were often sacrificed in the belief that the ruler would be afford ed a place of honor in the afterworld and would want/need servants to rule over. That and to sacrifice should they end up in their version of Hell. It was a cruel way of hedging their bets.

    "The sentient is sent to seek out all the truth
    A flight to earth that is a given from his birth
    To rise from ashes of the dead
    Out of the fire is sent to full fill man's desire"

    A 'sentient' or clever/wise/smart person rises to power. Whether they are or are just seen as wise and/or a savior they're granted power over others in part because those they rule over feel they'll be given what they want, too.

    "The power day and night and death he ruled them
    The sky and earth and the fires too
    Two headed reptile symbol of his reign
    Universes of the underworld"

    This refers to the Aztec ruler Moctezuma. The two-headed serpent was a symbol of his reign.

    "A life that's full of all the wealth and riches
    Can never last for an eternity
    After living in a golden paradise
    The ultimate sacrifice"

    When Cortés arrived in Mexico from Spain he was greeted by Moctezuma. "Some sources report that Moctezuma thought that Cortés was the feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl and treated him accordingly. Cortés was given a number of valuable gifts, which included turquoise sculptures, and possibly this serpent. Despite the gifts and the peaceful reception, Moctezuma was taken prisoner by Cortés and his troops took Moctezuma's capital, Tenochtitlan, by 1521. The Aztecs were brutally and systematically enslaved and murdered, in spite of their generosity. They then fell victim to smallpox and other European diseases brought to Mexico by Cortés and his troops." -Wikipedia

    "Prophecy of sky gods, the sun and moon
    Passing of old ways will come true soon

    Falling of ages, forest of kings
    The search for the truth, the book of souls"

    Many cultures have made prophecies about the end times. Many cultures have also fallen, thus fulfilling those prophecies. The 'book of souls' is the record of all the civilizations lost.

    The rest of the song is a metaphor for both the fall of the Aztec civilization as well as a metaphor for all kingdoms. As others have said and Bruce has stated explicitly this happens to all kingdoms and empires no matter how benevolent. Time passes, the people become greedy or disastisfied or some invader or disease comes along and they fall. It's a tale as old as time itself.
    zidderson August 05, 2021   Link

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