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Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast



The 1978 film Damien: Omen II, featuring a 13-year-old Antichrist, was a source of inspiration for this song. Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris wrote it, explaining, "Basically, this song is about a dream." It's not about worshiping the devil.


Before the music starts, this opens with an a cappella quote from The Book of Revelation. The band wanted the horror film actor Vincent Price to read this intro, but he wanted more money than they were willing to pay (a year later, Price lent his voice to Michael Jackson's "Thriller"). The quote was read by an unknown thespian actor who had no interest in the band.


During the recording of the album, there were rumors floating about that supernatural occurrences had been going on in the studio, such as lights flipping on and off, strange noises, visions of Satan, etc. This was used as evidence that Satan and the Antichrist had a hand in making this.



Lyrics


Woe to you, o'er Earth and Sea

For the Devil sends the beast with wrath

Because he knows the time is short

Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast

For it is a human number

Its number is six hundred and sixty six


I left alone, my mind was blank

I needed time to think to get the memories from my mind

What did I see? Can I believe that what I saw

That night was real and not just fantasy?

Just what I saw, in my old dreams, were they

Reflections of my warped mind staring back at me?

Cause in my dreams, it's always there

The evil face that twists my mind and brings me to despair


Yeah!


The night was black, was no use holding back

Cause I just had to see, was someone watching me?

In the mist, dark figures move and twist

Was all this for real or just some kind of hell?


666 the number of the beast

Hell and fire was spawned to be released


Torches blazed and sacred chants were phrased

As they start to cry, hands held to the sky

In the night, the fires are burning bright

The ritual has begun, Satan's work is done


666 the number of the beast

Sacrifice is going on tonight


This can't go on, I must inform the law

Can this still be real, or just some crazy dream?

But I feel drawn towards the chanting hordes

They seem to mesmerize, can't avoid their eyes


666 the number of the beast

666 the one for you and me


I'm coming back, I will return

And I'll possess your body and I'll make you burn

I have the fire, I have the force

I have the power to make my evil take its course


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