El Dorado

How good is El Dorado on a scale of 1-10?


  • Total voters
    52
  • Poll closed .

Khan

Trooper
We've all talked this one to death....grew on me a TON...and is absolutely 100 times better live! Great commentary on the shit we're in, tying it together with the stupidity of El Dorado and the donation of the gold to the bottom of the lake, suppposedly as an offering to the gods...but really just throwing away riches for nothing at all.
 

Black Thunder

Ancient Mariner
Gotta tell you a story
On a cold winter's night
You'll be sailing for glory
Before you know what is right

So come over here now
I've got a vision for you
It's my personal snake oil
It's just something I do

I'm the jester with no tears
And I'm playing on your fears
I'm a trickster smiling underneath this mask of love and death
The eternal lie I've told
About the pyramids of gold
I've got you hooked, at every turn your money's left to burn

Hahahahahahahaha!

You'll be wanting a contract
You'll be waiting a while
I'd like to give you my contact
But that isn't my style

Well you only get one chance
And it's too good to miss
If I didn't lie to ya
Then I wouldn't exist

Greed, lust and envy pride
It's the same old, same old ride
The smoke and mirrors, visions that you see are just like me
I'm a clever banker's face
With just a letter out of place
I know someone just like you, you know someone just like me

El Dorado come and play
El Dorado step this way
Take a ticket for the ride
El Dorado streets of gold
See, the ship is oversold
You've got one last chance to try

(solo)

So, gone is the glory
And gone is the gold
Well, if you need a story
How come, it has to be told

Well you can say I'm a devil
And I wouldn't say no
But out here on the dark side
Hey, on with the show.

So, now my tale is told
Big and bad and twice as bold
This ship of fools is sinking as the cracks begin to grow
There is no easy way
For an honest man today
Which is something you should think of as my lifeboat sails away

El Dorado come and play
El Dorado step this way
Take a ticket for the ride
El Dorado streets of gold
See, the ship is oversold
You've got one last chance to try.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Thanks, BT. I was looking for those awhile ago. I'm going to fix the opening posts in these threads to have the standard opening and the lyrics.

Now, if someone could find my writeup I did..
 

Black Thunder

Ancient Mariner
LooseCannon said:
Thanks, BT. I was looking for those awhile ago. I'm going to fix the opening posts in these threads to have the standard opening and the lyrics.

Now, if someone could find my writeup I did..

You can find them almost everywhere  :)

The one where I really need help is Starblind...
 
When it first came out I listened to it at least 10 times a day until TFF got posted. So I'd say at least 100 listens. I like the song. Whats not to like? Gallop, bass, crazy intro/outro. Like alchemist, reminiscent of older Maiden. Lyrics a bit lame in context of the rest of the album but I like it and liked it live too. But I'm taking a well deserved break from it. 4 outta 5
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
Reposting from previous:

Edgar Allen Poe said:
Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o'er his heart a shadow
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?"

"Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied-
"If you seek for Eldorado!"

Given Bruce Dickinson's love of things occult and strange, it should be no surprise that a poem by Poe serves as the likely inspiration for the lyrical portion of the song "El Dorado". Indeed, it goes a long way towards explaining the presence of a quick riff in the song, because those of us who know anything about the legend of El Dorado are aware that the search for the mythical City of Gold was usually undertaken not by horse, but by boat, imagery constantly referred to in the song.

The legend of El Dorado comes from the conquered Muisca people, who would tell legends of a chieftain named El Dorado who swam whilst covered in gold dust in Lake Guatavita. From this arose the myth amongst the Spanish conquistadores of a City of Gold that supplied the Muisca people with their wealth - a people who had no gold mines of their own, but traded for the precious material easily from other tribes. Over the passing centuries, the myth of El Dorado multiplied, grew, and expanded, with many explorers searching the thick jungles of South America for the lost city.

Interestingly, the tale of "El Dorado" is told from the perspective of someone recruiting people for an expedition to find the mythical lost city, rather than as a neutral observer (consider the voice used in songs like "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", in which a fable is told, but from the outside). As such, we are taken inside the mind and speech of a man knowing he is luring the innocent to their death for his own profit.

Gotta tell you a story, on a cold winter's night
You'll be sailing for glory before you know what is right
So come over here now, I've got a vision for you
It's my personal snake oil, it's just something I do

The first verse introduces us to the character, someone who looks clean and smooth and very professional, and who speaks to someone, telling them a story that will have them so ready to whisk off in hopeless exploration that they'll be buying the ticket he offers before he can think it through. This is telling us that the character Bruce portrays is a scam artist, someone who is completely sure of his ability to cheat money and life from his victim. The term "snake oil" refers to a "snake oil salesman", which is an American slang term for conman. His personal snake oil, then, is the story of El Dorado, and the promises of glory and money within. That's his cheat. It's just what he sells.

I'm the jester with no tears and I'm playing on your fears
I'm a trickster smiling underneath this mask of love and death
The eternal lie I've told about the pyramids of gold
I've got you hooked at every turn - Your body's left to burn!

Bruce describes the character from the first person, explaining this man knows exactly what he's doing and what fate he's condemning his "clients" to. He has no regrets about the lethal consequences of his trick ("the jester with no tears") and he is taking advantage of people who are afraid of dying either nearly poor or unknown ("playing on your fears"). The "mask of love and death" is the story he tells of El Dorado, the fabled place from which none have ever returned - except for you, because he knows you're the one to find the City of Gold - his eternal lie. Of course, the tale of El Dorado goes far beyond our conman, and probably will last for the end of time. Finally, his tale, persuasive, has you fully drawn in - "hooked at every turn" - and your body will be consumed by your poor decision to listen to the trickster.

You'll be wanting a contract, ah! You'll be waiting a while
I'd like to give you my contact, but that isn't my style
Well, you only get one chance and it's too good to miss
If I didn't lie to ya then I wouldn't exist

Now, the mark (the term for someone being defrauded in a con) has decided to ask for a little reassurance that Bruce is telling the truth and not just selling him a fib, but of course, the practiced fraudster dodges the request for contact information, for a legal contract, by reminding the poor fellow that he can take the offer for glory and gold, or leave it on the table. And we have final confirmation "if I didn't lie to ya, then I wouldn't exist" that this person's sole income comes from cheating; a professional conman.

Greed, lust and envied pride - It's the same old same old way
The smoke and mirror's visions that you see are just like me
I'm a clever banker's face with just a letter out of place
I know someone just like you know someone just like me

Interestingly enough, we move back towards the abstract with this verse, when Bruce extrapolates on the overall meaning of being cheated. That everyone knows "someone just like me" and that being betrayed is "the same old same old way". He compares himself to a magician's "smoke and mirrors", and even to a "clever banker". It almost sounds like the conman is trying to convince himself that he's part of an ancient tradition, and that he is the same as a magician who lies and cheats to entertain, or a banker who will use loopholes to cheat someone, though he is stealing both money and life with his lies.

El Dorado - Come and play
El Dorado - Step this way
Take a ticket for the ride

El Dorado - Streets of gold
See the ship it's oversold
You've got one last chance to try

The chorus is the hook and the legend. Streets of gold, and all you have to do is come and play, step this way. So many people are coming along, there's only one spot left - and it's yours, if you dare to chance.

So gone is the glory and gone is the gold
Well, if you need a story how come it has to be told?
Well, you can say I'm a Devil and I wouldn't say no
But out here on the dark side...Hey! On with the show!

The reality of the con. There is no glory, or is there gold. The trickster has taken both from his mark and left them with nothing other than a one-way ticket to death. And of course, the loss of one more soul on the road to El Dorado is a story that'll hardly be told. As already established, the trickster knows he is doing wrong, he is a devil, and he revels in it. You accuse him of being evil, and he smiles and continues to cheat and defraud.

So now my tale is told, big and bad and twice as bold
Their ship of fools is sinking as their cracks begin to grow
There is no easy way for an honest man today
Which is something you should think of as my life boat sails away

He's spun his web and he's issued the con, and the lie has grown "big and bad and twice as bold" as the conman's tale gets more risky, more wild, and more opulent. However, he's still sold enough to fill the doomed ship with tickets, and it's either overloaded with people, or sailing away to doom. After all, "there is no easy way for an honest man today" to make the sort of money our fraud did, and he is reminding the soon-to-be-deceased of this as he hops in his boat and pulls away, laughing, to presumably repeat the trick with new marks.

Of course, this song can serve as a metaphor for any number of illicit activities, such as drug use or even alcoholism, but it makes the most sense when approached from the promise of riches in something like the stock market, or a Ponzi scheme. However, I think it's mostly just intended to be a tale of a man who sold the story of El Dorado like many did - a false hope for any predator to leap upon. And consider it a warning - when someone tells you something that sounds too good to be true…it probably is.
 
LordMaiden said:
I think Bruce already said it was about riches, the market, etc.

I recall Bruce being asked by an interviewer if the song was commenting on that, and I think he just said yes because it was what he figured we wanted to hear. I think it just happens to parallel something current, and people drew that conclusion really based on that alone. If you work hard enough, you can find ways lots of IM songs mirror current events.

What I'm essentially saying is, I call BS on Bruce. I don't think he had the current US economy in mind when he wrote those lyrics.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
The US economy? You are aware that the UK economy was hit way worse than the US one, right? They had their largest banks topple, billions of pounds lost. The pound sterling has dropped like a stone in value internationally as a result.
 
LooseCannon said:
The US economy? You are aware that the UK economy was hit way worse than the US one, right? They had their largest banks topple, billions of pounds lost. The pound sterling has dropped like a stone in value internationally as a result.

You'll have to excuse us, we're a bit self-important in the US, and somehow fail to see how a global recession affects anyone else besides ourselves. Times are tough in general, but in the end with art and friendship we'll be just fine.


El Dorado is a great song, that only improves with album context.
 
Sorry if this has idea has been raised on El Dorado...while I really enjoy the song I find it a difficult song to love because the conman character is such a bastard.

"I'm a clever bankers face with just a letter out of place".

Even the character is calling himself a wanker. So its difficult to like this guy and therefore give your soul, heart, mind or whatever to the song.

Which isn't a bad thing. It actually shows Maiden have nailed the narrative perfectly.

I do like the song a lot and its great to finally listen to it as part of the album.
 

LooseCannon

Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
THAT's what it means. FUCK. I'd been rearranging letters. Never even thought of wanker. Damn my non-Britishness.
 
Top