How good is Journeyman on a scale of 1-10?

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Musically it's...ok. But I don't like the lyrics at all. The fact that he can say what he wants and do what he wants and nobody telling him other wise is very.... nice in ideal. But it is thinking like that that starts fights, wars, and violence in general. It shows lack of respect towards others and the main reason for hate crimes in America. In the U.S the ideal of "Freedom" has been taken to such an extreme people think they have the right to shoot someone who stepped on their lawn, sue someone for "emotional" damage and so on and so forth. I'm writting this at school but as soon as I get home I'll give the song a good listen and get back to you guys with a more rational explanation, but I felt I had to say something [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

Musically great .. lyrically senseless..
the lyrics must have been a 5 minute concoction done on the mixing board in the studios...

dod dvd-a lets you hear what bruce whispers in Journeyman 5.20 clearly!

"Spare your life and you choose destruction of time over yourself"

This song has blown me away. It's absolutely fucking amazing. I've always thought Bruce's vocals were great with acoustic tunes. Tears of the Dragon proved me right on that. I'm glad they included this track; it might not mean much, but it's musically very moving.
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Wonderful song, I was also blown away listening to it.
But what's funny is, unlike many people, I do prefer the CD version to the live one.

I didn't see at all the lyrics the way you explained them.
To me the song is a ballad about loneliness of the human being. If there is anything you really have, it is the right to talk, to say, the right of speech, of saying whatever you want. That doesn't mean you must say anything carelessly, but you have that "power", anyone has it. You just have to decide how you will use it.
Of course, there are some country where you can't speak freely... Well, no comment on that.
But still, I think words and speech are a wonderful as well as terrible power.

Funny the way anyone see the meaning of the lyrics differently...

[!--QuoteBegin-Le Hibou - The Owl+Apr 24 2004, 10:28 AM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(Le Hibou - The Owl @ Apr 24 2004, 10:28 AM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] To me the song is a ballad about loneliness of the human being. [/quote]
As I read that sentence, I got as far as "loneliness of the" and then my brain tried to insert "long distance runner" in there. [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

I just read the lyrics again, and saw something I hadn't seen before. The lyrics portray life as a dream (for example, "We are sleeping and we'll dream for evermore") and suggest waking up from the dream ("If you turn to the light that is burning in the night, then your journeyman's day has begun"). This reminds me of the Eastern concept of Mindfulness. According to Buddhism and other Eastern traditions, a person has to wake up from the ordinary routine of life and become fully aware and alive within the present moment before they can even begin the journey to enlightenment.

I can't guarantee this is what Bruce was thinking of, but it makes sense to me at least.

Journeyman has always seemed like one of those songs that doesn't mean anything in particular. The lyrics are so open to interpretation that they might mean anything to anyone.
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Journeyman started out as a chorus that we thought was a big anthem type thing. And then we thought, 'Well, what do we do with this, because if we try and turn it into Born In The USA or something, it's going to sound rather crass...' So we got kind of trippy and dreamy in the verse, and I just got images of somebody making decisions with his heart, regardless of where it was going to lead. And the journey that you're on through the whole of your life, and you get the chance to make choices and decisions. You can choose to sit in your cubbyhole and rot slowly, or you can choose to go and do something mad and glorious, and it's your choice. That's what the song's all about.


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I don´t agree Onhell.

For me the song is about someone who had mastered himself (presuming its a guy) in living his life as a full.

As the commentary says

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]A journeyman is someone who has learned the skills of a particular trade and who travels around a country for a few years to exercise this trade before finally settling somewhere as a master of his trade. Journeymen hold nowadays a certificate in their trade indicating that the holder has met certain standards and learned the skills of the trade.[/quote]

So the "trade" of our journeyman is life itself. Now lets get to some parts of the lyrics.

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]From the red sky of the East to the sunset in the West
We have cheated Death and He has cheated us[/quote]

This could be "translated" to : From the beggining of my life to its ending. I have lived with death and it has lived with me.

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]And the fragment remains of our memories
And the shadows we made with our hands
Deeper grey, came to mourn all the colours of the dawn
Will this journeyman's day be his last?[/quote]
So all my good memories and sorrows are with me. I accept and learn with them. Now a new day rises, will it be my last ?

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]I know what I want, I say what I want
And no one can take it away[/quote]
Now the controversy. He is stating this not a arrogant way, like "I´m the master of me and you will not give orders to me. I am not a number I am a free man !!!" ( [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--] )

He can say and do what he wants because life can´t cheat him anymore. Thoe longs days from sunrise to sunset made him a master of living. No one can´t take it away, but why ? Well, someone can give you some advices of how make life easier, but no one can really TEACH you how to live. By keeping his memories and living one day after other our journeyman had learned his trade ALONE, that´s what no one can´t take it away from him.

[!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]In your life you may choose desolation
And the shadows you build with your hands
If you turn to the light that is burning in the night
Then your journeyman's day has begun[/quote]

This lines are very good. You may hide yourself in a shell and pretend you are living. However, there´s a light burning in the night of life, where everyone is roaming, and if you turn to this light you will be a journeyman too. You can master life too.

This song took some time to move me. I didn´t like it at first. I came to like it when I heard it live, especially one certain january 17.... (see signature).

I do prefer the "rock version", however the acoustic one is very introspective and can build a very amusing ambience around you.

A good song, perfect for closing an album like Dance of Death

Unlike most of people here I don't like this song. I mean I don't like it much. The guitars sound great but Bruce's vocals are SOOOOOO disappointing. Knowing what he has been able to do on his solo albums I was expecting much more from him. The melody is moving but not the vocals.

As for the lyrics, I agree with SMX that there might be something to do with Buddhism as Bruce often mixes things in his lyrics ( like in Darkside of Aquarius).

Last thing the chorus is so poorly written that it seems they had to fill a vaccum

Only 2 stars

I rated it 4 stars!

+ = The chordfollowing, first all acoustic maiden song.

-- = Bruce dickinson's singing, in the chorus. Hmm...
it kinda changes that beutiful part from the verse.

I think I gave this four stars, but it still rates as one of my favourites on the album, and one of the few that still sends a shiver down my neck in some parts. Bruce's singing is in complete contrast to the rest of the album, with the song at a much slower tempo, and fairly soothing as well, which is a serious rare-ity with Iron Maiden. Journeyman, if anything proves that they can do anything - and they can do it well. [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

[!--QuoteBegin-LooseCannon+Apr 8 2004, 02:21 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(LooseCannon @ Apr 8 2004, 02:21 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]I've always thought Bruce's vocals were great with acoustic tunes.  Tears of the Dragon proved me right on that.

Thats true. If you listen to Bruce's acoustic version of Inertia (Skunkworks) it is fantastic.

Oh and on this song - Don't get me wrong. It's good but... It doesn't have a morale or a story, or none of any note to it. tabor came close when he said that the lyrics were made up in 5 minutes in the studio. They said that they came up with the chorus first then wrote the song around it. It obviously removed some of the research and love that they put into the rest of their lyrics.

Still a great song though! [!--emo&:p--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/tongue.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'tongue.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

[img src=\'\' border=\'0\' alt=\'user posted image\' /]

I agree with Mig Daimon's commentary and Maverick's.
It is a statement about life, pretty general, but I think that's what makes it emotional. Everyone can interpret it in their own specific way.
A very good song.

The use of the orchestration is brilliant as well. I don't see why people think the lyrics are bad, I really don't. And of course, on the IMBB, they slag the song off saying that it's 'boring' or 'soft crap'. Meh, most of those people there have an attention span of 2.33 seconds anyway. [!--emo&-_---][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/sleep.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'sleep.gif\' /][!--endemo--]

I just can't se why people overrate this song....

It's fine, maybe a bit too long, but pretty much generic acoustic/keyboard filled kind of song so I can't see why it is so appreciated....

[!--QuoteBegin-tabor+Mar 26 2004, 07:12 AM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(tabor @ Mar 26 2004, 07:12 AM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Musically great .. lyrically senseless..
the lyrics must have been a 5 minute concoction done on the mixing board in the studios...
Here on this site in commentary section you can read opposite - you can read that this song is deep lyricly....

I love this song! The "I'll do what I want in my life, no matter how impossible it is" anthem is great! Besides, it's the first attempt after 20 long years to do a fully acoustic song. Obviously Bruce and Adrian have contributed a lot, 'cause they're the ones that always wanted stuff like that. I hope they continue doing some acoustic songs in the years to come. Also this song is one of the things that inspisred me to do a schoolfilm! The film's named Ξέρω τι θέλω (I know what I want, in Greek), so this song is quite special for me. 5 stars.

A Journey ends with a single step, it begins only when we have reached the end . . .​

"[This song is] About the whole process of writing & being a musician... & although we have finished the song, we haven't finished the journey... The song is called Journeyman"

That’s what Bruce says about the song on the Death on the Road DVD & even though I can completely understand why there is such an awful lot of confusion about the depth/meaning of this song, I felt almost necessary to throw in my 2 cents…

The song to me symbolizes all journeys that we begin, all journeys that lead us somewhere... anywhere…
Maybe not at the destination we had planned for, maybe not even one we wanted, but a journey will always end...

In all our lives, all our cultures, all our dependency, we leave behind the one constant, which is "we are sleeping and we’ll dream forever more"

And as our Journey draws to a finish, we are always left with the feeling of... dread or dismay at the unfortunate and/or unforeseen outcome of our journey. The feeling of warmth that is bright and brilliant to shine our last steps into this home we have found...
Or sometimes, we are left with nothing so complete, just anxiety and paranoia. Scared and unsure of our self, our own Journey.

It is here that we must make another decision. Our first decision, if the Journey and destination were merely played for this moment by Fate…
As "the memory still remains" we have to ask if we are free of its haunt & control…
Free to hold onto “shadows we made with our hands” or to leave them be for other Journeymen?
Can we sacrifice the moments that got us here for a future that may or may not be?

As we walk into our new destination, we must make a choice. This one, we make within ourselves. Do I believe in myself, my decisions, my path, my destination, my Journey...

We must chose, for this choice is the first step to a greater Journey than all others… And it is here that we can either play into our own shadows of deceit & denial and enslave ourselves with their iron bonding, or give wings to them so they might fly and rest with the shadow we leave behind one last time…

The harmonic chorus is mind shattering in its simplicity and depth... Just a single hymn chanted by thousands in a single voice to give strength to their desperate cry of either proclaiming in triumphant joy, or asking through the veiled curtain of self-doubt, "I know what I want, I say what I want… And no one can take it away . . . "


Okay, having said that, I’d like to point out that personally, I love acoustic stuff like this. (Especially if it’s by Bruce) Prodigal Son, Strange World, Tears of the Dragon, Navigate the Seas of the Sun . . .
All brilliant, in my opinion.

Also, and I’m not sure why I add this, but this song always reminds me of two very distinct verses from two very distinct songs…

If there isn't light when no one sees
Then how can I know what you might believe?
A story told that can't be real
Somehow must reflect the truth we feel, yeah…

Fade away, fade away
Vanish into small
Fade away, fade away . . .

The Sign of the Southern Cross – Black Sabbath

Leave… But don't leave me.
Look around and choose your own ground.

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you'll give and tears you'll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be…

Breathe – Pink Floyd​