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Judas Be My Guide

Discussion in 'Fear Of The Dark' started by Anonymous, Apr 11, 2004.

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How good is Judas Be My Guide on a scale of 1-10?

  1. 10

    24.3%
  2. 9

    24.3%
  3. 8

    37.8%
  4. 7

    2.7%
  5. 6

    8.1%
  6. 5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. 4

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. 3

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. 2

    2.7%
  10. 1

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Here, you can read other visitors' comments on 'Judas Be My Guide' as well as post your own. Any contribution to the commentary will be much appreciated, may it be cultural references relevant to the song (links to related websites, interpretations that may have been overlooked in the Commentary, and the like) or personal essays related to the topic of the song. Just be aware that messages that are either off-topic or too wacky may be deleted.
     
  2. gor

    gor Ancient Mariner

    'judas Be My Guide'

    I think this is not only one of the most underrated songs ever, but it has one of the less explored lyrics in the maiden catalogue...

    Why is it called Judas My Guide? What does Judas have to do with the lyrics? My theory is that it is the lyrical symbling of the unbeliever, stating that modern day way of life has smashed someone's trust in society / the system / relationships / humanity, so he chooses to disbelieve them, chooses to cherish nothing as sacred, just as Judas did not cherish Christ as Holy and betrayed him. Thus the lyrics "I live in the black, I've no guiding light" "nothing is sacred, back then or now".

    I also think the line "whispers in the night" reffers to the moment where Judas betrays:

    Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
    And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
    (Mathew 26:14-16)

    Note that our modern Judas is also whispering in the night, he's "whispering in your dreams", betraying the things you cherish as sacred, just as Judas betrayed Jesus...

    So, our modern Judas, driven by his disbelief, mocks those who suffer because of their trust in ideals and their following of the system:

    Fight wars, die in a blaze of glory!
    Come home, meat in a plastic sack!
    Fall down, pray to your god for mercy!
    So kneel and help the blade come clean!
     
  3. The Saint

    The Saint Powerslave Staff Member

    'judas Be My Guide'

    According to the Chrisitan analysis of Judas, your theory is very interesting. Surely, Maiden used his name to emphasis the betrayal of our own ideals.


    But, if you follow the theory of Nikos Kazantzakis, Judas was a revolutionnary, the only one who had enough faith to go to his death, whereas the other apostles would leave at the first wind of change.

    That is why Jesus gave him the role he has in history: betraying him on purpose, to make the voice of Jesus finally heard.

    Remember than Kazantzakis, when proclaiming his view, was in search for God, saying that a world without God is not tolerable, but that a world without Justice is not worth either: hence, he went after the sins of the Church (the temporal one).



    With this view, we can view the lyrics in a different light: a world filled with people who don't listen to the voice of God is lost and another revolution led by Judas is the only way to establish his Kingdom again. Hence, JUDAS BE MY GUIDE.



    Cheers
     
  4. gor

    gor Ancient Mariner

    'judas Be My Guide'

    I don't know really but according to a interview with Jan, they took the title from Bruce's Son of a gun (...take me to Jesus, with Judas my guide...), because it was a very strong sentence, with lot of potential , and they developed a song. Maybe they didn't have a concept and only spit out sentences as shocking as the main title. Listen to CoM, Jan says that he has no idea of what the lyrics are about ....

    Originally Posted by s_plissken on imbb
     
  5. MigDaimon

    MigDaimon Trooper

    'judas Be My Guide'

    Both theories are good. But I´ll stick with gor´s. I´ve always seen this song as a mirror of a human society who chooses Judas for its guide, because they are betraying everyone and even themselves.

    The lines

    Fight wars, die in a blaze of glory!
    Come home, meat in a plastic sack!
    Fall down, pray to your god for mercy!
    So kneel and help the blade come clean!

    This can be understood as if someone must obey and serve this "new dark order". You must not worry with nothing, just play your part in the whole. Go to wars, kill each other, pray for mercy then and help this huge slaughter

    I´ve always liked this song. As soon as it starts you feel that something dark is about to unveil. With the first of Murray´s solos we get the feeling that a new apocalipse is heading our way.

    Yes, I find it short too, however, I can´t imagine how it would be if it was longer. Its perfect as it is !!!
     
  6. Uwe

    Uwe Trooper

    'judas Be My Guide'

    This song is among the best on the album, it's not a classic, but not too bad. It has some good guitar work and a nice chorus.
     
  7. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    'judas Be My Guide'

    Quick thought. Isn't "Judas my guide" a line in the first song from Tattooed Millionaire?
     
  8. gor

    gor Ancient Mariner

    'judas Be My Guide'

    [!--QuoteBegin-LooseCannon+Aug 31 2004, 10:25 AM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(LooseCannon @ Aug 31 2004, 10:25 AM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Quick thought.  Isn't "Judas my guide" a line in the first song from Tattooed Millionaire?
    [snapback]85168[/snapback]​
    [/quote]

    Jan has stated in an interview back in the day that he and Bruce liked that line from the song (take me to jesus with judas my guide) and they though it was very strong, so they wrote the maiden song on that...
     
  9. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    'judas Be My Guide'

    Ah, apologies, didn't read that. I'm only half awake this morning!
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    'judas Be My Guide'

    [!--QuoteBegin-gor+Jun 14 2004, 03:35 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(gor @ Jun 14 2004, 03:35 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]I don't know really but according to a interview with Jan, they took the title from Bruce's Son of a gun    (...take me to Jesus, with Judas my guide...), because it was a very strong sentence, with lot of potential , and they developed a song. Maybe they didn't have a concept and only spit out sentences as shocking as the main title. Listen to CoM, Jan says that he has no idea of what the lyrics are about ....

    Originally Posted by s_plissken on imbb
    [snapback]72318[/snapback]​
    [/quote]

    As usual, Janick Gers doesn't have any idea what the lyrics of a song are about. But still, it wasn't Janick who wrote the music to that track, it was Dave. The same goes for Chains Of Misery (I guess this is what CoM stands for). The lyrics actually HAVE meaning, Bruce told about it in an interview.

    I think this song was underrated once, now it is overrated. It is a good song, but not a great one. It doesn't sound very-Maidenish in the first place, it has a very 80s feel to it but not in a Maidenesque way.
     
  11. Raven

    Raven Ancient Mariner

    Re: 'Judas Be My Guide'

    Time to post in this thread...

    Simply put, Judas Be My Guide is one of the best, if not the best track Maiden have ever put out.  Certainly from the 90's era, and even those who despise Fear of the Dark recognise this as one of the shining examples of Maiden proving they are still capable of kicking three hundred kinds of ass in 3 minutes.  From the epic intro, the song accelerates into a spectacularly acidic verse, and a great, sing-along chorus.  The interlude melody is yet another great take on the kind of minor harmonies that can be heard throughout the album (particularly 'Childhood's End' and 'Afraid to Shoot Strangers'), and the solos are instantly memorable, while being incredibly fluid.  The final chorus is the true gemstone, as the song finishes in a cataclysmic fashion, racing towards the end at breakneck pace (without once losing control!).  The final solo (Murray?) is particularly excellent.

    As to the lyrics, I'm not entirely sure which interperetation I favour.  Personally, I see the lyrics as being symbolic of someone delusioned with all that used to be 'sacred' - he sees mankind as entering a 'world of darkness' (a new Dark Age), and that all morals have disappeared ('everything's up for sale').  Perhaps Bruce is referring to the hypocrisy and commercialism that was no doubt very present in the early 90s, particularly looking at the conflicts and turmoils in the music industry and in politics that are still present today.  Certainly, it seems that the narrator of the song has lost his faith, and the prayers of the many are falling on deaf ears ('We pray - to God for a better deal').  Similarly, Judas (a Zealot), would have been disgusted with the hypocrisy of the Jewish church in the 1st century A.D. - Jesus' teachings against the hypocrisy of religion (the irony of the past 2000 years of Christianity ignoring this advice brings a bitter smile to my lips) would have influenced Judas at least.

    But why would one want Judas as his guide, we should ask?  Christian doctrine states that Judas betrayed Christ because he was taken over by Satan, and is trapped in Hell for his sins (Dante places him second only to Lucifer in the circles of Hell...Judas has a harsher punishment than Brutus and Cassius, also being chewed alive by Lucifer).  But logic seems to defy this teaching.  Jesus' mission was to die for mankind's sins, to redeem them.  This the Church teaches.  The Church also teaches that the crucifixion was necessary, for Christ to die a martyr for mankind.  The key in this puzzle is that without Judas, the Jewish authorities could not have safely lynched Jesus...without Judas, the crucifixion would never have happened.  Jesus knew Judas would betray him, yet did nothing...because Jesus knew that Judas' betrayal was necessary.

    So, the Bible seems to suggest that Judas was a key part in the Betrayal; thus, he played a key role in the crucifixion and the atonement of sins.  Yet Judas is bearing the harsher punishment for mankind's sins, according to the Church's own doctrine!  Jesus allegedly rose from Hell three days after his death - most (conservative) Christians hold the view that Judas will remain eternally in Hell.  Additionally, there are clues present in the Gospel that indicate that Judas was not as evil as the Church would have us believe.  Consider that after the authorities apprehended Jesus, Judas tried to return the 'blood money' of 30 pieces of silver to the Jewish elders.  Why would he do this he wanted Jesus captured in the first place?  The popular theory is that Judas wanted Jesus to break down the elders' power and be a true Messiah, in a physical and military sense of the word.  He simply betrayed Jesus to try and provoke his teacher into acting forcibly against the hypocrisy of the elders and the occupation under the Romans.

    If we take this view of Judas, as a revolutionary, rather than a traitor, we can see that following Judas is not a betrayer of humanity; in fact, he is somewhat the opposite - in a world where no morals and values seem to exist, and where our narrator is filled with the bitter irony of life ('Fight wars - die in a blaze of glory'), Judas is someone he attempts to emulate - someone who tries to do something to change the world.  The other disciples followed Jesus like sheep - they would later follow out his final words to the best of their ability and despite all hardships, but during his life 'the flesh was weak'.  Judas, on the other hand, was the only one who acted to do something - although it turned out very badly. 

    However, the Judas figure must abandon everything that has gone before...by becoming so disillusioned with the world, he ignores even the small amount of good that may be left.  As such he 'lives in the black' with 'no guiding light', with nothing to look up to and nothing to aspire to - all his dreams have already been shattered, and all that's left for him is to attempt to change the situation for the better...at any cost.  The loss of all love and respect for a world gone mad means that our Judas forgets ties of kinship or love, and as such will do anything to attempt to make a difference, 'whispering in our dreams', sowing doubt in what we hold as truth...but may not be true at all.

    On the other hand, the opposite view is equally valid.  Depending on whether the listener himself feels that 'nothing is sacred', the narrator/Judas can be seen as deluded and pessimistic, or a realist and a desperate hope for an overhaul of society.  Personally, I feel that Judas has been wronged down the years, just as have many others by the Church (the ancient pagan religions and their followers, for a start).  Whatever the outcome of his actions, I feel that Judas had a good idea, if not necessarily the right one...it was his interperetation of Jesus' message about his mission that meant he [Judas] became so dismayed when he realised his 'plot' (and don't forget Jesus knew all about it!) had backfired horribly.

    Certainly, one of the more ambiguous lyrics Maiden (Bruce in particular) have written, and it's one of my favourites.  Whatever your interperetation, the delivery of the lyrics and the music perfectly amplifies the effect of the song, with bittersweet melodies playing off powerful, bitter cries and an up-tempo, aggressive feel.  If Maiden don't play this at least once before they retire, I'm going to do unimaginable things to Bruce and Steve and their families... :p
     
  12. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    Re: 'Judas Be My Guide'

    I don't think this song is about religion, as someone tried to point out.

    I see the lyrics as a strong criticism of the harsh capitalism that rules today, where human and moral values are twisted for the sake of money. Judas is a religious parallel here - Jesus is often depicted as a man who prospered humanity and morale and stuff like that. Judas betrayed him, like the world is betraying basic humanity principles today.

    The western "free world" of the '60s and '70s, and somewhat the early '80s, got a bit distroted in late '80s and 1990s. Once a system of personal freedoms that rivaled the communist system, turned into "a lot of freedom". A lot of freedom for companies and corporations that turned the basic lifestyle into a big money machine.

    One could write an essay about that topic, but it's not relevant right now. All in all, for me this is the best song from this album, and one of the rare '90s pieces that could be compared with the quality of Maiden's golden years.

    5/5 without any hesitation.
     
  13. gor

    gor Ancient Mariner

    Re: 'Judas Be My Guide'

    great interpretation, I think you really hit the nail on the head.
     
  14. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    Re: 'Judas Be My Guide'

    Thank you very much.
     
  15. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    Daily Song: Judas Be My Guide

    Welcome to the Daily Vote Thread! Rules are here.

    Remember, only a decent review will count towards the contest.

    Today's song: Judas Be My Guide

    Yesterday's song remains open for voting! You can find it here.
    [hr][/hr]
    Much better. Short and rockin'. I like it quite a lot. It balances on 8 and 7, but I just listened to it, and it is more of a 7.
     
  16. Jeffmetal

    Jeffmetal Ancient Mariner

    Re: Daily Song: Judas Be My Guide

    8. Rispid, non stopping, pure classic Maiden assault! Great lyrics by Bruce. Dave steals the show, once again with a brilliant composition and devastating solos and licks. Another overlooked song.
     
  17. mckindog

    mckindog Living for Sanctuary from the law Staff Member

    Re: Daily Song: Judas Be My Guide

    Finally something to get excited about again. A nice, compact little number that gets in, makes its point, then gets out. First they give us that attention-grabbing little intro, then some of those gorgeously pure Davey lead runs as the band kicks into gear. The chorus is great, I love the bridge, and the solo is more vintage Murray. The band and some fans seem to think this one should be lumped in with the lesser “singles” like Sun and Steel and New Frontier. I think it more properly fits with the 23:58s and Rainmakers of the world. Very melodic, tasteful and it rocks — a mix that adds up to a nine.
     
  18. Travis The Dragon

    Travis The Dragon The dreamers may die, but the dreams live on.

    Re: Daily Song: Judas Be My Guide

    A fun rocker with a sweet vocal performance. 8
     
  19. Jupz

    Jupz Ancient Mariner

    Re: Daily Song: Judas Be My Guide

    7/10, a solid song with a good chorus :)
     
  20. Prowler_108

    Prowler_108 Trooper

    Re: Daily Song: Judas Be My Guide

    This should have been a single, catchy, to the point, fantastic riffs.  High 8, would love to hear this live.
     

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