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

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Ancient Mariner
10 and one of my favorite Maiden songs.  My only beef with is is that I prefer hearing Adrian play that intro segment on guitar like on F666 than on keyboards or whatever was on the studio version.  Menacing tune featuring some of Bruce's best vocals.  Great song. 


Ancient Mariner
I didn't realize it that well, but when we're talking Moonchild...

... we could be talking about the only song that this line-up performed, in which Janick played the solo that Adrian originally did on the studio version (and of course live in 1988) in 2008 and 2009, and Adrian in 2012 and 2013. In other words: the only song with a personal change on a solo, within the timezone of this line-up. I am not counting the concerts that Adrian had to miss in 1999. These are also personal changes, but they were forced because of other, less convenient reasons. (I could still make an overview of that though).

If you guys know more examples, let me know! Perhaps it happened in previous tours.


The acoustic intro prepares you for what will come. The melody kicks in and the song builds and builds until the first verse arrives, and what a verse it is. The solos are great, and by some reason they give me flashbacks to The Number Of The Beast in style and arrangement. The bridge is great and overall Bruces vocals are better and more convincing then on the last album, maybe because it's his own lyrics.
A strong opening on a strong album.



The Guide
Does anyone want to give me a run down of their interpretation of this song? Would be interested to hear. One of my favorites by Maiden.


Does anyone want to give me a run down of their interpretation of this song? Would be interested to hear. One of my favorites by Maiden.
Do you mean lyrically? If so, sure, I'll give it a spin. I've never read the Orson Scott Card novel that inspired the album however, nor am I terribly familiar with the book of Revelation, so take my interpretation for what it's worth.

Seven deadly sins
Seven ways to win
Seven holy paths to hell
And your trip begins

Seven downward slopes
Seven bloodied hopes
Seven are your burning fires,
Seven your desires...

This serves not just as an intro to the song itself, but to the album as a whole, IMO, establishing the thematic importance of the number seven. The "seven ways to win, seven holy paths to hell, and your trip begins" seems to establish that there is an equal chance that the protagonist (the seventh son of the seventh son) will emerge victorious or end up going to hell. The rest seems to reinforce that; there's seven hopes (albeit bloodied ones, indicating that this will be a rather dark journey) and seven burning fires, perhaps indicating passion. On the darker end, there's also seven downward slopes, which may result in the bloodying of the aforementioned hopes, and also seven desires; I'm less sure of what to make of the pairing of this line with the burning fires. Also, amusingly, note the word seven is repeated seven times here.

I am he the bornless one
The fallen angel watching you
Babylon, the scarlet whore
I'll infiltrate your gratitude
The first two lines are simple enough; they implicitly establish the identity of the narrator as Lucifer. The last two are a bit trickier; the third line refers to the Whore of Babylon, a figure from the book of Revelation. There's debate about the significance and meaning attached to the references made in the Bible to this figure (it is popular to view her as a metaphor for pagan Rome or even the Catholic Church), but it seems significant for our purposes that the number seven is repeatedly attached to the Whore of Babylon; she sits on seven mountains or hills (hence Rome) and supposedly her downfall will be the image of the beast with seven heads. The latter is probably most relevant; if Lucifer is referring to the mother of the protagonist here, which fits with the rest of the song, then the seventh son of the seventh son is the cause of her downfall in this story. Again I'm not as sure about the last line here; what gratitude is he infiltrating?

Don't you dare to save your son
Kill him now and save the young ones
Be the mother of a birth strangled babe
Be the devils own, Lucifer's my name
Easy enough; Lucifer is speaking directly to the mother here, trying to tempt her into killing her son before he can be born. The "save the young ones" bit may be in reference to other children she has, which seems logical, given that this child will be a seventh son.

Moonchild - hear the mandrake scream
Open the seventh seal
Moonchild - You'll be mine soon child
Moonchild - take my hand tonight
In some legends and occult lore, the mandrake root when dug up, screams and kills all who can hear it. This is a metaphor being used by Lucifer for the seventh son of a seventh son, the moonchild himself, for what happens if the child is born. The mention of the seventh seal is yet another reference to the book of Revelation; supposedly the opening of the seventh seal cues seven angelic trumpeters, who in turn cue the seven plagues and more apocalyptic events in the Biblical apocalypse. Rather than being directly tied to any particular Biblical event though, I think the seventh seal's mention, apart from the obvious reason of invoking the number seven yet again, symbolizes the role of the protagonist as part of the struggle between good and evil that is the overall theme of Revelation. Another way to look at it, from a more literal Biblical interpretation, is that the seventh son of a seventh son is equivalent to the "Lamb having seven horns and seven eyes" that is supposed to be the only one who can open the sealed book and begin the events of Revelation. Taking the view that the end result is the wrath of God being visited upon his enemies, it might follow that Lucifer should want to prevent this. In either case, clearly the protagonist is being positioned as part of this struggle between good and evil. The last two lines are Lucifer declaring that the child will be his, of course.

I count the heads of those unborn
The accursed ones I'll find them all
If you die by your own hand
As a suicide you shall be damned
And if you try to save your soul
I will torment you - you shall not grow old
With every second and passing breath
You'll be so alone your soul will bleed to death
This part seems simple enough; the first two lines indicate that Lucifer habitually hunts the "accursed ones", perhaps meaning other seventh sons of seventh sons, or perhaps less literally, simply anyone else with a role to play in the Biblical struggle between good and evil. The rest of these lines are essentially Lucifer gloating that the mother will either be damned to hell or he will torture her in the living world, if she does not do as he wants.

The twins they are exhausted, seven is the night
Gemini is rising as the red lips kiss to bite
Seven angels seven demons battle for his soul
When Gabriel lies sleeping, this child was born to die
Here we get some of the somewhat more cryptic lyrics that mark this as a Bruce song. The twins refer to the Gemini astrological sign which is mentioned in the next line. Interestingly, Gemini is the third sign of the zodiac, not the seventh as you might expect at this point. "Seven is the night," is a bit vague, but I have a theory which may be baseless; if Gemini has just been exhausted (which happens in late June) perhaps the story is taking place in July, the seventh month. The seven angels and seven demons battling for the soul returns to the theme of seven and that good or evil could win this battle. The reference to Gabriel is referring to his role as the angel who foretold the birth of Jesus to Mary; Lucifer, still narrating, seems to be saying that this hasn't or won't happen this time, or perhaps that since it hasn't, that means this child is meant to die.

"One more dies one more lives
One baby cries one mother grieves
For all the sins you will commit
You'll beg forgiveness and none I'll give
A web of fear shall be your coat
To clothe you in the night
A lucky escape for you young man
But I'll see you damned in endless night"
The mother dies, but the child lives. The devil, however, is undeterred, warning that "For all the sins you will commit,
You'll beg forgiveness and none I'll give." This seems to essentially be a poetic way of saying that the seventh son of a seventh son will wish he'd never been born, or perhaps that no matter what will happen in the future, Lucifer shall not ultimately offer anything but eternal torment to the child. This seems to be borne out by the other lines, which state that the child, while having a lucky escape, is doomed to live in fear*, and that Lucifer shall see him damned to hell.

*Also, the reference to fear in the night is perhaps foreshadowing of the next song, Infinite Dreams
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Educated Fool

I like this track but thanks to the intro bit I never really listen to it unless listening to the album as a whole.


Previous Albums:

Iron Maiden - 6.67

8 - Prowler
6 - Sanctuary
7 - Remember Tomorrow
6 - Running Free
9 - Phantom Of The Opera
7 - Transylvania
4 - Strange World
6 - Charlotte The Harlot
7 - Iron Maiden

Killers - 5.91

6 - The Ides Of March
6 - Wrathchild
6 - Murders In The Rue Morgue
5 - Another Life
5 - Genghis Khan
5 - Innocent Exile
8 - Killers
5 - Prodigal Son
8 - Purgatory
6 - Twilight Zone
5 - Drifter

The Number Of The Beast - 7.56

6 - Invaders
7 - Children Of The Damned
8 - The Prisoner
7 - 22 Acacia Avenue
9 - The Number Of The Beast
10 - Run To The Hills
6 - Gangland
5 - Total Eclipse
10 - Hallowed Be Thy Name

Piece Of Mind - 7.44

8 - Where Eagles Dare
9 - Revelations
9 - Flight Of Icarus
7 - Die With Your Boots On
8 - The Trooper
7 - Still Life
6 - Quest For Fire
6 - Sun And Steel
7 - To Tame A Land

Powerslave - 6.75

8 - Aces High
7 - 2 Minutes To Midnight
3 - Loss Fer Words
7 - Flash Of The Blade
5 - The Duellists
6 - Back In The Village
9 - Powerslave
9 - Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

Somewhere In Time - 8.00

8 - Caught Somewhere In Time
9 - Wasted Years
8 - Sea Of Madness
8 - Heaven Can Wait
8 - The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner
7 - Stranger In A Strange Land
8 - Deja Vu
8 - Alexander The Great

Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

7 - Moonchild


Ancient Mariner
A really great opener. Wonderful intro, followed by wonderful metal. Not quite enough for a 9, but definitely a


clap hands

Bruce introduces the listener to the album with a brief musical interlude which repeats the theme of seven. A heavily delayed keyboard and guitar loop fills the void and opens the doors for the grand sonic template of the album. Once the full band kicks in it’s obvious that they are back in top form. Bruce sounds splendid on Moonchild, playing with the melodies and phrasing on a whim and belting out the chorus with conviction. Listen closely for a very faint scream during the chorus after the bizarre “mandrake” line. Smith and Dickinson co-wrote this classic Maiden opener and added a new touch of style. There’s a malevolent guitar harmony section between the solos that is superb, foreshadowing the dark tale to come.


Enterprise-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
My only complaint about this song, which is a killer, is that Bruce doesn't sound warmed up for it. His voice is raspy and a little more harsh than on the rest of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son. Considering the song was done in one take, it makes sense.

But it is better live. 9/10.


Educated Fool

When I first discovered this album, Moonchild couldn't get out of my head and I used to listen to this song on repeat for hours. It really is one of my favourites. I love everything about this song... the intro, the solos, the lyrics and the aggressive vocals on the verses. Actually, it was the lyrics to this song that made Bruce be my favourite lyricist in the band.