Song Meanings



Please help me, [!--emo&:bow:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/bowdown.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'bowdown.gif\' /][!--endemo--] I really need to know what the songs on X-Factor mean. Also if you are a very nice person, then maybe you could help me again and tell me what the songs on Virtual XI mean.

Thanks Smeppi
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The X Factor

Sign of the Cross - This song is possibly based on Umberto Eco's The Name Of The Rose, which was also made into a movie starring Sean Connery. The eleven saintly shrouded men are the holy inquisition of the Catholic church, which was responsible for the torture and murder of thousands of "heretics".

Lord of the Flies - based on the William Golding novel of the same name, which was also made into several movies. The story tells of a group of school boys who are marooned on a tropical island, and who gradually descend into tribal savagery. This is an energetic type of song, whose lyrics glorify the animal nature that is inherent inside all people.

Man on the Edge - This song is based on the 1993 movie Falling Down starring Michael Douglas, about a normal man who finally snaps under the stress, frustration, and absurdity of big city life. It is another of the few up-tempo songs on the album, but the guitar solos are very short and the song is not quite as deep as some of the other material on the album.

Fortunes of War - Fortunes Of War describes the mental anguish of a soldier returning from war -- the nightmares, the voices, and the terrible memories. It makes a good counterpart to Afraid To Shoot Strangers which describes the anguish of a soldier who is about to go off to war. Like Afraid To Shoot Strangers, it starts out softly with some acoustic guitar and low singing, but then breaks into a slow and heavy rhythm that is vaguely reminiscent of Black Sabbath. I've read a bit of criticism about this song that suggested it was too "generic", but I am forced to completely disagree. I don't hear anything remotely resembling "generic" here, and what I do hear is an incredibly powerful song that is full of dark emotion. It is among the best tracks of the album.

Look for the Truth - This is another introspective song about facing and overcoming one's fears. Like many songs on this album, it begins with an acoustic and soft singing intro, and then breaks into faster and heavier verses and chorus. Although the main body of the song is less dark than the intro, it is still a pretty good song with a tune that sticks in your mind.

The Aftermath - is a song that questions the validity and necessity of war. The main verses are built around a very simple sequence of guitar chords, but the instrumental contains some great riffs and guitar solos. I didn't like this song much at first, but it eventually grew on me.

Judgement of Heaven - This song faces the inevitable questions that all people eventually ask at some point in their lives regarding the meaning of existence, given that it actually has any meaning. It it has a dark and despondent mood that blends perfectly into the overall feel of the album. Amazingly enough, I didn't like this song at first. However, after a few listens I was having a hard time getting the tune out of my head and it has since become one of my favourite songs on the album.

Blood on the World's Hands - Lyrically reminiscent of Public Enema Number One, Blood On The World's Hands describes the horror, injustice, and brutality of the world. It features an interesting bass intro whose closest counterpart is the intro to Innocent Exile way back on the Killers album.

The Edge of Darkness - This song is based on the 1979 movie Apocalypse Now, which was in turn based on the Joseph Conrad classic Heart Of Darkness. The story tells of a man's journey up a river into the jungle in search of an insane genius who has succumbed to the innate savagery that resides inside all of us. It is another dark and brooding song in the same vein as Sign Of The Cross, with the riffs and rhythm shifts that have become a Maiden trademark.

2 A.M. - a beautiful song with a catchy tune that underlies some extremely insightful and powerful lyrics. At least, it is stuff that many people can exactly relate to -- the meaninglessness and futility of life. There is not too much to say except that the lyrics seem almost hauntingly autobiographical.

The Unbeliever - another introspective and inward-looking song, perhaps the most non-standard and misunderstood songs on the album. Many people dislike this song and so did I at first, but it isn't as bad as it seems if you give yourself time to adjust to its peculiar style. After several listens it grew on me a lot, and I especially like the chorus and mid-song instrumental.

Virtual XI

Futureal - This is a fast and energetic opening track, from which the album's cover picture and futuristic theme is derived. It is about being so involved in a virtual world that the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur and dissolve. The actual virtual medium is undefined in the song, but the lyrics describe quite accurately my own experience playing MUDs on the internet, which for a time completely took over my life (Baeleron).

The Angel and the Gambler - The Angel And The Gambler is the first single from the album. It is a light-hearted song about an incorrigible gambler and an angel that is attempting to save him by persuading him to quit gambling. In a possibly unintended lyrical irony, an 'angel' is also a term for a rich person who finances a gambler, allowing him to keep gambling using the rich person's money.

Lightning Strikes Twice - On the surface Lightning Strikes Twice is about an approaching thunderstorm, and the music does justice to this concept with its slow and quiet start which soon bursts into powerful guitar chords for the verses and choruses. But the chorus "maybe lightning strikes twice" seems to hint at a deeper meaning to the song. It is said that lightning never strikes the same place twice, and to suggest that maybe it will is perhaps a statement about fate and hope. Like many good songs, the meaning is open to personal interpretation, and the song itself is excellent.

The Clansman - The Clansman is clearly inspired by the 1995 movie Braveheart starring and directed by Mel Gibson. It describes the struggle of the Scottish clans to free themselves of English oppression, and the chorus is especially reminiscent of William Wallace's final dying cry "freedom" in the movie. This is an epic Harris song, equal to any of his past epics including Rime Of The Ancient Mariner or To Tame A Land. In fact, this song would be perfectly at home on any of the Maiden albums from the golden age.

When Two Worlds Collide - This song is about the collision of worlds, such as perhaps an asteroid or comet colliding with the earth. It is a concept that has enjoyed a fair amount of publicity recently, with the summer blockbusters Deep Impact and Armageddon drawing attention to the subject. Even though the lyrics could have been deeper, When Two Worlds Collide is a good song with a good tune and some nice guitar riffs and solos.

The Educated Fool - is about the deep and introspective mid-life realisation that most people eventually reach, where they begin to realise that their education and ideals are not really relevant to what is important in life. But the song also seems to be a statement of hope, to put these things into a proper perspective and face the ultimate meaning of life (whatever that might be) head-on.

Don't Look to the Eyes of a Stranger - This song is about the pervasive fear that is ingrained into the very core of modern society. As children we are taught to fear strangers, and this fear carries over into society as a whole. It is a fairly long song, with a number of interesting tempo changes and an excellent mid-song instrumental section.

Como Estais Amigos - Como Estais Amigos is a tribute to the Argentinian people, especially the soldiers who died in the 1982 Falkland Islands War with Britain. The title translates literally to "how are you friends". The song has a sad and powerful mood, and closes the album on a reflective and emotional note.

There, this should be enough.
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Ancient Mariner
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