Children of the Damned – Unveiling the Darkness Within

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Iron Maiden's Children of the Damned at
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Parable of the Forsaken Ones
  5. A Chorus That Echoes Through Eternity
  6. The Hidden Meaning: Damnation or Salvation?
  7. Memorable Lines That Scorch the Soul
  8. Reflections in the Flames: A Metaphor for the Ages


He’s walking like a small child
But watch his eyes burn you away
Black holes in his golden stare
God knows he wants to go home

Children of the damned
Children of the damned
Children of the damned
Children of the damned

He’s walking like a dead man
If he had lived he would crucified us all
Now he’s standing on his last step
He thought oblivion? Well, it beckons us all

Children of the damned
Children of the damned
Children of the damned
Children of the damned

Now it’s burning his hands
He’s turning to laugh
Smiles as the flame sears his flesh
Melting his face, screaming in pain
Peeling the skin from his eyes
Watch him die according to plan
He’s dust on ground, what did we learn?


You’re children of the damned
Your back’s against the wall
You turn into the light
You’re burning in the night
You’re children of the damned
Like candles watch them burn
Burning in the light
You’ll burn again tonight
Children of the damned

Full Lyrics

Since its fiery debut in 1982, Iron Maiden’s ‘Children of the Damned’ has reverberated through the psyche of metal aficionados and lyrical analysts alike. Riding on the waves of the band’s third studio album, ‘The Number of the Beast’, this track enthralls listeners with a melodic prowess that is as captivating as its narrative is mysterious.

With haunting imagery and a chorus that echoes like an anguished cry from the abyss, ‘Children of the Damned’ has been dissected and debated by fans who seek to uncover the intricate layers embedded within its melancholic verses.

The Parable of the Forsaken Ones

On the surface, ‘Children of the Damned’ might appear as a mere musing on disenfranchisement and doom. But to peel back the surface is to uncover a rich tapestry of metaphorical references suggestive of deeper societal and spiritual malaise. The ‘small child’ with his paradoxically piercing ‘golden stare’ might be a poignant commentary on the loss of innocence in a world teeming with existential threats.

Looking deeper into the abyssal ‘black holes’ of his eyes, one might see a mirror reflecting the dual state of mankind—innocence coupled with inherent darkness, the potential for change burning under the shadow of immutable fate. The character in the song, tormented yet powerful, embodies the duality of human nature.

A Chorus That Echoes Through Eternity

Repetition breeds memorability, and ‘Children of the Damned’ uses this to stellar effect. The titular refrain, a clarion call that is both a designation and a damnation, creates a hypnotic pulse that remains the heart of the song. Amidst this ostinato, the listener is drawn to ponder—could these ‘children’ be an allegorical nod to the ignored, the misunderstood, the ones left behind by society’s ceaseless march?

Or perhaps Iron Maiden is invoking the specter of war’s orphans—the young lives unalterably marred by conflicts and societal collapse. The mournful meditation on fatalism and inevitability becomes a universal chant that unites all who feel estranged or disillusioned.

The Hidden Meaning: Damnation or Salvation?

One cannot dissect the meaning of ‘Children of the Damned’ without confronting the immortal question: are we beyond redemption? The fiery imagery and religious undertones speak of an apocalyptic vision, a world where the damned children, presumed pariahs, might just be our last remnants of hope, our phoenixes rising from the ashes.

In this litany of despair, one could argue that Iron Maiden has deftly woven theological and existential reflections into metal’s rugged tapestry. It’s a cautionary tale that warns of the consequences of societal neglect and moral decay, while simultaneously offering a flicker of redemption through acknowledgment and awareness.

Memorable Lines That Scorch the Soul

‘Watch him die according to plan’—this line is but one of the many that leaves a scorch mark on the fabric of the listener’s mind. It’s the natural conclusion to the song’s unfolding narrative, the poetic justice or injustice served coldly, methodically. It alludes to the orchestrated downfall of individuals by larger, impersonal forces—society, fate, or even self-sabotage.

The visceral imagery conjured by the lyrics suggests a cycle of suffering and regeneration, where the past’s mistakes must not only be acknowledged but felt, worn, and burned away. The cyclical notion of death and rebirth is embodied in these lyrics, hinting at the relentless march of time and the fragile persistence of humanity.

Reflections in the Flames: A Metaphor for the Ages

The potency of ‘Children of the Damned’ lies not merely in the words sung but in the imagery those words evoke. Flames, a time-honored symbol of both destruction and purification, feature prominently throughout the song. From the burning hands to the candles melting away, the fire serves as a powerful metaphor for human resilience and vulnerability.

As the final lines contemplate burning ‘in the light’, there emerges a stark choice juxtaposed with an ironic fate: the light that illuminates is the same that incinerates. Thus, in the scintillating dance of light and shadow, Iron Maiden’s ‘Children of the Damned’ becomes an anthem for those who understand that to exist is to embrace both the brilliance and the darkness of the human condition.

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