“When the Wild Wind Blows” by Iron Maiden

This song is based on a novel released in 1982 entitled “When the Wind Blows”. The novel was released as an anti-war based animated film in 1986.  Said piece of literature centers on an elderly couple living in England at a time when nuclear hostilities are at their peak. And as a result of their country being deemed as a potential target for a nuclear attack, the husband starts to construct a fallout shelter. In this shelter, he hopes he and his wife can survive in the case of an actual launch.


He has been inspired to take such an action by credible reports that an attack on England is forthcoming. But it is also imperative to note that in the first chorus it is insinuated these reports may be inaccurate. Or rather let’s say that there are also counter reports circulating.

But the husband is the type that has the natural tendency to believe pessimistic news over that which may be more optimistic. And it is that mentality which the title of the song is based on. That is the actual moment “when the wild wind blows”, as in some nuclear-level catastrophe actually taking place, is deemed as being imminent in this old man’s eyes. And it is this narrative which most of the lyrics are based on – of this man preparing for doomsday and the types of related thoughts that are running through his mind. And the story line remains so right up until the point where the ground actually starts to tremble beneath he and his wife’s feet.

Song’s Conclusion differs from Movie’s Conclusion

And the conclusion of their tale in this song differs from that of the movie. Some time after this tremor, the couple are discovered by rescue workers. And it was in fact a tremor, as in an earthquake. Yet the husband, being the type of thinker that he was, mistook this natural event for an actual nuclear attack. And in response he and his wife took their own lives as opposed to facing what they perceived as being the end of the world.


So we can conclude that there are some subliminal messages behind this track. One is that Steve Harris, who wrote the song, really appreciated “When the Wind Blows” as a piece of art, since he was compelled to write an entire tune about it. Another, more-pressing implication is that a sky-is-falling mentality can prove to be quite destructive to those who let such thinking overtake their reasoning. 

And finally we can say that to some extent this is an anti-war song, as it harps back to what is apparently the original intent of “When the Wind Blows”, which is the harrowing psychological effect the prospect of nuclear war can have on people.

Lyrics of "When the Wild Wind Blows"

Release Date

This song came out on 13 August 2010 as part of Iron Maiden’s album entitled “The Final Frontier”. And the label that issued it is EMI Records.

Who wrote “When the Wild Wind Blows”?

“When the Wild Wind Blows” was written by Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris.  And the track was produced by he and South African producer Kevin Shirley.

2 Responses

  1. Jason Craig says:

    Very informative. Thank you

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the explanation! Right to the point

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