The Longest Day
Iron Maiden愀 Lyrics


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In the gloom the gathering storm abates
In the ships gimlet eyes await
The call to arms to hammer at the gates
To blow them wide throw evil to its fate

All summers long the drills to build the machine
To turn men from flesh and blood to steel
From paper soldiers to bodies on the beach
From summer sands to Armageddon's reach

Overlord, your master not your god
The enemy coast dawning Grey with scud
These wretched souls puking, shaking fear
To take a bullet for those who sent them here

The world's alight, the cliffs erupt in flame
No escape, remorseless shrapnel rains
Drowning men no chance for a warrior's fate
A choking death enter hell's gate

Sliding we go, only fear on our side
To the edge of the wire,
And we rush with the tide
Oh the water is red,
With the blood of the dead
But I'm still alive, pray to God I survive

[Chorus x2:]
How long on this longest day
'Til we finally make it through
How long on this longest day
'Til we finally make it through

The rising dead, faces bloated torn
They are relieved, the living wait their turn
Your number's up, the bullet's got your name
You still go on, to hell and back again

Valhalla waits, valkyries rise and fall
The warrior tombs, lie open for us all
A ghostly hand reaches through the veil
Blood and sand, we will prevail

Sliding we go, only fear on our side
To the edge of the wire,
And we rush with the tide
Oh the water is red,
With the blood of the dead
But I'm still alive, pray to God I survive





[Chorus x 4]

Overall Meaning

The Longest Day by Iron Maiden is a song that tells the story of the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II. The lyrics describe the gathering storm of the approaching battle, the preparations of soldiers and sailors, the fear and desperation felt by the troops, the horror and chaos of the battle itself, and the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought on that fateful day.


The opening lines of the song set the scene for the approaching battle, with the "gathering storm" abating and the ships waiting for the call to arms. The soldiers have been trained through the summer to become like "steel" and they are now ready to face the enemy. The chorus repeats the question "how long on this longest day" indicating the sheer length and gruelling nature of the battle. The song ends with a triumphant note, as the soldiers continue to fight even as death surrounds them, inspired by the promise of Valhalla and the hope of victory.


Throughout the song, the imagery is potent and vivid, describing the blood and gore of the battle, the courage and valor of the soldiers, and the horror and destruction of war. The lyrics paint a picture of a brutal and unrelenting conflict, in which the soldiers fight not only for their own survival but for the freedom and protection of their country and fellow man.


Line by Line Meaning

In the gloom the gathering storm abates
The storm that is about to take place is getting weaker


In the ships gimlet eyes await
The soldiers on the ship are waiting for the battle to start


The call to arms to hammer at the gates
The soldiers are prepared and waiting for the order to attack the enemy


To blow them wide throw evil to its fate
To defeat the enemy and eliminate evil


All summers long the drills to build the machine
During the entire summer, soldiers have been training and building weapons for the war


To turn men from flesh and blood to steel
To prepare soldiers to face the war and make them strong with courage


From paper soldiers to bodies on the beach
Soldiers have gone from being just a name and rank on paper to being real people fighting and dying on the battlefield


From summer sands to Armageddon's reach
From the quiet summer beach to the terrifying and violent end of the world


Overlord, your master not your god
The commanders are not to be worshipped, they are just human and in charge


The enemy coast dawning Grey with scud
The enemy coast is covered by a thick gray cloud of smoke


These wretched souls puking, shaking fear
The soldiers are so scared that they are vomiting and trembling


To take a bullet for those who sent them here
The soldiers are willing to die for their country, even if it means being sent to battle without a choice


The world's alight, the cliffs erupt in flame
The destruction caused by the war has set the world on fire and the cliffs are exploding


No escape, remorseless shrapnel rains
There is no way to escape the deadly shrapnel raining down on them with no mercy


Drowning men no chance for a warrior's fate
The soldiers are drowning and dying tragically without the chance to be brave and fight


A choking death enter hell's gate
A suffocating and painful death awaits the soldiers that are dying


Sliding we go, only fear on our side
The soldiers are terrified, with fear being their only companion


To the edge of the wire, And we rush with the tide
The soldiers charge towards the enemy lines like waves crashing against the shore


Oh the water is red, With the blood of the dead
The water is stained red with the blood of the soldiers that have been killed


But I'm still alive, pray to God I survive
The artist is still alive and hopes to survive, asking for divine intervention


The rising dead, faces bloated torn
The dead soldiers are swollen and mutilated as they rise from the battlefield


They are relieved, the living wait their turn
The dead soldiers can now rest, while the living ones are waiting for their fate to be decided


Your number's up, the bullet's got your name
Every soldier has their fate sealed, each bullet is meant for a specific person


You still go on, to hell and back again
The soldiers keep fighting, even if they have to face hell itself


Valhalla waits, valkyries rise and fall
The warriors that die in battle will go to Valhalla, where the valkyries will greet them and take them to the afterlife


The warrior tombs, lie open for us all
The graves of the fallen warriors are waiting to be filled by those who will not survive the war


A ghostly hand reaches through the veil
The dead soldiers are trying to reach out from the afterlife to influence the outcome of the war


Blood and sand, we will prevail
We will win the war, even if it means sacrificing everything


Chorus x2: How long on this longest day, 'Til we finally make it through
How long does this day have to be before we can finally win the war?


Chorus x4: How long on this longest day, 'Til we finally make it through
Repetition of the previous chorus




Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: ADRIAN FREDERICK SMITH, BRUCE DICKINSON, STEPHEN PERCY HARRIS

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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