Gangland
Iron Maiden Lyrics


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Shadows may hide you but also may be your grave
You're running today maybe tomorrow you'll be saved
You pray for daylight to save you for a while
You wonder if your children will face the killer's smile

Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, murder's up for sale
Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, where jail birds die

Face at the window leers into your own
But it's only your reflection still you tremble in your bones
How long can you hide? How long till they come?
A rat in a trap but you've got to survive

Once you were glad to be free for a while
The air tasted good and the world was your friend
Then came the day when the hard times began
Now your alone but alive for how long?

Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, murder's up for sale
Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, where jail birds die

A knife at your throat another body on the pile
A contract to keep and it's service with a smile
Murder for vengeance or murder for gain
Death on the streets or a blackened out jail

Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, murder's up for sale
Dead men, tell no tales
In Gangland, where jail birds die

Dead men
Gangland




Murder
Gangland tell no tales

Overall Meaning

Iron Maiden's song "Gangland" is a vivid and evocative representation of life in the underworld. The lyrics are a haunting reminder that shadows can both protect and harm, and that running may provide temporary relief but trouble is never far behind. The singer is deeply concerned about the safety of their children, wondering if they too will one day face the "killer's smile." The song paints a terrifying picture of a life spent in hiding, always terrified of being caught and punished for their sins.


The second half of the song focuses on the brutal reality of life in gangland. Death and murder are commonplace, and those who fall victim to it often tell no tales. The vivid imagery of a knife at the throat and bodies piling up is chilling, and the idea that murder can be carried out for both vengeance and gain shows how deeply ingrained violence is in this world. The song concludes on the somber note that in gangland, dead men truly do tell no tales.


Line by Line Meaning

Shadows may hide you but also may be your grave
Hiding from danger can save you, but it can also lead to your demise


You're running today maybe tomorrow you'll be saved
Escaping danger is only a temporary solution that might not always work


You pray for daylight to save you for a while
You hope to survive long enough to see the light of day again


You wonder if your children will face the killer's smile
You fear for the safety of your loved ones, wondering if they will also face harm


Dead men, tell no tales
Killing people ensures that they will not speak or retaliate against you


In Gangland, murder's up for sale
In this area, killing for money is a common and accepted practice


Face at the window leers into your own
Your own fear is staring you in the face, making you even more uneasy


But it's only your reflection still you tremble in your bones
You realize it was just your reflection, but the fear and anxiety remain


How long can you hide? How long till they come?
You wonder how long you can escape danger and when it will catch up to you


A rat in a trap but you've got to survive
You feel like a trapped animal, but you do whatever it takes to stay alive


Once you were glad to be free for a while
You used to appreciate your freedom and life, but now they are threatened


The air tasted good and the world was your friend
You felt free and happy with the world around you


Then came the day when the hard times began
Your life took a turn for the worse and danger became a constant part of it


Now your alone but alive for how long?
You are surviving, but unsure for how much longer you can continue


A knife at your throat another body on the pile
You are at knife point with no escape, and more victims have already been claimed


A contract to keep and it's service with a smile
You are being forced to kill for someone else, with a facade of pleasantries


Murder for vengeance or murder for gain
Killing can be motivated by revenge or greed, with the same fatal outcome


Death on the streets or a blackened out jail
The end result of violent crime is either death or imprisonment


Dead men, tell no tales
Killing people ensures they will not expose or report criminal activity


In Gangland, murder's up for sale
In this area, killing for money is a common and accepted practice


Dead men, tell no tales
Killing people ensures they will not speak or retaliate against you


In Gangland, where jail birds die
In this area, criminals are not safe in jail and often face fatal consequences


Dead men
People who have been killed


Gangland
A dangerous area where criminal activity is rampant


Murder
The act of killing someone with intention or malice


Gangland tell no tales
In this area, silence is maintained through violent repercussions and fear




Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group
Written by: Clive Ronald Burr, Adrian Frederick Smith

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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