Bruce Dickinson and the lyrics on Iron Maiden's Senjutsu Official Merchandise Store

Bruce Dickinson and the lyrics on Iron Maiden's Senjutsu

Before the coronavirus smashed the world, Iron Maiden had just finished recording their 17th studio album, Senjutsu. Lockdown then happened and Bruce was in Paris with his girlfriend.

Bruce tells Rolling Stone “The sun was out for the first part of it, and it was like a novelty at first. I was stuck in Paris in my girlfriend’s apartment, and the worst thing was, we have a very small balcony, and there was a guy in the apartment above us who insisted on practicing his saxophone every 5 o’clock in the afternoon doing the world’s worst â€˜The Final Countdown.’ It’s like waking up by a shotgun, you know?”

I certainly do, my neighbours in my apartment block all sing John Lennon's Imagine every morning at 8:15am. Please help.

Some parts of the world are slowly reopening, Bruce Dickinson's ready to get back to rockin' on. Bruce is 63 but has the energy and athletic fortitude of a fit twenty something. He's been busy with solo spoken-word gigs, he had to stop the gigs because he tested positive for Covid-19 in August. He was fully vaccinated. Iron Maiden are planning a European tour next year. Now their new album Senjutsu has dropped all around the world.

There’s a million and one ways that the world is going to end.

The lyrics to the song Senjutsu has a judgment day feel. Dickinson talks about the meaning. "I don’t really think the apocalypse, per se, exists, but it’s something that makes some people feel comfortable because they feel uncomfortable with confronting reality."

He continues "If you can’t cope with the complexities of reality, you go to apocalyptic prophecies, then you choose to believe them, and then you have your tribe. You can see it at the moment the whole anti-vax thing and the propaganda that’s going on. So people have an urge to believe, and I don’t think you need to read the Bible because actually there were plenty of apocalyptic prophecies kicking around, not even in the Bible. We’ve invented our own on a regular basis. I mean, the world was going to end with the Y2K bug in 2000. Then there was going to be an asteroid. There’s a million and one ways that the world is going to end. But oh, dear, it hasn’t."

On the song Darkest Hour Dickinson says "It’s about Churchill and how, for all his mistakes and his personal flaws — and there were plenty of them — he did one thing in his life, which was to stand up against this tyrant who would have engulfed the world in his madness … you know, Hitler. And Churchill stood up against the advice of lots of great, worthy people. Half his government was opposed to him, and he was just a cantankerous alcoholic, grumpy old git that went, “No. Had enough. You shall not pass. That’s it.”

Iron Maiden Senjutsu â€“ ‘tactics & strategy’

For Senjutsu â€“ loosely translated as ‘tactics & strategy’, the band once again enlisted the services of Mark Wilkinson to create the spectacular Samurai themed cover artwork, based on an idea by Steve Harris. And with a running time of a little under 82 minutes, Senjutsu, like their previous record The Book Of Souls, will be a double CD album/triple vinyl album.

Bruce Dickinson continues, "We’re all really excited about this album. We recorded it back in early 2019 during a break in the Legacy tour so we could maximize our touring yet still have a long set up period before release to prepare great album art and something special as a video. Of course the pandemic delayed things more - so much for the best laid plans – or should that be ‘strategies’!? The songs are very varied, and some of them are quite long. There’s also one or two songs which sound pretty different to our usual style, and I think Maiden fans will be surprised - in a good way, I hope!"

The full tracklisting is:

1. Senjutsu (Smith/Harris) 8:20
2. Stratego (Gers/Harris) 4:59
3. The Writing On The Wall (Smith/Dickinson) 6:13
4. Lost In A Lost World (Harris) 9:31
5. Days Of Future Past (Smith/Dickinson) 4:03
6. The Time Machine (Gers/Harris) 7:09
7. Darkest Hour (Smith/Dickinson) 7:20
8. Death Of The Celts (Harris) 10:20
9. The Parchment (Harris) 12:39
10. Hell On Earth (Harris) 11:19

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