Based on the 1932 novel by Aldous Huxley , this is once again a classic-to-be of Iron Maiden. A soft intro gives way to powerful riffs and singing, and the catchy chorus is ideal for crowd participation a la 'Fear Of The Dark' during the concerts. The song ends as it started in an acoustic and melancholic way.
The story that inspired the lyrics of the song takes place in what was at the time of Huxley's writing a futuristic world state with the motto: "Community, Identity, Stability". Every inhabitant of this state consumes daily doses of an anti-depressive drug called soma, babies are conceived and born in specialised laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is the "feelies", a movie that can not only be watched but also felt with the senses of touch and smell. The main character in the book revolts against this system that controls every single aspect of human life and ends up becoming a sort of circus attraction (the "Savage") for the rest of the world. When we take a look at the current state of our planet, it becomes quite obvious that Huxley was disquietingly right and that what he described as Utopia was very close to the world we live in nowadays. Today's Western society with its constant search for entertainment, sometimes to the extreme, and gradual extinction of individuality is the proof that Huxley's imagination in the 1930s was in fact a form of prediction of what was yet to come.
The title itself is taken from Shakespeare's 1612 play TheTempest, in which the character of Miranda exclaims:
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
That has such people in't!
Act V, Scene I
lthough there are, as Bruce rightly mentions below, no "dying swans" in Brave New World, Huxley did also write a book published in 1939 and called After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. In this novel, Huxley ironically analyses American culture, mostly what he saw as its narcissism, superficiality, and obsession with youth (already then!). The title originates from a line of Lord Tennyson's poem Tithonus, about a character of the Greek mythology to whom Zeus gave eternal life but not eternal youth. In Huxley's novel, a Californian millionaire hears about an English nobleman who discovered a way to vastly extend the human life span. He then travels to England and finds the nobleman still alive, but he has degenerated into an ape-like creature; the millionaire decides to extend his life anyway. This is another fine example of narcissism, although this one is on an individual scale whereas Brave New World extends it to the entire society.