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Similar to 'Holy Smoke' on the previous album which dealt with the greed and hypocrisy of TV preachers, 'Be Quick Or Be Dead' is a politically motivated song that deals with the greed and corruption of the democratic political system.

He says you must vote for what you want to hear

 

Don't matter what's wrong as long as you're alright

 

So pull yourself stupid and rub yourself blind

The song is about money and dodgy deals that some dishonest white-collar people make without a care in the world for those they sometimes drive to ruin. You must be quick and clever if you have no other choice but work with them, otherwise you may end up dead (maybe not in the physical sense of the term, but at least financially). The title of the song is itself inspired by a quote from the Bible that has nothing to do with the theme developed by the lyrics:

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom [...].

2 Timothy 4:1

Dickinson's horrible singing style ruins a song that could otherwise have been pretty decent. He was apparently experimenting, although his clear and powerful voice from the "Golden Age" was sorely missed until the "Reunion" albums.

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