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'Flight Of Icarus' is very loosely based on the ancient Greek myth of D?dalus who was imprisoned by king Minos of Crete. He and his son Icarus fashioned wings from feathers and wax and made their escape, but Icarus flew too near the sun, melting the wax that held the feathers, and he fell to his death in the sea.

The purists in Greek mythology always have had a problem with this song. Of course, there was no crowd in the original tale, as D?dalus and Icarus were discreetly escaping the labyrinth where they were held prisoners (and that ironically D?dalus had designed himself!). Besides, Icarus was not the only one to fly with the make-shift wings: his father was flying beside him and warning him about the dangers of flying too close to the sun (which is nowadays known to be complete nonsense, as we all know that the temperature decreases with altitude but let us not forget that this is ancient myth and some sort of parable).

It's a really good song but we much prefer it live. We tend to play it a little bit faster live. Looking back on it now we feel we could have played it at the faster speed on the album. This little extra touch gives it a bit more fire. If you're counting solos, this is Dave.

Steve Harris

One last question I would like to raise is this one: in the verse "Now he knows his father betrayed", is it the father that betrays his son or has he been betrayed himself? This seems open to interpretation, as both possibilities are equally plausible. In the case of the father being betrayed, that could mean that the wings he designed for his son have been made with some external help, and that the helper(s) betrayed him, thus causing his son's death. The other interpretation could imply that the son believes that the old man has betrayed him (although what kind of a father would betray his son?) as the wings melt and he falls to his death. Many young people do not heed their elders' advice, but still manage to blame them if things go wrong. This is not unusual. I just thought I would mention this apparent ambiguity and let the reader think about it.

Flight Of Icarus single Bruce admitted himself that he had slightly twisted the original tale to make it an allegory of teenage rebellion against adult authority a rebellion that lead to disaster in the case of Icarus! This is then the opportunity to re-read the original story and discover what it is all about, whereas we can enjoy this song in itself and grant the somehow strange lyrics to artistic license.

Its catchy tune and chorus gives this song its place as a Maiden classic, although it could have had a much longer instrumental section rather than just the short guitar solos.



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