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About the politics of war and destruction, '2 Minutes To Midnight' makes a meaningful statement about the morality of warmongers and politicians.

As the madmen play on words

And make us all dance to their song

To the tune of starving millions

To make a better kind of gun

The most vivid images are summoned here to highlight the horrors of this world, and the "prime-time Belsen feast" probably refers to those terrible pictures that show up at almost every news bulletin on TV. Bergen-Belsen was one of the most horrifying concentration camps in Nazi Germany (although it is obvious that the sheer existence of such places was an insult to Mankind in itself) and the reference to such terrible events happening in "prime-time" seems to indicate that, although such things are still taking place nowadays in one form or another, they have become some sort of a show and no one pays much attention anymore. In retrospect, this is somehow reminiscent of the verses "you watch the world exploding every single night" in the song 'The Wicker Man' or of "withered hands, withered bodies, begging for salvation" in 'Out Of The Silent Planet', both song from the 2000 album ironically titled Brave New World.

The title of the song refers to the Doomsday Clock, one of the most chilling and best known symbols of the nuclear age, representing how close humanity is to the brink of nuclear holocaust (midnight). The clock reached 2 minutes to midnight in September 1953, after the Soviets successfully detonated an awesomely powerful thermonuclear device. Today the clock stands at 7 minutes to midnight after little progress was made on global nuclear disarmament. In 2002, the United States rejected a series of arms control treaties and announced it will withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Moreover, terrorists seek to acquire and use nuclear and biological weapons. Bad news for mankind indeed!

In addition to its excellent lyrics, '2 Minutes To Midnight' has a great chorus and instrumental section, making it one of Maiden's most memorable songs.



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