This song continues and finishes the album's exploration of the meaning of life and death. It's another powerful song with an excellent chorus, although it's a bit too short. A long instrumental at the end, like in 'To Tame A Land' would have made this song really perfect. But still, it's a good track and a worthy end to this classic album.
This final chapter relates the end of the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son and is a bitter account of his life. There again, there is the notion that fate is inescapable. It seems that the verses are actually said in turn by the Seventh Son and by the Devil who alternate their respective (and pretty similar) views of the events. The chorus itself is a reminder that "the evil that men do lives on and on."
The Seventh Son was but a pawn on the chessboard of Good versus Evil, and none of them actually won this game ("one more stalemate"). The villagers rather believed in walking on water than in the Seventh Son's predictions, and the last verse takes a pop at christianity made of bishops and guilt in which believing doesn't prevent lust and sin. Like the villagers who trusted more a book written many centuries ago and suffered a catastrophe because they didn't listen to the modern prophet's warnings, many of our comtemporaries should maybe pay more attention to our current surroundings than to have blind faith in an age-old legend.
The very last verse after Dave Murray's final solo is a repeat of the very first one that opened the album, thus closing the circle. A disaster that could have been avoided has occurred and this ominous end probably hints at the fact that History repeats itself because Mankind doesn't learn or maybe doesn't want to learn from past mistakes. A pessimistic view that is sadly very close to reality.