virtual xi banner

'The Clansman' is clearly inspired by the 1995 movie Braveheart starring and directed by Mel Gibson. Another film about the History of Scotland was also released the same year, namely Rob Roy, and Steve said it was an inspiration for the song as well. But, whereas William Wallace was a true hero of Scotland and contributed massively in the struggle against the English, Rob Roy although considered a hero too by many was nothing more than a crook, a thief and a double-agent, who never really did anything in the fight for the freedom of his country.

The song describes the struggle of the Scottish clans to free themselves of English oppression, and the ill-intentioned people who tried to see some analogies with the Ku-Klux-Klan in the lyrics are sorely mistaken. This is a song about freedom and resistance against an oppressor, and there is no hint of racism in it whatsoever and those who think there is are urged to re-read the lyrics! The chorus itself is especially reminiscent of William Wallace's final dying cry "Freedom!" in the movie (in reality, considering that the poor man had just had his bowels removed, it would have been nothing more than a whisper, if anything). This is an epic Harris song, equal to any of his past epics including 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' or 'To Tame A Land'. In fact, this song would be perfectly at home on any of the Maiden albums from the Golden Age.

Started as two separate ideas, then put them together and it worked! It's got a Celtic flavour to the music which is why I wrote the lyrics about the Scottish clans. They were inspired also by the Braveheart and Rob Roy films.

Steve Harris



Members Login