The latest choice for “Song of the Day” came to me while I was reading the last third of Max Brooks’ very awesome novel World War Z. In a later chapter in the novel when the survivors of the United States during an ongoing zombie apocalypse finally go on the offensive and leave the relative safety of the West Coast and the Rockies which provide a natural barrier from the hundreds of millions of zombies to the east. During this offensive the forces uses a particular song to lure zombies into an ambush zone where they could be destroyed en masse. The song the soldiers and their superiors used to help lure the undead and to also pump up the men was Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper”.
The song is another one of those Iron Maiden songs which takes its inspiration from a moment in military history and from a classic English poem. This time around the moment in military history is the Charge of the Light Brigade during the the Battle of Balaclava of the Crimean War (1854). The English poem which inspired the song was Lord Tennyson’s poem of the same name. This is classic heavy metal at its best. We have the galloping bass rhythm which sounds like the Light Brigade mentioned above making their courageous, but ill-fated charge into the muskets and cannons of the Russian forces.
I could continue to try and describe all the other musical details about this song, but I feel I’m ill-equipped to do so. I’m sure the site’s own music and metal expert necromoonyeti could better describe the awesome guitar work by Dave Murray and Adrian Smith during this song.
One thing that I am sure of is that if there ever was a zombie apocalypse and I found myself one of the survivors looking to take back the country then this would be part of my playlist when I’m destroying zed heads.
You’ll take my life but I’ll take yours too
You’ll fire your musket but I’ll run you through
So when you’re waiting for the next attack
You’d better stand there’s no turning back
The bugle sounds as the charge begins
But on this battlefield no one wins
The smell of acrid smoke and horses breath
As you plunge into a certain death
The horse he sweats with fear we break to run
The mighty roar of the Russian guns
And as we race towards the human wall
The screams of pain as my comrades fall
We hurdle bodies that lay on the ground
And as the Russians fire another round
We get so near yet so far away
We won’t live to fight another day
We get so close near enough to fight
When a Russian gets me in his sights
He pulls the trigger and I feel the blow
A burst of rounds takes my horse below
And as I lay there gazing at the sky
My body’s numb and my throat is dry
And as I lay forgotten and alone
Without a tear I draw my parting groan