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Empire Of The Clouds

Iron Maiden

The Book Of Souls


To ride the storm, to an empire of the clouds
To ride the storm, they climbed
aboard their silver ghost
To ride the storm, to a kingdom that will come
To ride the storm and damn the rest... oblivion

Royalty and dignitaries, brandy and cigars
Grey lady giant of the skies,
You hold them in your arms
The millionth chance they laughed,
to take down his majesty's craft
"To india" they say, "magic carpet float away",
an october fateful day...

Mist is in the trees,
Stone sweats with the dew
The morning sunrise, red before the blue

Hanging at the mast,
Waiting for command
His majesty's airship,
The r101

She's the biggest vessel built by man,
A giant of the skies
For all you unbelievers,
The titanic fits inside

Drum roll tight her canvas skin,
Silvered in the sun
Never tested with the fury,
With the beating yet to come
The fury yet to come

In the gathering gloom,
A storm rising in the west
The coxswain stared
Into the plunging weather glass

We must go now,
We must take our chance with fate
We must go now,
For a politician, he can't be late

The airship crew awake for thirty
Hours at full stretch
But the ship is in their backbone,
Every sinew, every inch

She never flew at full speed,
A trial never done
Her fragile outer cover
Her achilles would become
An Achilles yet to come

Sailors of the sky, a hardened breed
Loyal to the king,
And an airship creed

The engines drum,
The telegraph sounds
Release the cords
That bind us to the ground

Said the coxswain "Sir, she's heavy"
"She'll never make this flight"
Said the captain "Damn the cargo"
"We'll be on our way tonight"

Groundlings cheered in wonder,
As she backed off from the mast
Baptising them her water
From the ballast fore and aft
Now she slips into our past

Feeling the wind as it rolls you
Feeling the diesels that push you along
Watching the Channel below you
Lower and lower, into the night

Lights are passing below you
Northern france, asleep in their beds
Storm is raging around you
A million to one, that's what he said

Reaper standing beside her
With his scythe cuts to the bone
Panic to make a decision
Experienced men asleep in their graves

Her cover is ripped and she's drowning
Rain is flooding into the hull
Bleeding to death and she's falling
Lifting gas is draining away

"We're down lads" came the cry
Bow plunging from the sky
Three thousand horses silent
As the ship began to die

The flares to guide her path
Ignited at the last
The empire of the clouds,
Just ashes in our past
Just ashes at the last

Here lie their dreams
As I stand in the sun
On the ground where they built
And the engines did run

To the moon and the stars,
Now what have we done
Oh the dreamers may die
But the dreams live on
Dream lives on - dream lives on...

Now a shadow on a hill,
The angel of the east
The empire of the clouds
May rest in peace

And in a country churchyard,
Laid head to the mast
Eight and forty souls
Who came to die in France

Compositor: Bruce Dickinson

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