INFO ABOUT THE TROOPER:
"The Trooper" is a song written by Iron Maiden bass player Steve Harris. It is Iron Maiden's ninth single, and the second from their 1983 album Piece of Mind. The single was released on June 20, 1983. The song is about the Battle of Balaclava in 1854 during the Crimean War, and is at least partially based upon Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade", taking the viewpoint of one of the slain troopers, who, in the coverart, is perceived as a bald Eddie. It is known for the "galloping" sound of its bass guitar, as well as its catchy and memorable riff, and is a crowd favorite at concerts.
The music video features clips of the charge from the 1936 film The Charge of the Light Brigade, which was controversial due to the deaths of 200 horses and an actor during filming. On the Visions of the Beast DVD, a newer version of the video replaces the film footage with Flash animation by Camp Chaos. In the animation, Eddie - dressed in 19th Century British uniform and wielding two sabers - battles multiples caricatures of George Bush, Al Gore and Tipper Gore in a parody of the 20 US presidential election. At one point, Tipper Gore paints 'RATED X' on a cannonball; this is a mocking reference to Tipper's involvement in the Parents Music Resource Center which attempted to add warning labels to various records - many of them heavy metal - that they deemed inappropriate.
Lead singer Bruce Dickinson introduced the song in the Rock in Rio (Brazil, 2001) concert by quoting some lines of the poem written by Alfred Lord Tennyson: "Into the valley of death, rode the six hundred. Cannon to right of them, cannon to left of them, volleyed and thundered, 'The Trooper'". Usually, Dickinson waves a British flag during the song (sometimes a flag different from the British), but on the last few tours he has also worn an authentic-looking red tunic.
"The Trooper" was rereleased as a single in 2005 to help promote The Early Days DVD retrospective which covers the band's first eight years together. The live version comes from the double-live album Death on the Road, recorded live in Germany in 2003 and released in late 2005. Additional tracks include live performances from Iron Maiden's very first concert in support of The Early Days - a headlining performance at Germany's Rock am Ring festival.
Cover versions of the song can be found on the tribute albums "The Iron Maidens-World's Only Female Tribute To Iron Maiden" and their follow up CD/DVD release "ROUTE 6" which features Motörhead guitar player Phil Campbell joining the girls on a live version of the song. There is also Numbers from the Beast, featuring Lemmy on vocals, Phil Campbell and Rocky George on guitars, Chuck Wright on bass, and Chris Slade on drums. Apart from differences in guitar solos and vocal patterns, this version follows Harris' original compositional configuration.
The song is referenced in a later chapter in the book World War Z by Max Brooks. During the Battle of Hope between American soldiers and zombies, "The Trooper" was played as the Primary Enticement Mechanism to draw zombies to the battle and to inspire the soldiers and boost their morale.
The single's cover art forms part of a Loyalist mural in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland.
A covered version of the song is featured in the 2007 video game Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360.
(Guitar Hero Sucks)
Youll take my life but Ill take yours too
Youll fire you musket but Ill run you through
So when your waiting for the next attack
Youd better stand theres no turning back
The bugle sounds as the charge begins
But on this battlefield no one wins
The smell of arcrid 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 the russians fire another round
We get so near yet so far away
We wont 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 take my horse below
And as I lay there gazing at the sky
My bodys numb and my throat is dry
And as I lay forgotten and alone
Without a tear I draw my parting groan
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