What does 2 Minutes to Midnight mean?

Iron Maiden: 2 Minutes to Midnight Meaning

Tagged: Time [suggest]
Album cover for 2 Minutes to Midnight album cover

Song Released: 1984

2 Minutes to Midnight Lyrics

Kill for gain or shoot to maim
But we don't need a reason
The golden goose is on the loose and
Never out of season
Some blackened pride still burns inside this
Shell of bloody treason
Here's my gun for a barrel of fun
For the love of...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 19th 2010 !⃝

    It's about war and it's injustice in general...

    "kill for gain or shoot to maim, we don't need a reason" - sign up to the army for whatever reason you like, we just want you to kill for us.

    "the blind men shout 'let the creatures out and we'll show the unbelievers'" they don't believe what we tell them to so lets send our forces to attack them.

    "napalm screams of human flames of a prime time belsen feast, yeah!" napalm was often used in the viatnamese war to burn innocent civilians alive and belsen was a concentration camp in germany... The fact it's a feast is because it's killing millions who are defenceless against the force killing them.

    "as the reasons for the carnage cut their meat and lick the gravy, we oil the jaws of the war machine and feed it with our babies" instead of the political causes of the wars ficghting they live safely and comfortably whilst sending the normal people to fuel the war and those too old to fight have to see their children go to the slaughter.

    "the body bags and little rags of children torn in two, and the jellied brains of those who remain that put the finger right on you!" Not all the people who died were part of the war, even sometimes children were targeted for instance land mines were hidden in children's toys so when tripped it could have torn them in two and reduced their clothes to little rags. The only survivors have been mentally scarred by the war and its horrors eg shell shock, so after the consequences of the war have been seen by the public eye the blame, or the finger, is pointed at the politicians who caused it.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 25th 2009 !⃝

    While a lot of Iron Maiden songs have the 'Thriller/Suspence/Horror' element to them, this one is actually a political song in disguise. The "Doomsday Clock" as they called it back in the cold war was the figurative clock counting down to midnight - nuclear war. "2 Minutes to Midnight" is about the cold war and the doomsday clock ("Hand that threatens doom"), and how everybody was so afraid of something that hasn't happened yet (kill the unborn in the womb).


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 3rd 2013 !⃝

    This is about the Doomsday Clock. Right when the finger hits 12:00, the world will end due to nuclear war or some other natural disaster. It's basically counting down the minutes you have left to live. Interesting...

  4. ThePurg
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    Aug 25th 2016 !⃝

    It's very clear that it is a love story between a Bohemian peasant and a penguin. The forbidden love forces them to migrate to a different land. However, the peasant is not too thrilled about sitting on an egg all winter.

  5. kooljohn176
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    Dec 23rd 2015 !⃝

    This song is relevant today as it was in the past by ''IRON MAIDEN'' that is in anger of the madness getting out of control in the way the individual feels about the way we are being used in and by the Military Industrial Complex part of the government that are under the Top Leaders control to push them to push it's war machine towards keeping the cold war going closer to ''2 minutes to midnight'' doomsday clock that can lead the world into a Apocalyptic war. Just like, and with the parrael course both sides use by the term ''As the Madman play on Words and make us dance to their song''. This could also be about ''certain'' so called Christian-Zionist evangelist's [unbelievers in the true Word of JESUS]. Maybe that's why the individual says ''Don't you pray for my soul anymore'', probably 'cause he is loseing faith to believe these false prophets that use the last book in the Bible as a Revelation Heresey to use in the name of JESUS CHRIST to bring this Apocalyptic Rapture on the people by fear in the hope for the ''certain ones'' that the M.I.C war machine will do their dirty work for them to bring on the end of times against the people for their profits at the cost of our blood.

  6. anonymous
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    May 26th 2015 !⃝

    I'd say it's much more simpler than all you are reading into it. It's the battle call of England on the edge of WWII as both the war starts and as they are faced with total destruction because they "Will Never Surrender" to Nazi Germany. All the references of doomsday, nuclear destruction and babies are just as relevant today by the ruling elite. The amount of money spent on defense supposedly justified by our fear, could literally change the world if it was spent on humanitarian efforts. Unfortunately there is NO PROFIT in that!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  7. anonymous
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    Jun 26th 2014 !⃝

    It's about the unborn antichrist and thats the only real Nuke tye Nuke is a distraction from the real danger when rapture happens Boom.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  8. anonymous
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    Nov 15th 2012 !⃝

    Neither. Its about the illuminati, who control everything, and wage war for their own gain. "Kill for gain or shoot to maim
    But we dont need a reason
    The golden goose is on the loose
    And never out of season".. war is the golden goose, and war is never out of season, never not a possibility for them to make more money.

    "The killers breed or the demons seed,
    The glamour, the fortune, the pain,".. pretty clear who the "killers" are..the elite who rule the world also worship satan, and in fact propagating negative energy when they breed. Thus, fanning out demon seed. The uber wealthy(illuminati) also own money. they do not make money, they own it. They have no soul, no human connection or interaction..they only hunger for glamour and fame..more power.. without hopes of finding true happiness or evolving as humans.

    "As the madmen play on words and make us all dance to their song"... again, pretty obvious. We dance to their tune. War in Iraq? Yeah, sure well buy that. Food for thought.. ever read any Marx? He said that anything that separates humans is a tool to weaken us, and make us easy to control. Religions, people divided on "political parties"..even nations.. all a clever ruse to control us. Dont have to believe me.. just planting the seed.. you will see.

  9. anonymous
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    Jul 21st 2012 !⃝

    2 Minutes to Midnight is a very thought provoking and controversial song that is making a parallel between two themes.

    The title and chorus of the song is a clear reference to the Doomsday Clock. This is symbolic clock used by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to indicate how near the world is to a nuclear holocaust.

    However, the song's chorus diverges from the theme of atomic war and parallels this same level of human destruction with the abortion industry. The punctuated theme of the chorus is "to kill the unborn in the womb". This being a clear reference to abortion.

    Further the line, "We oil the jaws of the war machine and feed it with our babies," is a parallel to using abortion as a weapon of war.

    Other lines in the song confirms this theme including the bridge, apparently making a parallel with the freedom to have an abortion as "blood is freedom's stain."

    Making reference to human reproduction, is the line, "The killer's breed or the Demon's seed." In addition, what appears to be a sexual reference is, "Here's my gun for a barrel of fun," consistent with the theme of human reproduction.

    References to "Napalm screams of human flames" is perhaps a reference to saline abortion, in which the fetus is actually chemically burned alive in a saline solution, parallel to the chemical Napalm commonly used in conventional warfare.

    However, the most mysterious and cryptic line is, "For a prime time Belsen feast ... yeah!"

    However, Belsen is clearly a reference to the WWII Nazi death camp, in Belsen Germany. The Nazis exterminated people in an industrialized fashion motived by the psudo-science of eugenics. This also, consistent with the industrialization of abortion to "kill the unborn in the womb," on an industrialized scale. Perhaps, viewed as "a better kind of gun."

    So Iron Maiden appears to be taking a pro-life stance in this song. However, considering the criticism they received from Christian groups it's possible the song was intended to bait them in by taking what appears to be their pro-life position. This therefore would be completely contrary to the charge they are purely Satanic in nature, allowing them to flip the issue by charging these same Christian groups for not giving them credit for their obvious pro-life stance.

    Whatever the motivation, the song clearly was intended to make a moral observation regarding impact of the wide spread use of abortion starting in the late 20th century, noting that it is parallel in scale to nuclear holocaust. That also being a very controversial political statement as well.

  10. anonymous
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    Mar 2nd 2011 !⃝

    It's about the cold war. Do you not see that they use to say that during the cold war + the nuke in the single pic..

  11. anonymous
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    Oct 30th 2009 !⃝

    It also sounds like there's a hint of someone sending their offspring off to war in the lines "we oil the jaws of the war machine and feed it with our babies".

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