Man Of Sorrows (5:20)

Cover of Accident Of Birth

From Accident Of Birth and 1 other release

Man of Sorrows is the seventh song on Bruce Dickinson’s album Accident of Birth from 1997. The demo version of the song is included on the Best Of Bruce Dickinson album. On the same CD, Bruce states that Man of Sorrows was originally written for a movie called Chemical Wedding, which existed only as a script at the time (it was finally produced and released only in May 2008). The demo version was engineered by André Jacquemin (who is better known for his sound-engineer work for Monty Python), and had Janick Gers on the guitar.1

In interviews, Bruce Dickinson has stated that the song’s lyrics are about the occult English writer Aleister Crowley. The repeated expression “Do what thou wilt!” refers to the motto of the Abbey of Thelema, which the French Renaissance writer François Rabelais invented in his philosophical work Gargantua. In this abbey, men and women live together in peace and harmony according to the principle:

In all their rule and strictest tie of their order there was but this one clause to be observed, Do What Thou Wilt; because men that are free, well-born, well-bred, and conversant in honest companies, have naturally an instinct and spur that prompteth them unto virtuous actions, and withdraws them from vice, which is called honour.

Inspired by Rabelais’ ideas, Crowley founded in 1920 a commune called the Abbey of Thelema in Sicily.

The title Man of Sorrows refers to a passage in the Bible, in the book of Isaiah 53, which describes a man who takes on the sins of all mankind. According to Catholic teaching, this figure foreshadows Jesus, who died for mankind to redeem them:


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Here, in a church, a small boy is kneeling
He prays to a god he does not know, he cannot feel
All of his sins of childhood he will remember
He will not cry, tears he will not cry

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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