Features Albums Singles Videos Tours Bootlegs Tribute Albums Links
The Trooper – Commentary
The Trooper

The Trooper

20th June 1983

1. The Trooper (Harris)
2. Cross-Eyed Mary (Anderson)


Lyrics Listen With Nicko – Part V
Picture Disc Various Pressings

Album Commentary


It can be argued that 'The Trooper' is the definitive song from Iron Maiden's golden era, with the single reaching number twelve in the U.K. The sleeve picture is also one of the classic Eddie pictures, which can also be found on many Maiden memorabilia from that era.

While we're on the subject of this impressive picture that all Maiden fans are familiar with, it is quite interesting to point out that it may have been inspired by an illustration that can be found on a Confederate flag whose historical origin remains unclear. Is it just a coincidence or did Riggs knowingly base his battle-hardened Eddie on the original drawing of some kind of skeleton apparently fighting for the South? In any case, Riggs's illustration is far superior to the Confederate one, as you can judge from the pictures below:

Close-up of the Confederate flag

Original Confederate flag

Rod Smallwood's comments are taken from the Best Of The B'Sides album booklet included in the Eddie's Archive box.


Back to top

5.0-star   The Trooper (Harris) Commentary Lyrics Discuss this song in the forum

‘The Trooper’

View Results

This is the same version as on the Piece Of Mind album.


Back to top

4.0-star   Cross-Eyed Mary (Anderson) Commentary Lyrics Discuss this song in the forum

‘Cross-Eyed Mary’

View Results

Jethro Tull – Official Website This song was originally recorded on Jethro Tull's 1971 album Aqualung. I'm not very knowledgeable about Tull, but 'Cross-Eyed Mary' appears to be a song that champions the cause of the poor, although the exact message of the song seems somewhat obscure. It describes the difficult life of a certain Mary, who struggles to survive and remain honest.

The music itself is alright, but doesn't really rise above the common B-side standard. Ironically, this Maiden version received a significant amount of radio airplay in the United States – more than most of Maiden's A-side singles!

This shows Steve and Bruce's great love of Jethro Tull. Both are big Tull fans and this is a tribute to them. Interesting enough it picked up airplay in America without any attempt at airplay from us or our label. The label were asking me to let them go to radio with it properly but I wouldn't let them. As a B-side it wasn't representative of what we did, it wasn't used on the album – funnily enough it was one of the only things we ever had played on American radio, and it was "just" a B-side. 

Rod Smallwood


Back to top

Maverick's Facebook Profile The IMC on Facebook

Send feedback

© 1998–2011 Maverick All Rights Reserved
This is an unofficial site with no connection to Iron Maiden

Locations of visitors to this page

The First Ten Years, Part I
Running Free

The First Ten Years, Part II
Women In Uniform
Twilight Zone

The First Ten Years, Part III
Maiden Japan

The First Ten Years, Part IV
Run To The Hills
The Number Of The Beast

The First Ten Years, Part V
Flight Of Icarus
The Trooper

The First Ten Years, Part VI
Two Minutes To Midnight
Aces High

The First Ten Years, Part VII
Running Free
Run To The Hills

The First Ten Years, Part VIII
Wasted Years
Stranger In A Strange Land

The First Ten Years, Part IX
Can I Play With Madness
The Evil That Men Do

The First Ten Years, Part X
The Clairvoyant
Infinite Dreams

Holy Smoke
Bring Your Daughter... To The Slaughter

Be Quick Or Be Dead
From Here To Eternity
Wasting Love

Fear Of The Dark (live)
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Man On The Edge
Lord Of The Flies


The Angel And The Gambler

The Wicker Man
Out Of The Silent Planet

Run To The Hills 2002

Wildest Dreams
No More Lies EP

The Number Of The Beast

The Trooper