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Iron Maiden Settles Lawsuit Over Song "Hallowed Be Thy Name"

by VVN Music

Iron Maiden has decided to back down and payoff a pair of writers rather than further defend themselves.

The lawsuit was brought against Maiden, specifically Steve Harris and Dave Murray, over the song "Hallowed Be Thy Name" from the album The Number of the Beast (1982).

Although the track has been out for decades, former band manager Barry McKay brought the suit against the Maiden Songwriters because of the similarities to the song "Life's Shadow" by Beckett, written by band member's Brian Quinn and Robert Barton.

For over a year, Maiden has fought the suit; however, they finally decided to settle and pay because of mounting legal costs.  The band issued a statement saying "We do not believe that Brian Quinn was the one who wrote these six lines in question over 40 years ago as was claimed by Barry McKay. However, due to escalating legal fees and the potential huge costs of a court case it was pragmatic to reluctantly settle this action with McKay for £100,000 [about $138,000], a fraction of what he brought the action for. A serial litigant like Mr McKay would have forseen this."

Iron Maiden had not been playing "Hallowed Be Thy Name" since the lawsuit was brought against them.

This may not be the end of the problems, though, for the band as McKay is vowing to continue to pursue payments for other songs.  McKay said in a statement "Harris admitted that the lyrics of 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' reproduce a substantial part of the lyrics of 'Life's Shadow,' however, Harris' lame excuse for this was that he composed the lyrics for 'Hallowed Be Thy Name' while recording the album in early 1982, only using the words from 'Life's Shadow' as 'guide lyrics' and intending to replace them before the final recording. This excuse is untrue because Harris could not have written the lyrics in 1982 while in the studio because Iron Maiden performed the song live during at least one gig in 1981, with the lyrics as they are now and always have been."

He went on to indicate that he was preparing another suit, saying "papers are currently being prepared to commence a brand new legal action for copyright infringement".