“Hallowed Be Thy Name” is a song written by Steve Harris for the 1982 Iron Maiden album The Number of the Beast. It has been acclaimed as one of the greatest heavy metal songs of all time and is also considered one of the band’s signature songs. It is the band’s last single to feature vocalist Bruce Dickinson until 2000’s “The Wicker Man”.
It is one of the most covered songs in Iron Maiden’s catalogue, with versions released by artists such as Dream Theater, Machine Head, Cradle of Filth and Iced Earth. Iron Maiden also recorded the song as part of Channel Four’s 2007 television series, Live from Abbey Road, while a version recorded for BBC Radio 1 in 2005 was used as a B-side on “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg” single. The song’s title is a line from the Lord’s Prayer.
A section of the lyrics are lifted from Beckett’s 1973 song “Life’s Shadow”. Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood was the agent for Beckett and a teenage Steve Harris saw the band play this song live. Harris and Murray settled with one of the credited songwriters, Robert Barton. The other songwriter, Brian Ingham, has sued Iron Maiden for his share of the profits from the song. Ingham was unaware of the matter until 2011 and Barton claimed to be the sole songwriter during the original settlement.
On 12 March 2018, it was reported that the band had settled the case out of court. The group’s lawyers had argued that Harris initially used the lyrics as a placeholder and did not have time to change them before the album’s release. A spokesperson for the band states that they settled out of court for pragmatic reasons and to avoid escalating legal fees.