The single cover art for Iron Maiden’s thrasher, ‘Hallowed be thy Name’; Photo: Derek Riggs/EMI

Brit metal lords Iron Maiden have decided to call it quits on their set classic from 1982’s The Number of the Beast, “Hallowed be thy Name,” at least for the ongoing Book of Souls tour. There’s now a legal fight about who actually wrote the song, reports Metal Injection.

The song has been traced back to another tune called “Life’s Shadow,” originally recorded by the band Beckett in 1974 — portions of it were used in Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed be thy Name.” The songwriters of “Life’s Shadow,” Bob Barton and Brian Quinn, got no credit on the Iron Maiden recording.

But Quinn claims Barton did a back-alley secret agreement with Iron Maiden in order to cut Quinn out of the profits. This led to a lawsuit and the band dropping the song from their set list mid-tour.

The band released a statement regarding the issue:

“Steve Harris [“Hallowed be thy Name” songwriter] was a fan of Beckett and some six lines from ‘Life’s Shadow’ were referenced in Steve’s song, ‘Hallowed be thy Name,’” Iron Maiden stated. “As far as Steve is concerned, this matter was settled some years ago by agreement with Robert Barton. Any evidence presented … will be looked at very closely and a defense at court will be submitted in due course.”

On the other hand, Quinn’s rep, Barry McKay, says the ink shows Quinn is a true co-songwriter.

“The legal papers correctly claim that it was Brian Quinn who originally composed ‘Life’s Shadow’ music and lyrics,” McKay said. “The legal papers state that all Barton later did was add three lines to the end of Brian Quinn’s finished song some three years on, when Barton wanted to record the track for his new band’s first and only LP.”

He went on to say that if Harris thinks that he’s settled the score concerning “Hallowed be thy Name” just by paying off Barton, he’s “sadly mistaken” and he “may as well have paid off Mickey Mouse.”

Listen to both Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed be thy Name,” and Beckett’s “Life’s Shadow” below.