Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson has named the best song he's ever written. It's a song from the '90s and it's not even one he wrote for Maiden.

The answer came in a recent interview with Revolver, where he singles out an acoustic-driven ballad that appears on his sophomore solo album, 1994's Balls to Picasso.

"I would say 'Tears of the Dragon' 'cause I don't know what it means," Dickinson confesses, "But it means something. That song really affects people. It affects me."

The nearly six-and-half-minute album closer is Dickinson's most popular solo song, by streaming metrics at least. It has garnered over 50 million plays on Spotify, which is a little over five times greater than any of his other solo tracks on the streaming platform.

The song opens with a gentle acoustic melody, over which Dickinson's lays down a hushed, emotional vocal that then soars and reclaims his trademark belting style throughout the chorus.

Bruce Dickinson, "Tears of the Dragon" Music Video

READ MORE: What Is Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson Actually Bad At?

But why is a dragon crying? That's a question not even Dickinson has the answer to.

"I do know what it's about: It's about abandonment, not being abandoned, but abandoning yourself to the universe, to whatever is gonna come next. But I still don't know why it is 'the tears of the dragon,'" the singer shrugs.

"I've never figured that out. It works and it means something, but I don't know what it is," Dickinson goes on, "And that's why it's great."

It's perhaps a bit like his hero, the late Ronnie James Dio, who had a knack for penning abstract lyrics that, on paper and on the recordings, sound just plain cool and mystical. Of course, it means that the lyrics are wide open for interpretation, and fans can determine the song's meaning for their own unique purposes.

The Most Challenging Iron Maiden Song for Bruce Dickinson to Sing Live

In late February, Dickinson chatted with SongFacts, offering a track-by-track breakdown of his new solo album, The Mandrake Project. In that same interview, he also divulged which Iron Maiden song is the most difficult for him to sing live.

"The song I find the most challenging to sing in the Maiden repertoire would be 'Aces High.' That's not just because I'm 60-something years old," he states, "Trust me, when I was 26, it was equally challenging."

"I always said, "If we're going to do 'Aces High,' can we put it towards the front of the set please?"

How Many Songs Each Iron Maiden Member Has Written

Here's a breakdown of Iron Maiden's song-writing credits.

Gallery Credit: Joe DiVita

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