Gothic Romanticism with Iron Maiden

In Iron Maiden’s song,“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the band emulates the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The band sings the song verse by verse, matching the poem’s structure and style. The instruments in the song play a large role in conveying a very solemn, yet romantic tone. The guitar solo in the middle song, gives a break for the listener to absorb the words that they had just heard. The way in which the guitar rift sounds like it would be placed in a modern gothic tale. This gothic romantic state embodies the soul of the play and the darkness that it contains.

The band tells the story in a folklore way, for instance

Iron Maiden: “The mariner kills the bird of good omen
His shipmates cry against what he’s done
But when the fog clears, they justify him
And make themselves a part of the crime.”
Coleridge: “And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work ’em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.” (Part II)
This lyric and verse in the poem is repeated throughout the poem and the song. It is a reminder of the gothic theme that is shown in the poem and song. This romantic, gothic theme is critical to the understanding of the romantic period demonstrated through the context of the poem. The killing of the bird is a symbolism of committing a crime of passion.  A crime that can be justified by people and is deemed as acceptable. This crime of passion seemed to be significant to the poem due to its repetition throughout the poem. The song brings the poem to life, in a way that is even more telling of what the author intended the romantic poem to be. The guitar solo is reminiscent of metal’s origin, in Beethoven’s classical pieces, which encompass the romantic element within the gothic style.
-Anthony Miller
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7 thoughts on “Gothic Romanticism with Iron Maiden

  1. The original idea in this post is how the music of Iron Maiden syncs up with the tone of the poem. Also that there are other themes in play here that enhance the experience. Don’t forget there are also other characteristics of Romantic poetry that you can talk about. The crime of passion is a good support, are there other feelings and emotions involved?

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  2. The original idea in this post is how Iron Maiden tells the story of the Ancient Mariner in a folklore way. I also love the comparison in the end between the guitar riff to Beethoven’s classical pieces. However, I feel like you can talk more about the different characteristics of Romanticism. For example, you could write about how the song is using a new way of telling the story.

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  3. The main idea states, “The song brings the poem to life, in a way that is even more telling of what the author intended the romantic poem to be”. I not only agree with this concept but also agree with the way it was applied to each textual evidence provided. I would, however, suggest that when discussing the song to go into detail of the sound whether it be the rhythm, tempo, etc. to further strengthed that part of your overall argument.

    -Kristy Frausto

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  4. The main idea in this post is about how the Iron Maiden’s version places the poem in a modern Gothic theme of Romantic poetry. A big part of this change is the musical structure of the song, especially the slow break in the middle. You extend your thoughts by elaborating on other Romantic or Gothic examples that include a “crime of passion” theme.
    -Ravneet Dhillon

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  5. The Original idea of this post essentially states that the poem has now come more to life because of the Iron Maiden rendition. It simulates a real person existing within the piece and I enjoy your take on it. I think your argument could describe more of the song’s tempo and instrumental work. Adding that in may prove useful in arguing for this topic.
    — Drew C. Guerrero

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  6. “The guitar solo is reminiscent of metal’s origin, in Beethoven’s classical pieces, which encompass the romantic element within the Gothic style.” Very interesting how you bring the Gothic in here, but I’m wondering if you might give a time signature for when this guitar solo happens, that way your listener can go back and hear the musical section you point out. I would also break up that quote a little bit, or use the block quote feature to separate it from the rest of the text. It looks pretty huge, and it is better for the analysis if you break it up bit by bit.

    Peace
    —Nathaniel Schwass

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