Heavy Metal Poetry

Iron Maiden’s version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a depiction of Romantic poetry. However, when I first heard the music, I did not immediately consider it to be any sort of Romantic poetry. I was automatically disinterested because it is not the genre of music I normally listen to. Which is why it was important for me to separate the lyrics from the instrumentation in order to focus on the words. Once doing this, I found the lyrics had a deeper meaning that helped me see the connection to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

“The mariner’s bound to tell of his story
To tell this tale wherever he goes
To teach God’s word by his own example
That we must love all things that God made.”

These lines from Iron Maiden’s song portrays the natural and spiritual characteristics of Romantic poetry. Romantic poets had a great respect for the natural world and expressed interest in the supernatural or mystic worlds. Despite seeming very different than Coleridge’s poem, the only difference in Iron Maiden’s version is the way it is carried out. The Iron Maiden version of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” holds many characteristics of Romantic poetry, just in a more modern form that appeals to a different audience.

-Natalia Alvarado


6 thoughts on “Heavy Metal Poetry

  1. Great post! I also began with the thought of “this isn’t a romantic poem” but once we dissected through the lyrics, music composition, and the sounds altogether, it made for a strong argument that it is in fact a branch of Romantic poetry. You’ve stated that the two (song and the poem) are not all that different; I find that as a really interesting take on all this. That somehow the musicians were able to depict the same ideas and emotions of the poem, but through song form, hence their more “modern form.”


  2. The original idea would be that you admitted not seeing a connection between the song and the poem as many people including myself would agree. That is a great point to bring. In order to develop it further you could have brought up the components of romanticism from lecture 8 in order to see why it can or cannot be romanticism. It was great that you brought that up at the beginning of your post. Great way to begin and great analysis throughout your post!


  3. I also thought that this could not be considered Romantic poetry just because who thinks that rock music is romantic? I agree with the idea that Romantics go along with the idea of appreciating life because it is finding the natural beauty within it. The way the music transitions here and there and the sudden shifts of tone help to convey the imagery of the beauty of the world.


  4. I agree with how you thought one thing but slowly changed your way of thinking by looking more into the song and poem. I like how you said the lines from the song portrayed the natural and spiritual characteristics of romantic poetry. I think you can go more in-depth about this and use the instruments or the lyrics to use as evidence to your statement.


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