The Ancient Mariner is not a piece of work talking to another piece of work. It’s a poet talking to it’s readers, anyone reading it. The goal is no longer to impress anybody or produce a “good” poem. Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a common man that writes about what he wants to write and focuses on the inner struggles of the Mariner in his story. At the end of the first section we see the Mariner recall his inner struggles: “’God save thee, ancient Mariner!/From the fiends that plague thee thus-Why look’st thou so?’- with my cross bow/I shot the Albatross”(263). I would describe the poetic tone as both reminiscing and self-focused. It’s the Mariner’s story and even the wedding guest who didn’t want to hear him now is so invested in this common man’s story.
Similarly, Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” ascribes to the same requirements for romantic poetry: it is self-reflective. At minute 2:26, the band makes the song about them. Their song is a self-reflection about them. It’s more than just retelling a tale written by Coleridge, it’s a telling that revels the inner struggles of the band members. The lyrics read, “And the thirst goes on and on for them and me.” The band refer to the ancient Mariner, it’s not a song where the ancient Mariner is narrating. So, the “me” is self-focusing in this song, like it is in the poem.
While the song seems like an adaption of the poem written many years ago, it is a completely new piece of literature. But, instead of referencing the ancient Mariner, Iron Maiden tells the story of the ancient Mariner. It was very romantic of Iron Maiden to give a wider range of people access to this tale by retelling it and making it available to more common people that might not have read it in an English 102 course at a University of California.