Shall we headbang at the Sea?

Iron Maiden’s rendition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is part of Romantic Poetry.  As we spoke about in the beginning of the week Coleridge describes good poetry as a “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”, and I think this is exactly what is experienced in Iron Maiden’s rendition. Heavy Metal is no different from romantic poetry, it just may seen so because of the sound of the music. Heavy Metals musical roots have came from the classical, blues and slave music just to name a few. Heavy metal is definitely different than from other genres of music and can be easily tucked under the bed.

In the eleventh stanza of Coleridge’s poem he writes,

“And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he

Was tyrannous and strong:

He struck with his o’ertaking wings,

And chased us south along”

The storm is described as tyrannous and strong, and it is equivalent to the musical aspects of Iron Maiden’s interpretation. It is a strong overpower of feelings, the  electric guitar, heavy drum beats, and high vocals creates and atmosphere where strong feelings are produced. This is the first time I have interacted with this song, and it did stir up emotions. We cannot easily dismiss this song as not being part of romantic poetry because it isn’t just a recitation of the same poem. Rather it is an interpretation from the poem that brings a new life to the descriptions of chaos and sounds.

Viviana Ojeda



2 thoughts on “Shall we headbang at the Sea?

  1. I appreciated that you brought up the musical roots of Heavy Metal. It would be interesting if you wrote more about the background of heavy metal. It definitely makes me think of this poem and song in a different way. Also, awesome title!:P What kind of emotions did the song stir or intend to stir up? I find it interesting that you see the song as an interpretation of the poem rather than a paraphrase or recitation. What do you think was the interpretation of the song and how does it vary from the poem?


  2. I liked that you pulled a specific word from the poem to describe what the song was doing and I thought it was clever. The poem and the song are two very different, but I can see how you are able to pick up that the music for the song can produce the same powerful feelings as some of the words Coleridge use. Very interesting close reading and analysis.


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