One is asked to compare a romantic poem of grief and somber death through the murder of nature to that of a song regarding the tale spun by a crazy old sailor of wicked punishment and the undead. Upon initial judgement, I recalled the sadness and ominous feeling I felt for the original mariner, in contrast to the weirded out feeling I got from the latter. Straight from the beginning, I got two completely different emotions – thus, by solely this I had initially concluded that the song did not succeed in continuing the original poem, not doing it the due justice due to the difference of ambience and atmosphere between the two. However, I took a moment to understand why Iron Maiden would pick up on the “Rime”, and if there really was something else romantic to the song. I definitely enjoyed it, just not in the same sense that I read the original from.
Then came the question: does that even matter? At first, I was leaning towards just saying yes and comparing the two, how the song twisted the original, “It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three. ‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye … May’st hear the merry din,” (Coleridge, lines 1-8) to a more intense “Mesmerizes one of the wedding guests, Stay here and listen to the nightmares of the sea” (I.M., lines 3-4). Right from the beginning, the song turned moments of curiosity and ominous fear to that of immediate danger, confusion, and terror, particularly notable by the changing of “merry din” directly jumping to “nightmares of the sea”. I restate – does that even matter? A past me said ‘Obviously! In order to do justice to something one must retain its original value, not by merely cloning it but rather by updating it for modernity whilst keeping the initial taste’. Then, I came to realize that I was looking in the wrong place. Granted, I had become aware that the song and the poem had now crossed genres, Iron Maiden crafted something not simply out of the void. They had not twisted the song as I previously thought, instead they had given it a chance for metamorphosis. It had become a completely different thing. Is it then right to deem judgement upon two different things?
It is right. But not where I was looking. If one looks to the song directly in comparison to the Rime, then one will find themselves in conflict when noting the changes made, despite attempts to pay homage to the original in the middle of the song. One must recall then, what kind of literature this is: romantic. Romantics who dared to speak against logic and rationality, to feel more than to think. This song definitely aims to make one feel something, and although the ultimate result of said thing was different from the original, it indeed goes through the same process of being felt just as the Rime was. Now, I still hold my judgement that the song and the poem have very different tastes, their feelings are vastly different when I first heard/read them. However, Iron Maiden has not tried to just bring an original Rime to the present – they interpreted it a certain way, and wished to spread this new transformed song. By all means of emotion, the song does justice not to the poem itself, but rather to its feeling, its purpose, and to the Romantics that once spoke against the same logic based judgement I began imposing between the two. I will simply say this: the poem and the song are definitely different in my opinion; however, the song still captures the original context and subject matter, all it does is simply make you feel a different way about it. That in itself is the most romantic way to bring back a great English treasure, and in earlier stated words in the class: romantics would probably be headbanging to this too.