The Mariner Told by Iron Maiden

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner told by the Iron Maiden version is very similar to Romantic Poetry because in many parts emotion over senses is evident in the song. Imagination is also used as a gateway to a transcendent experience. I believe that Iron Maiden brought justice to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner because it captures a few of the possible interpretations of the poem very well. It captures the theme of appreciating nature’s beauty and all of God’s creatures. In the original poem it says,

O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
the mariner at this point had killed the albatross for no apparent reason and had been cursed by his crew mates and by the heavens above. As put by the song, the albatross starts its vengeance. What we can take from these two excerpts from both versions is that the mariner is not able to pray until he learns the value and importance of nature’s beauty which he did not appreciate in the beginning. It’s evident because if he had loved God’s creatures and nature then he would have not shot the albatross at all. The song also talks about how the curse brings about a thirst for the mariner and it emphasizes it when they sing “And the thirst goes on and on for them and me.” I feel that this does the poem justice because the thirst that the mariner and the singer feels could be interpreted as a spiritual thirst because in the poem it says
I watched the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reared, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.
the mariner says they have an elfish light which bring about the thought of something magical or more spiritual. Especially since as soon as he appreciates the beauty he is allowed to pray which is spiritual, he is given  the ability to quench his spiritual thirst by praying.
I also feel that the mood and tempo shift around the 5 minute mark does justice to the poem because it reflects the Mariner’s tone changes in the poem as well. The song stays true to poem by using the same lines
One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.
I feel that Iron Maiden did a great job in depicting the Mariner as trapped or imprisoned. Iron Maiden takes this part slower than the rest of the song and takes care in having the audience hear the pain and anguish the Mariner feels as his crew mates curse him with their eyes but are able to die, something he can’t. Iron Maiden makes the Mariner sound like a prisoner with their two minutes of instrumental in the middle of the song mixed with the creaking of a boat. The mariner is a prisoner of the boat and his body. He is not allowed to die and have his soul leave his body like the other were allowed. Their souls shot out of their bodies just as the arrow shot through the albatross. In the song Iron Maiden  sings “With heart he blesses them God’s creatures all of them too” which further proves that their main interpretation is that you should love God’s creatures or suffer the consequences just as the mariner did.
I felt that Iron Maiden’s interpretation did justice because they focused mainly on one of the poems many themes and morals. All 7 parts of the poem had its own theme which were all interconnected. I also feel that the songs aggressive tone brought the poem to life even though when I read it I had imagined a more somber tone.
-Andres Quezada

One thought on “The Mariner Told by Iron Maiden

  1. I agree with your argument that the Iron Maiden version captures nature’s beauty and all of God’s creations. I think your interpretation was on point, I also mentioned the slowing down of the song in my blogpost to evoke feeling on the listener. One small thing you could do to make your blogpost better is simply about aesthetics. I think if you put quotes before every block quote or skip a few lines before you start commentary, the post would be easier to read. Anyway, good post!


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