Against The Norm

It’s interesting to hear a song based on this story of curse and death that prevails. A heavy metal band such as Iron Maiden would usually be seen as a group of people who are singing very loudly, with a lot of passion. This passion is the same passion that drives the Mariner to continue telling the story, it seems as if this is what’s allowing him to survive, given that he remembers the look of the sailors who died one by one right in front of him. The purpose of his story is to make everyone remember to love what God has created, to take a look around Nature and embrace just that. Because this is the Mariner’s goal, the poem fits the category of Romantic poetry, in fact the Mariner becomes spiritual when speaking on the glory of God, it’s how he’s able to encourage others to seek him through Nature and to thank him for all he’s done.

Iron Maiden’s music is itself a part of Romantics because it often times would be seen as something outside of the “norm” for how it’s the opposite of calm. Specifically with the transitions that were noted in the telling of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” in terms of the different shifts in volume and beats used all throughout. The music’s escalates and has a shift when we encounter Death and Life in Death who are playing with the souls of the Mariner and sailors, trying to figure out their fate. This shift is something that goes against the norm, the balance that other (boring) music would have, which is the same thing that Romantic work does, it goes against the “order, calm, harmony, balance and rationality.” The art of heavy metal, through Iron Maiden even allows for an understanding of, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” to become even more clear because of the story-telling manner. It begins and ends with lyrics along the lines of “on and on and on…” which implies that this story will live forever. The Mariner has told the story many times and he will continue to do so, but Iron Maiden also does that by prolonging the song. The song is 13+ minutes long, signifying how long this story would live in for which again goes against one set idea, just like Romantic poetry. And through Iron Maiden, a form of art, we were able to see the story unfold with all the right moments of intensity for what could happen next in the poem/song.


-Ruth Serrano

4 thoughts on “Against The Norm

  1. I like that you included the differences in the usual tones of lyrical ballads in comparison to the song, and how the beats of the song compliment; furthering the emotions.


  2. The idea of the poem being a message about loving nature and everything that God created is a very interesting take on the poem – one that I had not considered but can see now that I read your post. I think you could further enhance your idea though by incorporating actual quotes from the poem (or song) to demonstrate where this idea arises from because then it would strengthen what you had to say.


  3. I agree with your conclusion that Iron Maiden is a part of Romanticsm because of its position being outside of the norm. Is also liked how you addressed passion as being a source of drive for both the Mariner and Iron Maiden, because I believe that for Wordsworth passion was very important.


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