Friday, January 29, 2010

Water, Water, Everywhere, nor any Drop to Drink

Because my decidedly metal-ly friend's love of the band coincided with our reading of the poem "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" in English, I listened to an Iron Maiden song with the same name for the first time.

Crazily enough, I feel it, man.* I must admit that I feel un peu mauvais about admitting to liking a single product of anything by anyone with such a CRAZY LARGE (not to mention devoted) fanbase, because you will inevitably encounter the "long-time fan"/jerk who's all:


Granted, this is the Iron Maiden fanbase we're talking about, so the above comment would probably be translated into something more "serious" and "mature" and equally as rude and unintelligent.

Regardless, I feel less shame in admitting it here, as I will simultaneously admit that I will most likely not go on to become a "metalhead," as they call it, nor will I begin an extensive research project into the depths of Iron Maiden-ness. I'll say that from my not-at-all-professional opinion, the band is certainly talented, but it's simply not the kind of music that I generally connect to. (And as far as I know, my friend will not disown me for liking an Iron Maiden song, so there we are.)

It's the sort of song that sinks in the second or third or fourth time you hear it, I think, more than it does the first time. The song is approximately thirteen minutes long - it's understandable that a first listen is a little much to take in. After you get the feel of it, though, it's pretty powerful, especially if you Google the lyrics, as I did. It appears to be, more or less, a summary of the poem, but it's the combination of the music and the lyrics that makes it have an effect on the old heartstrings, if you know what I'm saying.

Anyhoo, I'm no use at analzying songs, so I'll just say this: I'm interested in music, but I'm more interested in literature and the English-y and language-y parts of things. Music makes me feel things** but reading makes me feel more. I guess that this song is an example of music enhancing the reading experience, if you will. I admire the ambiguity of the poem - story is perhaps a better term - and how it trusts the reader to make their own inferences; it offers one explanation but it also allows for the possibility of an entirely different one as well. The poem could argue for the reliability of cause and effect and crime and punishment, or it could be saying that everything is determined by random chance and fate. Or perhaps it's simply emphasizing the fact that nobody really knows anything and everything is relative to each individual person. I don't know, but I DO know that the Iron Maiden song captures the tone of the poem very well.

(This is turning into a somewhat crappy essay, so I shall depart. Sorry if this isn't interesting to you; it's been on my mind all afternoon. Listen to the song if you can!)

*I like it. I do not normally speak like this.
**Joel McHale: WHY MUST JOSS STONE MAKE ME FEEL THINGS?! (The Soup, you should watch it.)


Astrid said...

YAY! Glad you listened to it. :)
Yeah, it's a pretty epic song, especially once you know the poem and the backstory.
HAHAHA you're dead-on with your comment about the fans and everything - there's PLENTY of those people trolling Youtube.
PS. I love The Soup.

Vita said...

Yeah, it's a pretty intense song. You just get thrown into the music with no release - sort of like how how the ancient mariner is basically just stuck in the middle of nowhere with all that crazy shit happening to him. oooOOOooo smart.

PS. I love The Soup too. :D

Rena said...

The Soup/Joel McHale is indeed awesome, though I don't really like metal and haven't read the poem.