This was inspired by and based on the 1797 poem of the same name by Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), a contemporary of William Wordsworth and William Blake (whose work was the inspiration and basis of Bruce Dickinson's solo album The Chemical Wedding). In the poem, the captain (The Ancient Mariner) tells the story of how his ship was driven south by storms and the strange happenings that followed. The moral of the story is that "we should love all creatures created by God."
Suggestion credit: anthony - Parsippany, NJ and Dave - London, England
Groovus Maximus from Boston, MaKILLER song, absolute genius! Maiden ruled the mid-80's, alright... there was magic & mystery in their musical mayhem, and there's never been a better metal band than the Irons at their peak. Hey, another great, tragically under-rated epic is "Script For A Jester's Tear," the opening and title track from Marillion's debut -- it clocked in at an impressive 8:39 and was a stunning progressive masterpiece, a rare combination of instrumental prowess & stunning lyrical imagery, and a love song to boot! Now, that's unusual! No science fiction or grim, gory images (unless you count a broken heart, hahaha), just a sweeping, staggering tale of love, loss & longing the likes of which we've never seen before or since -- well worth the checking out, it repays listening tenfold, trust me!
Peter from Glens Falls NyI watched the interview with Nicko and and steve Harris when they played somewhere in california. It was so hot Harris' boots melted to the stage. I read the poem in English class, and remember thinking how awesome maiden was at putting music to such a vivid poem.
Charlie from Bozeman, Mtthe live stage show in '84 was awesome.im encouraging my daughter to use the story in in English class. if you have to listen to the teachers BS then they should know that just because you love metal that it isnt totally illiterate
Jason from Fort Lauterdale, FlI used to think this song was about the Odyssee
Jordan from St.catharines, OnRime of The ancient mariner is by far one of the best Maiden songs ever and not to mention very fun to play all i need is a band that can keep up lol but seriously the first time i heard this song I was shocked by how good it was
Joe Herron from Tecumseh, OkI first heard this song when I was in the 10th grade. I noticed it was based on the poem and with that I talked my teacher into useing this song when we were doing literature. There's nothing like getting to listening to your favorite song by your favorite group in class. Joe,Tecumseh,Ok.
Ryan from Bethany, OkThe poem was written while under the influence of drugs, not the song.
Ryan from Bethany, Ok"Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was written while under the influence of drugs.
Josh from Melbourne, AustraliaJeez. Maiden know how to stretch songs out dont they? Still good though
Doug from Springfield, MoI too saw Maiden in Omaha never forget some jackass throwing an M-80 and almost hitting Bruce. By the way have seen 2 people use this for in class English Literature projects comparin g the song and the epic poem.
Dylan from Newport, VtThis is the best long song there is out there. If you disagree with me well just listen to it
Andrew from Honolulu, HiGreat song to run to...You can easily do a couple miles if you follow the gallop! Awesome track!
Devon from Westerville, OhAnother long song is Deep Purple's live version of Space Truckin' at 20:02 on the Made in Japan record. another great long song due to Jon Lord's wicked keyboard solo. Purple was an influence on Maiden.
Devon from Westerville, OhThis is a sweet song. A great way to close the Powerslave album.
Dustin from My Home, Inim surprised noone mentioned in-a-gadda-divida by iron butterfly
Sam from Minneapolis, MnThe longest epic that I am aware of is "Light of Day, Day of Darkness" by Green Carnation, at exactly 1:00:00! And this is a great, great song!
Anthony from Parsippany, NjTom from the UK and the Iceland Man are right on the money. This is Maiden's BEST song since Strange World.
Phil from Niagara Falls, Canadaatom hearmother suite- 23 minutes, shine on you crazy diamond- 17 minutes, close to the edge-18 minutes, ritual nous sommes du soleil-21 minutes hmmm
Brett from Northglenn, CoAnd while I'm a die-hard Maiden fan, a tip o' the fedora must go to Jethro Tull (one of Maiden's influences) for Thick As A Brick. At 45 minutes long, it's a true epic (albeit poetic). It's also frequently played at Maiden concerts before the show begins as background music.
Sanepete from Southend, EnglandI think Grendel by Marillion deserves a mention. At 18 minutes long they had to make the B side of their debut single a 33rpm record.
Dylan from Cambridge, MnTom, 2112 by Rush is 20 mins long, and Echoes by Pink FLoyd is 23 mins long
IngÃ?lfur from ReykjavÃ?k, IcelandThis is the best song ever !!!!
Todd from Denver, CoI saw them live in the Eighties in Omaha, NE. They played the entire song, complete with the band's over-the-top stage show. For the times, it was very entertaining.
Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandIf there's a more epic song out there, then i haven't heard it; i mean 13 minutes long!