Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

Album: Powerslave (1984)
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  • Hear the rime of the ancient mariner
    See his eye as he stops one of three
    Mesmerizes one of the wedding guests
    Stay here and listen to the nightmares of the sea

    And the music plays on, as the bride passes by
    Caught by his spell and the mariner tells his tale

    Driven south to the land of the snow and ice
    To a place where nobody's been
    Through the snow fog flies on the albatross
    Hailed in God's name, hoping good luck it brings

    And the ship sails on, back to the North
    Through the fog and ice and the albatross follows on

    The mariner kills the bird of good omen
    His shipmates cry against what he's done
    But when the fog clears, they justify him
    And make themselves a part of the crime

    Sailing on and on and north across the sea
    Sailing on and on and north 'til all is calm

    The albatross begins with its vengeance
    A terrible curse a thirst has begun
    His shipmates blame bad luck on the mariner
    About his neck, the dead bird is hung

    And the curse goes on and on at sea
    And the curse goes on and on for them and me

    "Day after day, day after day
    We stuck nor breath nor motion
    As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean
    Water, water everywhere and
    All the boards did shrink
    Water, water everywhere nor any drop to drink"

    There calls the mariner
    There comes a ship over the line
    But how can she sail with no wind in her sails and no tide

    See, onward she comes
    Onward she nears out of the sun
    See, she has no crew
    She has no life, wait but here's two

    Death and she life in death
    They throw their dice for the crew
    She wins the mariner and he belongs to her now
    Then, crew one by one
    They drop down dead, two hundred men
    She, she, life in death
    She lets him live, her chosen one

    "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
    Four times fifty living men
    (And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
    With heavy thump, a lifeless lump
    They dropped down one by one"

    The curse it lives on in their eyes
    The mariner he wished he'd die
    Along with the sea creatures
    But they lived on, so did he

    And by the light of the moon
    He prays for their beauty not doom
    With heart he blesses them
    God's creatures all of them too

    Then the spell starts to break
    The albatross falls from his neck
    Sinks down like lead into the sea
    Then down in falls comes the rain

    Hear the groans of the long dead seamen
    See them stir and they start to rise
    Bodies lifted by good spirits
    None of them speak and they're lifeless in their eyes

    And revenge is still sought, penance starts again
    Cast into a trance and the nightmare carries on

    Now the curse is finally lifted
    And the mariner sights his home
    Spirits go from the long dead bodies
    Form their own light and the mariner's left alone

    And then a boat came sailing towards him
    It was a joy he could not believe
    The pilot's boat, his son and the hermit
    Penance of life will fall onto him

    And the ship it sinks like lead into the sea
    And the hermit shrives the mariner of his sins

    The mariner's bound to tell of his story
    To tell this tale wherever he goes
    To teach God's word by his own example
    That we must love all things that God made

    And the wedding guest's a sad and wiser man
    And the tale goes on and on and on Writer/s: Stephen Percy Harris
    Publisher: BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 25

  • Madman from Denver CoI believe the moral of this story is what NOT to do when a bird sh!ts on you!!
  • 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!
see more comments

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