The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

I spotted The Rime on my shelf the other day but really don’t have enough time at the moment to review it so instead of that review, or indeed any other, here is Iron Maiden’s epic thirteen minute, dramatic rendition.

Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
(Lyrics from

Hear the rime of the Ancient Mariner
See his eye as he stops one of three
Mesmerises one of the wedding guests
Stay here and listen to the nightmares
of the SeaAnd 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 ’till 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 and on at sea
And the thirst 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
Onwards she nears, out of the sun
See… she has no crew
She has no life, wait but there’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 his 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.


30 Replies to “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

  1. Well, now I can actually say that I’ve seen an Iron Maiden performance. Of course, Samuel Taylor Coleridge is more my speed, as I am a little square around the edges when it comes to heavy metal, but it really wasn’t too bad. Whenever you have a chance, have a look at some of the critical ink spilled on the subject of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” I think you’ll find it fascinating. Thanks for the video (I guess we can all stand to extend our boundaries!).


    1. The cbook I have has some wonderfully Gothic etchings on it which really add. I remember reading it and moving on to something straight after so will have to have a real look at the discussion and critiquing soon. I go through phases with music but always like to try and extend my appreciation where I can and keep it mixed up as well so you never know what music I may post next.


  2. We did the Ancient Mariner in year 9 (LOL 3rd form at St Trinians ๐Ÿ˜€ ) It’s the only poem of the many we did at school that I can remember anything about.You don’t get too many “grey-beard loons” these days…except maybe in parliament ๐Ÿ˜€

    No, I tell a lie, I also remember us reading a poem based on The Kon Tiki Expedition. But who wrote it I have no idea.


    1. Ah, the Kin Tiki, you remind me I have another three Heyerdahl books to read at some point! I didn’t know they did a poem about that. Having read the book though, I am sure they were bearded loons by the end of it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I like to keep things mixed. Quite why I haven’t posted that song before is beyond me. I got the idea when I had my headphones in late one Saturday night anticipating the local students to be partying. It turns out they didn’t so I was up until one listening to rock music for no reason other than the nostalgia factor. Worth it for a post though!


  3. Okay, now that you post about something I’ve read…. you post a wonderfully insane old rock video that I’ve never seen or hard of. Well, that’s one way to get people to memorize the “Rime”… sort of. Very interesting take on a classic!


    1. There aren’t enough good guitar solos and rock songs about the classics. I think it is a great technique to learn by and I will get to a review once my stupidly big pile starts to ease off a bit.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I did a blog post a while ago about a day out in Watchett, Somerset, not far from where I live. Tiny little Somerset town by a harbour, lovely to walk along while eating fish and chips. And there, on the harbour’s edge looking out to sea is a lifesize sculpture of Samuel Taylor Coleridge who lived there and was inspired by the view to write The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Who knew? I didn’t! I remember my son studying it in school in California and couldn’t wait to tell him about the fascinating local history. And of course, my boys are huge Iron Maiden fans, go to as many of their gigs as possible. I told them I want to go with them but all I get is: ‘Mum, you wouldn’t like the crowds…’ Ha…I think they don’t want me there to cramp their style lol! Great idea for a post my friend, you know I’m a rock chick at heart ๐Ÿ˜‰


    1. If I said this was aimed at you, I would sadly be lying as it was a lazy post but I am all for melding together different media to see something more creative. If I can find a video of The Wurzles doing Proust, that will definitely be dedicated to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fully understand. But please not the Wurzles…especially not doing Proust. For one thing, I might live in Zomerzet, but I do not talk the talk…


  5. Haven’t read the book yet, but I have listened to the song many, many times. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’ve skimmed through the comments and now I’m curious about the Kon-Tiki poem one of the bloggers mentioned. I wonder if I could find it..


    1. I did a quick search over the web but there seemed to be lots so that could be a whole blog post by itself! Rime is a great read, if you can get one with Gothic looking engravings in it, it really adds to the text.

      Liked by 1 person

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