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Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Iron Maiden)

Canzone: Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Artista: Iron Maiden
Album: Powerslave (1984)

Un esempio di come sia sbagliato associare il metal alla figura dello sbandato. Anzi, è un perfetto esempio di come il metal ci possa allargare gli orizzonti letterari. La canzone, infatti, deriva dall’omonimo componimento letterario di Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Praticamente, si tratta di un riassunto dell’opera dello scrittore originario del Devon. Quello che colpisce è che, nonostante sia un riassunto, è come se i versi fossero davvero scritti da Coleridge anziché dagli Iron Maiden. La cultura e la sportività di degli Iron Maiden sono ormai due loro qualità riconosciute e, in questa canzone, la prima si riconosce bene. Il fine morale di Rime of the Ancient Mariner può sembrare banale, dato che si basa sul principio di rispettare ogni creatura vivente, che sia un albatros o un serpente. Tuttavia, al giorno d’oggi non credo che sia così scontato trasmettere questo insegnamento. Basta guardare come la gente riduce le panchine anche se, tre centimetri, c’è un cestino. In sede live, Bruce Dickinson ha scherzato su questa mancanza di rispetto. “Questo è ciò che non dovete fare se un uccello vi scagazza in testa!” è la frase pronunciata durante alcuni live. Il riferimento è al fatto che, nell’opera di Coleridge, il marinaio uccide l’albatros “senza motivo”. E l’albatros si vendica! Insomma, anche in chiave ironica, è una canzone bellissima, dotata di una poeticità che gli amanti dell’inglese potranno apprezzare sicuramente. Ovviamente, l’invito è quello di leggersi l’opera integrale! Alcune espressioni, come quando i membri dell’equipaggio “cadono uno per volta”, mettono i brividi. O quando viene descritta la scena in cui stanno morendo di sete, eppure l’acqua di mare li circonda dovunque. L’acqua è lì, ma non si può bere. Le due scene sono descritte con gli stessi versi di Coleridge. Poesia pura, appunto. E tremenda, tremenda vendetta della natura quando non viene rispettata. Infine c’è il finale, che è una chiara invettiva contro l’ipocrisia della religione (per inciso, Coleridge era cristiano, ma detestava gli ipocriti!).

Testo

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 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 it’s 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 facce 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 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 lifelesss 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 fromhe 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 sinks like lead into the sea
And the hermit shrieves 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 thaat God made

And the wedding guest’s a sad and wiser man
And the tale goes on and on and on

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