About

What is it that makes Iron Maiden special? Well, many things. One thing is the vastness of material adapted, re-interpreted, and commented upon within their songs. As a rule of thumb, every Maiden song can be traced back to a novel, a film, a poem, a historical event, a current event…you get the idea. Test me on this if you do not believe me. Throw a song at me in the comments. Test it yourself. Look the stuff up; it is amazing.

I do not see myself as a database and, besides, there are already enough databases out there to look the respective references up. I do things like discussing literary references which often add a new meaning, trying to group songs together to see how they correspond to each other or comparing adaptations with their originals to see how and why they have been changed.

Why would I do this and why would you spend your time reading this? I think here is a kind of dialogue going on. On the one hand, you see hear Maiden songs differently when you know their backgrounds. On the other, the adaptations cast a new light on their sources, or more importantly, general aspects like “war” or “religion”. I, for my part, see British culture through a lens that is Maidenish. Always have, always will. They touch upon topics that are definitely British but just as definitely not part of any syllabus you would ever be taught, like Aleister Crowley. But the main point is simply that I love to dwell on all the different layers a Maiden song can have – because who says that you need to restrict yourself to one historical event, one novel etc.? (And I have not mentioned the artwork yet!) I am a lover of (British) literature and have read many of the so called classics (but also all Bond novels of Ian Fleming – I am not turning my nose at so called “entertainment”). Don’t get me wrong, meaning that I was totally bookish; I am one of the loudest singers during concerts and I say sorry in this place to the people who have stood around me. But the fact that my favourite band shares my interest is something which makes their music even more exciting to me. It is kind of a funny position to be in – frowned at by (some) metal fans and belittled by the bookworms. But that is where Iron Maiden are, right in the middle between rock / heavy metal and an extensive library of classical / popular literature and extensive historical knowledge.

I have ordered my pieces in four categories – literature, history, politics, trivia – plus one extra category which deals exclusively with Bruce Dickinson’s solo project and Blake adaptation The Chemical Wedding. This album is extremely complex and one of my most exciting projects on this blog. I hope to reach many other Maiden fans and probably you may enjoy to see Maiden songs as I see them –  as layers of intertextual complexity imbedded in breath-taking music.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Excellent read, thank you. I have followed them since 84 & am always wondering where they gee their next ideas from. Looking at history & their songs, maybe you could submit a significant period or event, asking them to draft some lyrics?

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    1. If you really leave this to me it will be another Blake-album by Bruce Dickinson. 😉 If you think about it, they have covered a lot of British history and it is difficult to add one specific period / event. I still try to come up with something. But, going by my own methods, I am always more productive when I find a topic by myself instead if being requested to write about XY. I assume that it will be similar for them, even more so considering that they are artists.

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  2. I think it should be English pirates / privateers. I have been wondering why there is nothing about Sir Henry Morgan, Calico Jack Rackham, Mary Read, and Anne Bonny or Captain Kidd. Not to forget Edward Teach / Thatch aka Blackbeard. All British, all part of British history. In fact you’d need a song about each and every one of them. “The Golden Age of Piracy” with its entanglement in British hegemony and colonialism and the resistance against it (by plundering the fat merchant ships) is truly what they are missing. And it has, in honesty, all a Maiden song would need. Gore, adventure, battle, and, endless possibilities of visuals, from cover sleeves to stage productions (an no, the “Ghost of the Navigator”-pirates do not count!) And I do not mention that someone might re-use his rapier on stage…(Captain and fencer, we have a perfect candidate here to play a pirate). What more could you possibly want?

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