A Ship Trapped in Ice, a Ghost Ship, and the Power of Nature: the Curse of the Albatross

Only a few things are as┬ástrongly linked to a specific element of British literature as is┬áthe albatross. "Having an albatross around one's neck" is another way of saying that one faces public shame, guilt, and the certainty of fault. This all goes back to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's rather longish poem "The Rime of the Ancient … Continue reading A Ship Trapped in Ice, a Ghost Ship, and the Power of Nature: the Curse of the Albatross

Advertisements

World War I Poetry and the Third Battle of Ypres: Paschendaele

"Paschendale" (Dance of Death, 2003) commemorates a long-lasting battle of WWI. Its imagery is vivid "Blood is falling like the rain"; the described horrors mortifying "lifeless bodies hanging in barbed wire". Yet, what if I told you that I have seen the lifeless bodies hanging in barbed wire on a photograph, a sight I will … Continue reading World War I Poetry and the Third Battle of Ypres: Paschendaele

“The Chemical Wedding” – Annotated: Introduction or Going Down the (Occult) Rabbit Hole

I hope to end up with a collection of essays on The Chemical Wedding (1998) as I have the impression that there is hardly any material out there to help you navigate your way through the album. As it is not an album of Iron Maiden, but a solo project of Bruce Dickinson, I will … Continue reading “The Chemical Wedding” – Annotated: Introduction or Going Down the (Occult) Rabbit Hole

Where Does the Band’s Name Come from? Or: Why You Don’t Display Wax Figurines of British Prime Ministers

The band's name comes from a torture device of the same name. Well-known fact. Yes, but there is actually more to it. The artwork of the very first album, Iron Maiden (1980), features several depictions of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher accompanied by the line "Maiden Meet Maggie". One of the first band photos … Continue reading Where Does the Band’s Name Come from? Or: Why You Don’t Display Wax Figurines of British Prime Ministers

Lord Alfred Tennyson, the Union Jack, and the Question of Patriotism

One of Iron Maiden's best-known and probably most sung titles is "The Trooper" (Piece of Mind, 1983). The just as well-known and almost always identical staging is an (anticipated) regular event during Maiden concerts. The traditional staging draws heavily on British national symbols. It involves a costume implying the "red-coats" next to a torn and … Continue reading Lord Alfred Tennyson, the Union Jack, and the Question of Patriotism