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The band Nightwish, one of the more famous symphonic metal acts in the world, is certainly going to be heard around many Halloween parties this year, as the whole Western world will be caught up in the Gothic season. Nightwish is sort of famous (or, from my point of view, rather notorious, because I don’t particularly like how they do it) for treating with “Victorian”, or, in a broader sense Gothic literary themes in their songs.

So, it comes as little enough of a surprise that the band has also referenced the Rime in their songs – and not just once, but twice.

On the 2004 album Dark Passion Play, two songs containsome pretty obvious references to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

While I personally have to confess that the rather unsophisticated approach that the heavy metal scene in general takes on classic literature, I can’t object on the songs themselves. Nightwish has surely managed to become an all-time classic in their genre, and their songs are hauntingly beautiful.

 

 

Nightwish, “Sahara”. From “Dark Passion Play”, 2004. Track 7.

 

A ballad of dark queen echoes through night
As he flees the curse of gods, the pharaoh`s wrath

1001 nights unseen
The philosopher and the queen

Ancient mariner in a sea of sand
The burning beauty his tomb to die for

1001 nights unseen
The philosopher and the queen
Horizon`s swarming with death
Run!

Heaven has a darkened face
Dunes are soaring, as on a chase
Caravan of the cursed
Chasing him across the waves

May he now rest under aegis of mirage
As the sands slowly turn to Elysian fields

1001 nights unseen
The philosopher and the queen (1001)

1001 nights unseen
The philosopher and the queen(1001)

1001, 1001

 

 

Nightwish, “The Islander”. From “Dark Passion Play”, 2004. Track 10.

 (Actually, one of my favorite guitar ballads of all time.)

 

An old man by a seashore
At the end of day
Gazes the horizon
With seawinds in his face
Tempest-tossed island
Seasons all the same
Anchorage unpainted
And a ship without a name

Sea without a shore for the banished one unheard
He lightens the beacon, light at the end of world
Showing the way lighting hope in their hearts
The ones on their travels homeward from afar

This is for long-forgotten
Light at the end of the world
Horizon crying
The tears he left behind long ago

The albatross is flying
Making him daydream
The time before he became
One of the world`s unseen
Princess in the tower
Children in the fields
Life gave him it all:
An island of the universe

Now his love`s a memory
A ghost in the fog
He sets the sails one last time
Saying farewell to the world
Anchor to the water
Seabed far below
Grass still in his feet
And a smile beneath his brow

This is for long-forgotten
Light at the end of the world
Horizon crying
The tears he left behind long ago

So long ago….

This is for long-forgotten
Light at the end of the world
Horizon crying
The tears he left behind so long ago

Lyrics taken from: http://www.sing365.com/

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