Different lyrics in Ghost of the Navigator?


Ancient Mariner
I was stumbling around the internet this morning and discovered a site about 'misheard' lyrics in songs. Naturally, I looked for something on Maiden. They had an entry for one of my favourite, Ghost of the Navigator. They claim the lyrics are misheard as:

The silence of the rocks,
they beckon me

And that the correct lyrics are:
The sirens on the rocks,
they beckon me

My curiosity got the better of me and I went and listened to the song a few times. I can see how it'd be easy to hear either version of the lyrics.

The meaning of the song does change, depending on which lyrics you chose to hear. If you believe the second interpretation, in which "the sirens on the rocks" are doing the beckoning, then the song is much more realistic. The sirens are an obvious reference to Greek mythology, and the song sticks much closer to the original story of Homer's Odyssey.

However, this interpretation is weakened by Maiden's own style of playing. There is already a clear reference to the sirens elsewhere in the song:
I steer between the crashing rocks;
the sirens call my name.
Lash my hands onto the helm,
blood surging with the strain.

I think it's unlikely Maiden would repeat the reference to sirens in the song when there are so many other literary symbols from the Odyssey that could be employed to get the same effect.

THis brings us to the other interpretation:

The silence of the rocks,
they beckon me

If these are the lyrics we actually hear, the song's meaning is much more abstract. How can the silent rocks beckon anyone? With these lyrics, I interpret the song as being about death and dying. The rocks are silent, peaceful, a bulwark against rough seas. But they're also permanent. There's no going back for our poor navigator.

As I've said a previous post, there are two types of Maiden songs:
The concrete ones, which need little interpretation and debate about their meaning (Like Passchendale, Tailgunner, or Mother Russia) You know exactly what they're about without looking for symbolism and metaphors.
The abstract songs, however, require some thought to comprehend. Their meaning isn't obvious, and the listener has many different interpretations to pick from. (see my post in the Piece of Mind Forum on Flight of Icarus for an excellent example of this kind of song.)

Depending on which set of lyrics you hear in those lines, I think the Ghost of the Navigator fits into a different category of song. Is it specifically about the Odyssey, or does it have a deeper meaning because of the symbolism? You judge for yourself.

(PS - I haven't bothered to check what the official lyrics are according to Maiden themselves. Quite frankly, I don't care!)


Far-fetched, but very interesting [!--emo&:)--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/smile.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'smile.gif\' /][!--endemo--]


Ancient Mariner
it's less far-fetched than some of my other BS, [!--emo&:howdy:--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/wavey.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'wavey.gif\' /][!--endemo--]


Infinite Dreamer
But still BS nonetheless [!--emo&:D--][img src=\'style_emoticons/[#EMO_DIR#]/biggrin.gif\' border=\'0\' style=\'vertical-align:middle\' alt=\'biggrin.gif\' /][!--endemo--]


Ancient Mariner
I always hear it as 'The sirens of the rocks, they beckon me'. After all, it wouldn't be gramatically correct to say 'the silence of the rocks, they beckon me', it would be 'the silence of the rocks, it beckons me'. And I don't think using a reference once in the chorus and then once again in a verse is that repetitive. To me, sirens make more sense.