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Mother Russia

Discussion in 'No Prayer For The Dying' started by Anonymous, Apr 11, 2004.


How good is Mother Russia on a scale of 1-10?

  1. 10

  2. 9

  3. 8

  4. 7

  5. 6

  6. 5

  7. 4

  8. 3

  9. 2

    0 vote(s)
  10. 1

    0 vote(s)
  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Here, you can read other visitors' comments on 'Mother Russia' as well as post your own. Any contribution to the commentary will be much appreciated, may it be cultural references relevant to the song (links to related websites, interpretations that may have been overlooked in the Commentary, and the like) or personal essays related to the topic of the song. Just be aware that messages that are either off-topic or too wacky may be deleted.
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    'mother Russia'

    Here is another Asturias "inspiration"...more obvious than Too Tame a land bridge!!!

    Steve in this intro just develop his point of view how he thinks Asturias should be continued....

    Nice song...I do not like the band's opinion for Russia's political things...but that's just me...
  3. Uwe

    Uwe Trooper

    'mother Russia'

    The intro bit is really great, but the rest of the song lacks something, although there are quite some good ideas in it. It seems they did not really know into which direction they wanted to go with the song, which is a general problem with the album.
  4. The_Assassin90

    The_Assassin90 Trooper

    'mother Russia'

    I think it is an awesome song, coming from a great album.
    The music, the lyrics and the band's play worths a clean 5.
    The first time I've heard it, It reminded me a spanish song called: 'Leyenda'
    The intro is almost the same one in the spanish song.

  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    'mother Russia'

    This is an amazing song. I like Russian music and Russia in general very much, so I really enjoy it for the Russian elements in the music.

    In contrary to what the Commentary says, the song cannot have been inspired by the 'fall of Soviet Communism', simply because it had not taken place by the time the song was written (1990).
    The song is much more inspired by the political reforms that took place under Gorbachev's government, known as Glasnost and Perestroika, in the same vein as 'Wind Of Change' by Scorpions. Gorbachev was/is not an anti-Communist -else, he would've ended in Siberia and not at the head of the Communist Party.
    Gorbachev was much more a realist who knew that the people of the Soviet Union were not happy with the way things were. It does not take many brain cells to realize that the people were not free in the Soviet Union despite what all the propaganda said.

    During the 1980s, the Soviet Union suffered from a series of economical mistakes made in the past, which were not all because of Communist ideology, but also because of ecological short-sightedness- take, for example, the quick dependency on agricultural ground in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which turned out to be a disaster, with the Kazakh farmlands turning into deserts again and the Aral Sea shrinking dramatically.
    These small examples can serve to visualize the dramatic situation in the entire East Block. No matter how much the Communist rulers struggled against it, sooner or later, a change had to take place if they still wanted to stay in power.

    What really forced these political changes, however, was the increasing unhappiness among the populations of the Communist countries. After a wave of unrests and riots in the 1950s, most importantly in Poland, East Germany and Hungary, the Communist world had been quite peaceful, bar Czechoslovakia in 1968. The 80s proved to be rather turbulent, with the people of Poland making the start in the 1980s with the Solidarnosc movement. Other Satellite states of the USSR quickly followed suit, most importantly Hungary. Surely everyone here will know that Iron Maiden toured Poland and Hungary in 1985, something that would have been outright impossible just five years earlier!

    Gorbachev became president of the USSR in 1986. He quickly introduced political reforms that guaranteed more freedoms and rights to the people. It soon became clear that Gorbachev was not too keen on keeping the East Block as it was, and therefore tolerated the democratic process in formerly Communist countries- much to the dismay of Communist hardliners.

    In 1990, when the song was written, the Soviet Union had changed its face considerably. While the people were still not exactly "free", as the song claims, they did enjoy a vast number of liberties they didn't have before. The system of satellite states of the USSR was in the process of collapsing. Countries like Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary were peacefully becoming democracies. East Germany was in the process of re-unifying with the Federal Republic (which finally happened on 3. October 1990- two days after 'No Prayer For The Dying' was released) while Romania got rid of Ceausescu in a bloody revolution a year before.

    Despite what the song claims, Russia did not finally enjoy peace and freedom. It was at the verge of civil war in 1993, after the Soviet Union had officially been disbanded in 1992 following declarations of independence by almost all former Soviet Republics. Today, the situation has improved, but poverty and crime are a very big problem in Russia, and the level of political freedom and security is certainly not comparable to western standarts.
  6. dogigniter

    dogigniter Ancient Mariner

    'mother Russia'

    [!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Despite what the song claims, Russia did not finally enjoy peace and freedom. It was at the verge of civil war in 1993, after the Soviet Union had officially been disbanded in 1992 following declarations of independence by almost all former Soviet Republics.[/quote]

    I always think this song is more sarcastic about Russias freedom, patronising the country's civil rights and freedoms

    now it has come
    freedom at last
    turning the tides of history
    and your past

    I think that Harris intended this to be a mockery of what Russia said it was, and what it actually was. It said its people were free, when they were not.
  7. IronDuke

    IronDuke Ancient Mariner

    'mother Russia'

    Definitely one of Maiden's most enduring commentaries on contemporary events. As stated above, the song was written around 1990 when the Soviet Union was collapsing under its own weight.
    I believe the second stanza is key to this understanding:
    [!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]Mother Russia poetry majestic
    Tells the time of a great empire
    Turning round the old man ponders
    Reminiscing an age gone by
    It seemed like the real Russia could reassert itself. The glory days of the Tsars when Russia was at the centre of the world, politically and culturally. Russian art and culture thrived, and out of the cold barren steppe a great empire emerged. That is, in my opinion, the "age gone by" about which the old man is reminiscing.

    As we know, however, the new Russia did not revert to the greatness of the old. The country is being torn apart by terrorists, corrupt officials, poor economic outlooks, etc.
    In these unsure times, many Russians have looked back to the glory days of the Soviet Union: The Great Patriotic War, the heady days of Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin; when the world trembled at the sound of their rockets. (to steal from the Hunt for Red October). This nostalgia is manifesting itself in many ways. The old Soviet Anthem, with its imposing refrains, was adopted (with new words) as the anthem of the Russian Federation. The Russian government is becoming increasingly centralized under Putin, making it resemble the Soviet system more each day. The people have forgotten the horrors and brutality of the old regime in favour of the relative security and ‘sureness’ it offered.

    In other words, this song comments on the Russian habit of always looking back instead of forward. The music is superb, and unlike almost anything else Iron Maiden plays. Even if it weren’t entitled “Mother Russia” and the words not present, the listener instantly recognises the ‘Russianess’ of the music.

    On another note, the opening lines are among Iron Maiden’s most poetic.
    [!--QuoteBegin--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--] Mother Russia how are you sleeping
    Middle winter cold winds blow
    From the trees the snowflakes drifting
    Swirling round like ghosts in the snow [/quote]
    The imagery is simply phenomenal here…I’ve been awestruck by this song since the first time I heard it, and the effect has yet to subside.
  8. Onhell

    Onhell Mexican Revolutionary

    'mother Russia'

    Personally that is something that scares me, Putin centralizing the government the way he is, because it is in fact reverting to communist tendencies. Not to mention the government has bought most newspapers and television stations to control their news output, mainly criticism against Putin. In other words, it wouldn't scare me if they were trying to bring back the "positives" of communism but they are bringing back the negatives like oppresion. At the same time I think Putin sees the centralization as a necesity to control such a monster, because as pointed out by Duke, terrorism is rampant and the Russian mafia is pretty much free to do as they please.
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    'mother Russia'

    One of the highlights of the album. The variations with the textures of sounds is spot on with the intro breaking into the heavy riff. Nice lyrics aswell which I think are mocking of the freedom that communism.

    Can you be happy now your people are free

    I think this is stressing that the Russian peopple thought that they would be more free under Communism but this backfired and left Russia in a mess.
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    'mother Russia'

    A nice song but it lacks the special feel which other epic songs did have. Mostly because of the raw production (the solo's would've sounded much better if the record wasn't raw, but the production suits other songs.)

    The song also could've been a bit longer, it's a bit too short
  11. IronDuke

    IronDuke Ancient Mariner

    'mother Russia'

    [!--QuoteBegin-The Educated Stranger+Aug 19 2005, 07:22 PM--][div class=\'quotetop\']QUOTE(The Educated Stranger @ Aug 19 2005, 07:22 PM)[/div][div class=\'quotemain\'][!--QuoteEBegin--]A nice song but it lacks the special feel which other epic songs did have. Mostly because of the raw production (the solo's would've sounded much better if the record wasn't raw, but the production suits other songs.)

    The song also could've been a bit longer, it's a bit too short

    I have to disagree. The 'special feel' I get from this song is its sound. It's the kind of music I think of when i think of the Russian steppes, boyars, or Cossacks.

    Hell, I can almost see a dude in a long coat dancing to Kalinka in the intro to the song.

    I do agree on the length, though. It could stand to be a bit longer, given the nature of the topic and the inherent quality of the song.
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: 'Mother Russia'

    Perun made interesting points, I generally agree with his assesment. I would like to add the following points: The main event that caused the end of the Soviet union (and communism in the east block in general) was not just that the people were unhappy, it was economic. Communism as an economic system just does not work, and Russia's experiences since 1917 show that to all but those with a closed mind. The Soviet union would probably collapsed in the 1970's due to economic trouble but the event was delayed by 10-15 years due to that most important commodity, oil. For those that don't know, the Soviet Union/Russia had/has some of the biggest oil reserves on the planet. the Soviet union had just brought a large amount of oil production online in siberia in the 1970's just as the oil prices spiked upwards worldwide. The western hard currency flowing into the country sustained the decrepit system for a few more years. Also the Arab countries chose to spend huge amounts of their new oil wealth on buying soviet military equipment, further helping the economy. Now fast forward to the mid-80's; oil prices collapse, Red army is bogged down in Afghanistan, and Reagan forces the soviet union into an arms race they can't afford. Revenues way down, expenses (military) way up, something gotta give. Along comes Gorbachev and he knows the gig is up and he needs to change things to avoid a catastrophic meltdown. Among other things he negotiates with Reagan to end the "arms race" and cuts loose the east block satellites to lower the expenses. The changes he sets in place spin out of his control and eventually destroys the USSR. Luckily without a huge loss of life or war. I don't know if posting links is allowed but here is a more detailed analysis: http://www.futurecasts.com/book%20review%205-8.htm

    Mother Russia to me is a song about a country that wasted it's potential, did Russia ever have a "golden age"? I don't think so . In 1917 Russia went straight from a feudalistic, oppresive regime ruled by corrupt incompetents (Tsarist system) to a system that was in many ways worse than what they had. It will probably be a few more generations, and maybe another revolution or 2, before Russia recovers from it's past disasters.

  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: 'Mother Russia'

    If everybody could write first posts like this...

    Thanks a lot and welcome aboard!  :hello:
  14. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: 'Mother Russia'

    That is a very interesting point. I don't know if I could agree with it entirely: In my opinion, it depends on what you define as a "golden age". If you consider it as an age of outstanding glory compared to eras of its own history, it certainly had. I'm talking about Peter I. and the rapid modernisation. If you consider it an age of outstanding glory compared to the rest of the world, sadly, this has not been the case for Russia. The interesting question is, what would have been had World War I not been? Would democracy have evolved, like in other countries at that time? Everybody in Europe, Germany in particular, was somehow in fear of the potential Russia might have had. That's why the Germans were so eager to declare war on Russia- to prevent this potential from unfolding.
    But what am I doing here, a wannabe historian talking about 'if's'... ;)

    Welcome aboard, upuaut! :)
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: 'Mother Russia'

    Thanks for the welcome! I find the info on this site very interesting, I am still reading through the comments on the albums and songs, I have been a maiden fan since 1982. it is good to get this backround info, and hear others opinions on these great songs.

    Perun: I would cinsider myself to be an amateur historian too, just out of interest. What I meant about the golden age was compared to the rest of the world. I agree internally the age of Peter the great would be a golden age compared to anything since. Maybe golden age is not the right term for me to use. What I am trying to say is that Russia has so much potential riches and power and potential ability to improve peoples lives and be a postitve influence in the world. I compare Russia to for example, Britain, which spread the idea of democracy, and respect for personal liberty, and personal property around the world, and the USA, which is still doing that. What has Russia done with it's power that is positive for the world? Have people ever been trying to sneak into Russia because it is a great place to make a new life? I don't think so, They sometime want to get out to pursue a better life elsewhere. With the natural recourses Russia has, it should be the richest country in the world and provide a great life for it's people and be the envy of the world.

    About WW1, I think if it did not happen Russia would have contnued on the path to democracy, even if Lenin had not got on that train and the bolshevik revolution did not happen things would have been a lot different. Just before WW1 Russia had allied itself with Britain and France and had this alliance lastest I think Russia would have modernised itself using those countries as models. After going commusist, Russia did not have 1 great power as a friend or ally to use a model for modernisation, they put into action the lunatic theories of marx and engels, lenin and stalin.
    Perun I think you share my interest in history, maybe you have some family connection that makes you more interested in Russia because of it? (I am from the UK, so mostly am interested in british empire history.) I would reccomend a good book to you I just read, it is called August 1914, by Solzhenitsyn. It focuses on a few families in russia in 1914 during the start of the war. One of the families were small time landowners and were what we would think of as middle class, and the father tried to model himself on an "english country gentleman". When the commies took over and people like that were destroyed the push to become modern (democracy, human rights, free market economics) were destroyed with it.

  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: 'Mother Russia'

    That is an interesting point, but I do not completely agree here. Russia had a significant migration in the 18th and early 19th century, mostly from Germans who were trying to escape the rather miserable situation in their homeland(s). There were (and still are, to some extent) significant concentrations of German population in Bessarabia (Moldowa) and modern-day Kazakhstan (believe it or not, but this is currently a major issue in Germany); other areas too, I believe. I suppose this counts for populations of other countries too, but I'm not sure about that. There was a "rise of Russia" that is somewhat comparable to that of the USA, even if not as effective to outside areas. One of the major advocates was Catherine the Great, herself a German princess who became tsar and could get many Germans to follow her into the empire. There was a lot of opportunity in Russia at that time, and many gladly followed. Don't quote me on this, but I think what made people stop migrating into Russia eventually was that America became much more promising not much later.

    I'm a history student (second term at the time of this writing). I'm not interested in Russian history in particular, but I have studied it a bit to get a basic grasp at why the country is like it is now (the same counts for most bigger countries on the planet).
  17. Albie

    Albie Keeping an open eye on the Weeping Angels.

    Re: 'Mother Russia'

    One of the biggest reasons why you have been given a warm welcome is that most people on here love a good discussion/argument as long as you have an intelligent and/or well-educated response. And yes, the commentry overall is very interesting.

    And eh....
    It's nice to welcome an "older fan", if only once in a while.
  18. ______no5

    ______no5 The Angel Of The Odd

    Re: 'Mother Russia'

    Mother Russia ....... since late 92 or 1993, I have this thought ; the song than defined the post 93 era it was deffinately Fear of the Dark ....the enormous succes of the live version (long live Finland) lead Harris to composition with guitar armonies that could be sang easily by the crowd

    And as Fear of the Dark was the womb for the post 93 Maiden sound, Mother Russia was the womb for
    Fear of the Dark.

    In the rest of "no prayer for the dying", we can't find any other song with this definite Maiden sound of 90s* -except "Mother Russia"

    In the next album we haave some more : "afraid to shoot strangers", "chilhood's end", "fear of the dark"

    * which is full of mid-tempo guitar armonies
  19. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: 'Mother Russia'

    I didn't mean to take away any due credit from Poland or what would later become Czechoslovakia for containing Russia; however, my post was about the time prior to World War One, and about the German sentiments at that time. At that time, Poland was politically a part of the Tsar's empire, and everything east of the German and Austro-Hungarian border was considered "Russia".
    In the years preceding the Great War, Russia experienced a massive economic rise, which inflicted the Germans with a huge and irrational fear of the country; as far as they were concerned, Russia was a vast country with unlimited resources and manpower, run by a horde of wild cossacks, and if they chose to overrun Europe, Germany would be the first victim. Most Germans believed that any coming war would be purely focussed on containing and fighting back Russia. The only reason why France, for example, ever made German pre-war considerations was because Paris openly allied with Moscow. The Schlieffen-Plan was a war plan designed for a war in the east, with only the very first phase dedicated to knocking out France so there wouldn't be a second front. Nobody at that time would have expected that,
    -The UK would remember their nearly a century-old treaty with Belgium
    -France would be able to stop a German invasion all by itself
    -Russia was crippled by massive shortcomings such as an underdeveloped infrastructure or the simple lack of guns.

    As we all know, nobody expected that Russia only really became dangerous after being defeated in the war and going through a bloody revolution, and that's where the rest of Europe should thank Poland, Czechoslovakia and all the others for keeping the dreads of socialism away... for the time being.

    Since I know about your ties to Poland, I can understand your sentiments. On the political level, I would agree with you, some things considered. On a sub-political, cultural and historical level, I think that Russia is a fascinating country.
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Re: 'Mother Russia'

    You're right. The period between the wars is often ignored, although they might be the most impressive ones of Polish history. I was about to write "the lost the battle nevertheless", but the truth is, they didn't. Yes, they got occupied by nazi Germany and later got a socialist dictatorship, but then, they were the first country of the East Bloc to shake it off and become a democracy.

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