Eco-communities as a social vision

Eco-communities as a social vision
Egalitarian and ecological communities, like the pictured East Wind (www.eastwind.org), are very close to our vision of an ecological society

17 December, 2008

“Flight of Icarus” by Iron Maiden, album: Piece of Mind (1983)


Dedicated to the (murdered by authority) Greek teenagers

As the sun breaks above the ground
An old man stands on the hill
As the ground warms to the first rays of light
A birdsong shatters the still

His eyes are ablaze
See the madman in his gaze

Fly on your way like an eagle
Fly as high as the sun
On your wings like an eagle
Fly and touch the sun

Now the crowd breaks and a young boy appears
Look the old man in his eyes
As he spreads his wings and shouts at the crowd
In the name of God my father I fly

His eyes seem so glazed
As he flies on the wings of a dream
Now he knows his father betrayed
Now his wings burn to ashes to ashes his grave

Fly on your way like an eagle
Fly as high as the sun
On your wings like an eagle
Fly and touch the sun


A song loosely based on the Greek Myth of inventor Daedalus and his son Icarus. The myth is about their escape by flying with wings manufactured by them and glued with wax on their bodies, when they were captives in Minoan palace in ancient Crete. Icarus enjoyed flying and made dangerous uprisings and manoeuvres towards the sun, ignoring his father’s warnings about the danger of melting the wax by sun heat. Thus, his childish disobedience to his father’s wisdom became fatal for him: his wings were destroyed and he fell and plunged into the sea.

But the song does a creative violation of the original narration and a reversal of its moral in order to become an allegory for the teenager’s demand for independence from the parental bonds and authority, the last, feeling unbearable envy for such disobedience, sabotaged his son’s wings to send him to certain death.

We also notice that besides the reversal of the moral of the myth, there is also the presentation of the sun, not as a dangerous burning factor, (from the ancient perception of universe where the sun is only some thousands meters above us, completely false today, because the higher you fly, the colder you feel) but in fact as life supporter (first verse) and an imaginative object of desire (fly, touch the sun)

It worths mentioning another myth about Daedalus, where his envy for his very clever inventor nephew, named Perdix or Talos, prompted him to kill his nephew by pushing him off a very tall tower, but Goddess Athena saved the child by transforming him to the bird partridge.

So, Iron Maiden made a combination of these two myths of Deadalus in order to dramatize the teenagers’ disappointment for their wings of independence, nature has offered to them, being broken by their authorities (parents, teachers, state, etc)

You can hear this song in youtube

5 comments:

amana said...

"Fly on your way like an eagle
Fly as high as the sun
On your wings like an eagle
Fly and touch the sun"

Lovely...

candiru - stratis aigaiopelagitis said...

it is also interesting to notice that besides the reversal of the moral of the myth, there is also the view of the sun, not as a dangerous burning factor, (from the ancient perception of universe where the sun is some thousands metres above us, completely false today, because the higher you fly, the colder you feel) but in fact as life supporter (first verse) and an imaginative object of desire (fly, touch the sun)

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