Grendel Stalks the Night....25 years on

Its amazing to think that its already 25 years since the creation of one of the epic songs in music history. Forget American Pie and even the wonderful Stairway to Heaven, are only minos by comparison, we are talking about a seventeen (yes 17) minute long masterpeice of prog-rock genius. It started out as many song lyrics do, as a poem written by the Band's lead singer Derek Dick, what do you mean you've never heard of him?, well ok, he was better known as Fish. He called the poem and later the song Grendel.
His inspiration came from the legend of
Beowulf, a story also told in poetry and dating from Anglo-saxon times. Grendel, a demonic monster from the swamps, has been attacking Heorot, the Danish King's "Hall of the Hart", killing and eating anyone he can find. Beowulf comes from Sweden, to defend the hall and succeeds in slaying Grendel, when no-one else can, along with the beast's mother, and a dragon, just the good measure.
The Song begins gently with whispered
lyrics, and gradually builds up to dizzy heights with pumping guitars, pounding drums, and shouted vocals, then fades again. It does this again and again thoughout its four parts, Heorot's plea and Grendel's awakening, Grendel's Journey, Lurker at the Threshold, and Finale.
To hear the whole song in all its glory, you can find it on Marillion's "
B'sides themselves".
You can watch Fish perform the song complete with mask and face paint on

No comments:

Post a Comment