One by one, as if entranced -
gazed upon the tall main mast.
The gold doubloon meant many things
To the thoughts and fears that each man brings.
Ahab saw might and power
with peaks as proud as lucifer’s tower!
Starbuck saw the trinity
in each mountain’s majesty!
Stubb saw not of Ahab’s whales
But saw the march of life’s travails!
Flask saw little of these stars
But only nine-hundred and sixty cigars...
A coin from the middle of the world
reveals the thoughts of those unfurled
and three great mountains majesty
set against the stars and sea.
Queequeg compared his body map
To all the splendid Zodiac!
But Pip saw that men do not know
the many colored voices of the rainbow!
music and lyrics © 2010 by Tony Garone with text excerpts from "Moby Dick"
Produced by Anthony Garone and William Brown
recorded at Cow Pilot Studios (AZ)
Tony Garone - vocals, drum loops and keyboards
Anthony Garone Jr. - electric guitar, bass, percussion
Casey Carney - drums and percussion
PJ Cardinal - keyboards
What is this song about?
(This explanation is taken from “The Heart of Moby Dick”)
In order to get the mast-headers (the people who keep lookout) to be vigilant, Ahab nails a gold coin (a doubloon) from Ecuador to the main mast of the Pequod. He challenges the crew by declaring that there will be a reward given to the first person to catch site of Moby Dick.
The doubloon is the reward. The doubloon is also an archetype of the “self” (Edinger)
It features elaborate imagery including three mountains; on one mountain resides a tower, on another an eagle, and the third a volcano. The characters of the zodiac adorn the sky above the mountains and the sun rests amidst the constellations. Each of the main characters is drawn to this doubloon and offers an interpretation. Each interpretation is unique and reveals each person’s true Self. Some, like Ahab's, are egotistical and maniacal (although highly developed):
"There's something ever egotistical in mountain-tops and towers, and all other grand and lofty things; look here,- three peaks as proud as Lucifer. The firm tower, that is Ahab; the volcano, that is Ahab; the courageous, the undaunted, and victorious fowl, that, too, is Ahab; all are Ahab; and this round gold is but the image of the rounder globe, which, like a magician's glass, to each and every man in turn but mirrors back his own mysterious self. Great pains, small gains for those who ask the world to solve them; it cannot solve itself. Methinks now this coined sun wears a ruddy face; but see! aye, he enters the sign of storms, the equinox! and but six months before he wheeled out of a former equinox at Aries! From storm to storm! So be it, then. Born in throes, 't is fit that man should live in pains and die in pangs! So be it, then! Here's stout stuff for woe to work on. So be it, then."
Some, like Starbuck's, are reverent, humble, and highly developed as well:
"No fairy fingers can have pressed the gold, but devil's claws have left their mouldings there since yesterday," murmured Starbuck to himself, leaning against the bulwarks. "The old man seems to read Belshazzar's awful writing. I have never marked the coin inspectingly. He goes below; let me read. A dark valley between three mighty, heaven-abiding peaks, that almost seem the Trinity, in some faint earthly symbol. So in this vale of Death, God girds us round; and over all our gloom, the sun of Righteousness still shines a beacon and a hope. If we bend down our eyes, the dark vale shows her mouldy soil; but if we lift them, the bright sun meets our glance half way, to cheer. Yet, oh, the great sun is no fixture; and if, at midnight, we would fain snatch some sweet solace from him, we gaze for him in vain! This coin speaks wisely, mildly, truly, but still sadly to me. I will quit it, lest Truth shake me falsely."
But in the end, Pip reveals to us that each of the crew members has a unique perspective:
"I look, you look, he looks; we look, ye look, they look..." -- Moby Dick, Chapter 99
These excerpts are all concerned with individual perspectives based on each person's life experience. Each crew member sees something in the coin that is unique and no two crew members sees the same thing. That is the main theme of Moby Dick - well, at least for me it is.