Glyph of the word 'kupiki'.


  • (v.) to wait
  • (adj.) waiting
  • (n.) waiting

Kupiki ei ae panakatá fiti…
“I’m waiting in my cold cell…”

Notes: Yesterday’s song may be the song that epitomizes Iron Maiden, but this song, I think, is their best work ever. Here it is, my number 1 Iron Maiden song:

Number 1
“Hallowed Be Thy Name”

Iron Maiden's single for 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'

The Number of the Beast (1982)

“Hallowed Be Thy Name” is a well-constructed, and well-executed short story in song form. It’s a story about a guy who’s being executed (hanged) for some crime (or crimes). The content of the song is the condemned man’s internal monologue as he reflects upon his life and his predicament. As his final moments draw nearer, the tempo of the music increases, to match his level of desperation. At its height, the prisoner is hanged, and Bruce Dickinson wails out his final words, “Hallowed be thy name.”

In addition to being a well-written song, it’s an excellent performance piece, with the character of the music matching the mood and theme of the lyrical content. It’s something bordering on the theatric, but in a metal—almost operatic—way. It’s about more than just the music: It’s about the experience—about capturing it and communicating it to an audience through music. That, in effect, is what metal’s all about, and this is one of the best metal songs ever written.

There you have it! Thanks for indulging me. I’ve been meaning to write up my top ten Iron Maiden songs somewhere somehow for quite awhile. The Kamakawi Word of the Day is a strange venue for such a thing, but it’s done now: It can’t be undone! Hooray! :D

You may notice that today’s word has been derived from kupi, which means “to sit”. Just hearing it, one might think it was the applicative form of kupi, but not so. The applicative would be more to say something like, “I sit the chair”, meaning “I sit on the chair”, but where “chair” becomes the direct object. This is a metaphorical extension of “sit”. The word focuses on the action one undertakes while waiting for someone—and sitting seems more likely than anything else. So “I sat because of you” would be an overliteral translation of Ka kupiki ei ti ia.

Thanks again for sitting through my top ten favorite Iron Maiden songs! I’m glad they made it up somewhere.

(By the way, the new album is good, but had no single song good enough to knock any of these out of the top ten.)

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One Response to “Kupiki”

  1. Ka kavaka ‘hadada: to think, to understand « Rejistanian Word of the Day ti:

    […] like Ace of Base. Yes, many conlangers seem to have a very alternative taste in music, and while some of the stuff I listen to might qualify as well (just look at my previous song of […]

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