The Emancipation of Annabel Lee

So, in early January of 2023 I went to see a screening of a film by a local filmmaker. Impressed by both the film and the filmmaker, I offered my services as the soundtrack composer for his next film, a project with a decidedly gothic flair. To make my case, I began composing instrumentals with what I hoped was a gothic vibe. Well, 10 songs later, I found out that he opted to go with his previous sound guy, who had suddenly became available for the project. Well, I was disappointed, of course – but there was the issue of what to do with the 10 songs. I spent a few weeks mixing and remixing the tracks and rereading the works of Edgar Allen Poe. One dark and stormy night (believe or not) I came across his final work, the poem “Annabel Lee“, and a light bulb went off in my head (or was it a gas lamp?). The story of this poem – a love so pure that an angel envies it and kills the woman, with her lover then spending a blissful eternity in the tomb with her – would provide the narrative arc to tie the songs together. And, instead of trying to sing the words, I would recite them as the poetry they are. Since the last three tracks have a more joyful (and danceable) groove to them, I decided to emphasize the happiness of the poem – the joy the couple experiences together in the tomb. (In fact, the final song is called “No Gloom in the Tomb”, to make it more than obvious). In the end, I called the whole project “The Emancipation of Annabel Lee” because, well – I created it and I can call anything I want, right?? Enjoy!

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love–
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason, that long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;

So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre,
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angel, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me…
Yes!–that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we,
Of many far wiser than we–
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee,

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling–my darling–my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

“Annabel Lee” By Edgar Allen Poe (His last complete poem, written in the year he died, 1849)

Watch Full Video

The 30 minute full length video including all 10 tracks.

The Emancipation of Annabel Lee

Watch Music Videos

For each song, I created a music video which you can watch individually.

Music videos