Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven represented the pinnacle of the author's success. Though most of his fame was brought on by his macabre tales and stories, Poe's The Raven took off and brought him national, as well as world-wide acclaim. Unfortunately it didn't bring him much in the way of income, when he desperately needed as he tried to make a life in New York City, accompanied by his wife ill … [Read more...] about Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven: Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
We’ve played with video for a while, and all along we hoped to make Poe videos for each of the songs on The Conqueror Worm. Since most people find our music typically find it through YouTube, and YouTube is a video platform, why not make the most of it? The original guidelines for the Poe videos were simple, shoot it on a phone or iPad, and use iMovie to edit. I wanted these videos to be … [Read more...] about On the Poe videos that accompany The Conqueror Worm, The Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe
https://youtu.be/oeLczupjZqA NEAR THE END OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY, Irish poet William Butler Yeats became actively involved in magical circles, joining The Golden Dawn, one of the legendary occult societies of the time. Yeats would say that it was a "chief influence upon his thought." Yeats believed in fairies, not in the abstract, but as real creatures, according to at least one of his … [Read more...] about The Fairy Pedant by W.B. Yeats, 1895
https://youtu.be/-MpMZvLHnio Excerpt from from the book "The Story and Song of Black Roderick" AND I BID THEE REMEMBER how the little pale bride was wont to sit upon the mountain and watch the far lights in her father's home quench themselves one by one. So now of how she died shall I tell thee, and of what came to her in her passing, lest thou thinkest so innocent a child had laid … [Read more...] about Watcher In The Woods by Dora Sigerson Shorter, 1906
https://youtu.be/WfdMbOIpGG4 Ingram wasn't a poet by nature perhaps, but he made a great song lyricist. Colorful, but simple and short, unlike most of the poets of the age. He chose the moment before the Bell Witch first made her appearance to Betsy, when life was sane and magical, in a good sort of way. The truth of the story we'll never known. We'll never know whether the horrors inflicted … [Read more...] about Queen of the Haunted Dell, by M.V. Ingram, Authenticated history of the Bell Witch, 1894.
https://youtu.be/hqp_g1-zkQA Edmund Spenser wrote Epithalamion for Elizabeth Boyle, his bride to be as wedding gift. It's an account of their wedding day, from before dawn till late in the night, following the consummation of the marriage. Consisting of 24 stanzas, corresponding to the 24 hours of Midsummer Day, it also contains 364 lines, matching the days in a year. It follows the cycle of … [Read more...] about Poem 19 (from Epithalamion) by Edmund Spenser, 1594
https://youtu.be/oDjS9PhFuwg The Sands of Dee is a poem within a novel, Alton Locke, written by Charles Kingsley in 1849. Like most great rock and roll, he pens the lines to impress a girl, to give words to an air she's played on the piano. An air without words. What is an air? To the Irish, an air is a song played on an instrument, wordlessly. As opposed to a tune, which is a melody never … [Read more...] about The Sands of Dee (from Alton Locke) By Charles Kingsley, 1849
https://youtu.be/oH1GjIKZV_Q Kipling included this little poem in his book Traffics & Discoveries in 1904. Some say it's a children't poem, an allegory. The Kipling society folks seem to think it's about naval warfare. A political tale. I love the imagery, the tone. In a few short lines, Kipling creates an impossible world, where witches and little blue devils can speak to one another, … [Read more...] about The Eggshell by Rudyard Kipling, 1904
https://youtu.be/39Jp_0i1i_A Something is happening in The Listeners, but we never know what. We know it's about keeping promises, keeping your word, even if there's nobody there, nobody living at least to know that you did. Are the listeners the living or the dead? Is the traveller in fact the dead one, returning once more to his home as he'd promised? We never get to know the details, … [Read more...] about The Listeners by Walter de la Mare, 1912
https://youtu.be/XNEQTOgKYE8 MOSTLY FORGOTTEN TODAY, James Russell Lowell lived and breathed New England. Much as Mark Twain became the voice and accent of the midwest - the frontier at the time, Lowell became the archetype of the Yankee dialect. And in the process, helped define the mindset of the region. Born and living mainly his whole life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he was … [Read more...] about Midnight by James Russell Lowell, 1842
https://youtu.be/O59iDcicIs0 IN THE EARLY SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, renowned dramatist, poet and favorite of the royal court composed a series of masques for the court's entertainment. A masque consisted of music, dance and acting, performed in a private setting featuring elaborate costumes, professional actors and elaborate stage design. The stage and costumes were often designed by renowned … [Read more...] about The Witches’ Song, from Ben Johnson’s Masque of Queens, 1609
ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS to come to mind when you think of Shakespeare's Macbeth is the witches. "Double, Double, toil and trouble" is quite cliche, isn't it? But it's also one of the archetypes for witches in the modern era. Shakespeare's play is full of the supernatural, from the witches and their prophecies to ghosts and of course, murder in a variety of forms, as well as revenge and … [Read more...] about Act IV Scene I (The Witches Song: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble) from the Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare, 1606
https://youtu.be/rPD2vdtzZ3Y Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night Dream is likely the most influential fairy tale of all time, albeit geared towards adults. It also gave us three of the most famous of all ... Oberon, Titania and of course, Puck. Oberon has an odd provenance, starting with ties to the Merovingian dynasty, who are rumored by some to be descendants of the blood line of Jesus … [Read more...] about Excerpts from William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer’s Night Dream,” 1595-96
THIS SONG WASN'T SET DOWN IN PRINT till 1910, but is believed to have been popular in the music halls from 1840-1870. Sailors loved the music halls, and songs sung there often included sections like … With a big bow wow, tow row row Fal dee rall dee di do day. The reason for this, my tongue twister challenged friends, is it was easy to sing along with. You didn't have to know the … [Read more...] about From Boston Harbor