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Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Beat Goes On

 The Beat Goes On
Soundtrack for Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart"

"Still Sane" by Lorde
This song entails fairly eerie music, eliciting a feeling of unease for the listener. It starts slow and gradually picks up more of a beat, which could also be foreshadowing the beating of the heart later on. This would best accompany the beginning of the story, as the narrator insists on his sanity. He continuously asks the reader “but why will you say that I am mad” and “How, then, am I mad?,” attempting to set the audience at ease, yet inadvertently instilling dissension (Poe 1). This song reflects the narrator’s attempt at these reassuring thoughts with lyrics also repeatedly reporting sanity. Lorde’s song also reflects the dissonance elicited by the off-putting declarations of sanity the narrator makes. The song has waves of crescendos and decrescendos, reflecting the ambiguously made remarks of the narrator.

"All Eyes on You" by St. Lucia
This song begins with a slow, echoing beat and gradually declares its presence as the chorus approaches. The artists voice also starts as if from a further distance from the microphone, slowly increasing intensity. This song would be best associated with the narrator’s nightly creep into the old man’s bedroom. Just as the song increasingly makes the audience more aware of it’s sound and presence, the narrator enters the old man’s bedroom “slowly—very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man’s sleep. (Poe 1).  This song would best apply to the 8th night, when the narrator enters the room and finally sees the glimpse of the “Evil Eye.” After the slowly fading intro, the song’s chorus repeats the phrase “all eyes on you,” just as the narrator cautiously enters the chamber and finally views the man’s eye. As the beat picks up in the song, the old man’s heart also begins to beat, growing “louder, I say, louder every moment!” when he becomes aware of an intruders presence (Poe 2).

"Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne
This song starts off with a much more upbeat tempo, encompassing seemingly insane laughing and screaming along to rock music. This song best accompanies the scene where the narrator suffocates the old man and begins dismembering the body. As the song begins to emphasize it’s focus on being crazy, the narrator “threw open the lantern and leaped into the room” and pulled the bed over the old man (Poe 2).  When the song finally reaches its main chorus, saying “going off the rails on a crazy train,” the narrator begins dismembering the corpse, nonchalantly stating that he “cut off the head and the arms and the legs” (Poe 2). The song immensely reflects the narrator’s final breaking point where he can take the man’s evil eye no longer. At this point it is obvious to the reader that the narrator is some sort of crazy.

"Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen
This song begins with a faster paced beat, slightly lightening the mood for the audience. This song would be best associated with the scene when the police come to question the narrator after proudly dismembering and hiding the body with little mess. Although it could be seen as a slight comic relief added to the story, the upbeat appeal to the song also reflects the narrators triumph as he “smiled,--for what had I to fear?” (Poe 3). The narrator’s uncanny pride in his accomplishments is displayed as the song reaches the chorus, repeating, “another one bites the dust,” referring to the old man’s corpse beneath the narrator’s chair. The narrator even states he was in “wild audacity of my perfect triumph,” reflecting his upbeat demeanor with the officers as the song continues on (Poe 3).

"Outside" by Staind
This song begins with a slow guitar and gradually adds more instruments along the way. This song would best accompany the scene when the narrator slowly begins to hear the heartbeat from beneath the floor. As the beat of the song begins to pick up, the narrator’s woes about whether the police can hear the heartbeat increase, saying “It was a low, dull, quick sound…I gasped for breath” (Poe 3). As the song reaches the chorus and the electric guitars and drums take reach full potential, the singer repeats, “I can see through you, see your true colors,” reflecting the narrators worries that the police are “making a mockery of [his] horror” (Poe 3).  The song continues at this pace as the narrator’s guilt causes his downfall and he confesses to his murderous deed.

Poe, Edgar A. “The Tell-Tale Heart.” 1843. 1-3. Print. 

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