Video Contest: A Song for Annabel Lee

May 08, 2015
By Educator Innovator

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…

—Edgar Allan Poe 

We’ve all heard songs that describe love in powerful and moving ways. Great writers capture feelings in words that describe otherwise indescribable emotions.

That’s exactly what Edgar Allan Poe does in his poem “Annabel Lee.” Now, ProjectEd invites you to reimagine this classic as a song that can do Poe’s words justice and make it to the top of the charts.

Here’s your assignment:

Recite, sing, or rap the original verses from “Annabel Lee” in a rhythm that will make listeners want to hear it over and over again. Submissions must follow these rules:

  • Use the poem as is—no repetitions of words or lines, no invention of new words or lines; just make your flow work. Submissions must stay true to Poe’s original rhyme and verse.
  • Your recitation must contain the entire poem as included on the following page.
  • Make sure your video is appropriate (No profanity, violence, or scenes inappropriate for middle school students please!)
  • Accompanying music is either an original composition or comes from an approved music source:

Remember—judges will be focused on your flow and delivery. Perfectly produced music is not required. Beatboxing and even drumming on your desk is acceptable.

Good Luck!

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

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 highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, 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 a 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 see 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 her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the side of the sea.

Read and write annotations for the poem at:

Original Post/ ProjectEd