I had every intention of writing about Edgar Allen Poe this time, since “The Raven” with John Cusack is about to be released; I’ve been waiting for the movie to come out since I heard it was in production about a year ago. I got my big book of Poe down off my bookcase, and started perusing the deluxe edition for a good poem or story to write about, and found myself returning again and again to The Raven. I thought about the wonderfully lyrical prose and the magnificent wordplay from the dark and twisted mind of Poe, arguably the premier horror writer of his time, and a connection clicked in my brain between the horror author and one of my main topics of pop culture: the seemingly sadomasochistic lyrics to Nickelback’s “Follow You Home.” How a famous author, although not famous until after he died, and a modern pop/rock band connect is something only a twisted mind like mine could understand. If you, the reader, can see the connection as well, then congratulations; your mind is about as twisted as mine!
Let’s think about this for a moment. Poe’s Cask of Amontillado: The narrator chains the unfortunate Fortunato to the wall of a crypt in the dark catacombs while Fortunato was looking for a bottle of booze: Amontillado. After Fortunato’s chained to the crypt wall, the narrator bricks him up in the tiny alcove and leaves him to die in the old catacombs/tombs and thereby join the dead, underground.
Nickelback’s song lyrics: “You can dig me up a grave and try and put me in the ground. You can tie me to the bed, and try and beat me half to death, but you can never keep me down.” About the only difference is that Fortunato wasn’t beaten before he was bricked up in the wall. “You can stick me in a hole and you can pray all day for rain…” Fortunato was lured into the crypt by the promise of Amontillado, and the crypt/catacombs, being below ground level, were damp with water constantly dripping down the brick walls.
So did Poe come up with the idea originally and Nickelback turned the theme into a hit rock song? Or did Poe borrow the storyline from a contemporary of his back in the 1800s? It’s been said there are only seven original plots and every story ever written is only a variation of one of those seven.
Who can tell?