The Cask of Amontillado
"The Cask of Amontillado"
This song introduces you to the classic tale of unwarranted yet fatal revenge: Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado.” Montresor believes he has been wronged by his unfortunate friend Fortunato. Listen to him lure Fortunato into the vaults . . . forever. The song summarizes key points of the short story, while also introducing students to vocabulary from the original story.
The "thousand injuries" that I have endured
Due to "Fortunato" – and "I bore them as best as I could"
"But when he ventured upon insult
I vowed revenge"
"YOU – who know the nature of my soul most", my friend
Know that it is not a "threat" – for all his tomfoolery
Not only will I punish him
But with full "impunity"
In other words scot-free
Patiently awaiting the day he does not breathe
"Neither by word nor deed"
Had I given him reason to believe at all
That my "good will" was lost
I "smile in his face" then
Secretly plan his "immolation"
He had a weak point – his "wine connoisseurship"
Caused him to be prideful and I've got to lure him
Using my own knowledge of "Italian vintages"
Hold up – who is that in the distance it was dusk
But not too dark to see a whole bunch of drunks
Lookin sorta sloppy
And one of them "wore motley"
There he was, dressed as a jester
The "madness of the carnival" I've caught him at his best -uh.
Yessir – "I was so pleased to see him"
I thought I'd "never be done wringing his hand" even -
"My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met –
And how remarkably well you are looking today yes –
But I received a pipe of what passes – for Amontillado
But I doubt and have to ask if …"
"Amontillado, a pipe? Impossible!"
"How'd you get it in the middle of the carnival"
"I have my doubts, but you were nowhere to be found
So I paid the full price – I was scared of missing out"
"I have my doubts/"
"And I must satisfy them now"
"OK, as you are engaged, I was on my way
to see what Luchresi has to say"
"Luchresi can't tell Amontillado from Sherry"
"And yet some fools say he's better than you clearly"
"Come, let us go"
"To your vaults."
"My friend no, I will not impose--"
"No, come on."
"Plus you have a cold – and the vaults are wet"
"The cold is merely nothing. Let's go nevertheless"
Amontillado! You have been imposed upon."
We "hurry off to my palazzo" as he holds my arm
"No attendants were at home", yep they all were gone.
I grab a hold of "two flambeaux" and carry on
Down a long, winding staircase
Uh- watch it, boss -
We're now in the "catacombs of the Montresors"
"Ah, the nitre – come let's go back
You are rich, respected, admired
Even happy, beloved, as I once was
Plus there's Luchresi-"
"Enough – the cough's a mere nothing; it will not kill me"
"True – true. Yet we should still be cautious –
A draught of this Medoc should
Help defend us from the damps
And he pauses.
"I drink . . .to the buried that repose around us"
"And I to your long life."
"These vaults are extensive"
"The Montresors are too numerous to mention"
"Your coat of arms?"
"It’s a foot in a field
Crushing a serpent whose fangs are in the heel"
"And the motto?"
"No one strikes me with impunity"
Not knowing a skeleton is what he's soon to be
"The nitre! See, it increases – Let us go back, your cough-
FORTUNATO: "Oh please, it is nothing – first another draught of the Medoc
A flagon of De Grave in one sip is what he got
Finishing it off with a grotesque movement
"Are you of the Masons?"
Returning his scowl, I hold from the folds of my roquelaire a trowel
"You jest . . . but let us proceed"
"Be it so, grab my arm I shall lead"
Deep into the crypt, where the foulness of the air
Could seep into you quick
All the walls lined with human remains
But the bones on one wall had been rearranged
Exposing an interior recess
Four feet deep, yes
And three feet wide
About six or seven feet high
"Proceed," I said, suggesting;
"Here's the Amontillado, as for Luchresi - -"
"He is an ignoramus..."
Unsteadily stepping to where my lock and chain is
Instantly I had him fettered to the granite
He was too stunned to understand it
"Once more let me beseech you
You don't want to return, I must positively leave you"
He says in astonishment.
"True, the Amontillado, let's get on with it"
And next to me on the floor were
A quantity of building stone and mortar
And to his horror
I began to wall up the entrance
He's sobering up now and all but defenseless
The screams! The screams! with Fortunato facing me
I lay tiers of masonry
Working 'till midnight
Down to the final stone
Until I hear him laughing low like his mind was gone
"Ha! Ha!- - -"A great joke, you got me this time
We'll have a laugh about it over our wine"
"Yes, and won't they be waiting for us at the palazzo
The Lady Fortunato and the rest"
Let us be gone!"
"Yes," I said, "let us be gone."
"For the love of God, Montresor!"
"Yes, for the love of God!"
I insert the stone and re-erect the facade
Ah - and it's been half a century
His bones undisturbed may he rest in peace!
This song includes many original lines from Poe's story (found in quotation marks in this song). As a result, some of the words may be challenging. Click on the words to see their meaning.
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