Bloomsbury Collections - Shakespeare and Popular Music
The use Shakespeare makes of music in his plays is further discussed in the section of the program on staging. One ballad is about the rambunctious Bartholomew Fair: click to see and hear it.
Many of the songs would have been accompanied by the singer himself on lute; in Romeo and Juliet musicians also appear before the Capulets' home for the ill-fated wedding with Paris 4. Embedded audio playback is not supported by your browser.
All Your Favorite Pop Songs, Rewritten as Brilliant Shakespearean Sonnets
Download the MP3 file for offline playback in a dedicated media player. It was a lover and his lass, With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino, That o'er the green cornfield did pass In springtime, the only pretty ringtime, When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding, Sweet lovers love the spring. Between the acres of the rye, With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino, These pretty country folks would lie In springtime, etc. This carol they began that hour, With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino, How that a life was but a flower In springtime, etc.
And therefore take the present time, With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino, For love is crowned with the prime In springtime, etc.
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Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes; Nothing of him that doth fade But doth suffer a sea change Into something rich and strange. Sea mymphs hourly ring his knell; Hark!
Now I hear them--ding-dong-bell. Of his 37 plays and sonnets, the man from Stratford-upon-Avon made more than references to music, including over songs and fragments of ballads. It is clear that he had and sharp and astute ear for the music of his time, and his use of poetic language to give life to these sounds and rhythms has no doubt inspired musicians throughout the ages, music of every style and from every culture and background.
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