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Spit Dem Lityrics: Shakespeare Is Like, Well Alive

August 28, 2009

shakespeareI was driving home yesterday and I had my brother’s ipod in my car. As I was shuffling through the Shuffle I got three songs one after another that all had something to do with Shakespeare! Coinkydink? – I think not. In Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Orsino cries out,

“If music be the food of love, play on;”

There is obviously a link between literature and music which Orsino was overly dramatically aware of. The two both use words, themes and try to capture emotion in imagery which will lock into people’s consciousness which will then be annoying looped in people’s heads which will then drive them to buying the itune (or limewiring it like most of the nation, but let’s pretend we buy the itune.) Take  “Romeo and Juliet” for example: the two star cross’d lovers have become shorthand code for a particular relationship/situation and this resonates – at least in the Western world, let’s not be arrogant here. So below I’ve compiled a little list of songs that try to do just that. Though I do think Akala just mashed Shakespeare titles together.

Lovage: Book of the Month

This hasn’t got Shakespeare in it but it does have the word ‘book’ in it, it qualifies and as I am editor, what I say goes! Beautiful song, though the listerine reference is a strange bit of advertising. But hey, what a wonderful chat up line “you are my book of the month.” Bookmark that lads.

Akala: Comedy Tragedy History

A nice Irish lilty remix, the original is a  lot harder. This one incorporates titles and names of Shakespeare’s plays, with lyrics like:

“I’m Capulet, you’re Montague, I ain’t feeling
I am the Julius Caesar hear me
The Merchant Of Venice couldn’t sell your CD.”

Taylor Swift: Love Story

Like totally override that old dead guy Shakespeare and have Romeo talk to Juliet’s dad. Duh.

Basement Jaxx: Romeo

A song about a boy being rubbish with his girlfriend – “he used to be my Romeo.” Didn’t he just.

Elvis Costello: Mystery Dance

This swingin’ tune describes a scene between Romeo and Juliet – aw sweet. Though it doesn’t take much imagination to guess what that ‘Mystery Dance’ is.

There must be loads of songs in the charts with Shark-espeare weaving his magic. What songs can you think of with Shakespeare in the lyrics?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2009 8:11 pm

    The only one that comes to mind is Romeo and Juliet by the Dire Straits ( It seems starcrossed lovers are ridiculously to easy write lyrics about!

  2. bookfreeq permalink*
    August 31, 2009 1:22 pm

    Yeah I’ve heard of that song – Love! I don’t know what all the fuss is about!

  3. September 2, 2009 6:14 pm

    Akala’s 2nd album (Freedom Lasso) is pretty good, and Comedy Tragedy History is definitely one of the highlights.

    He refers to himself as the ‘black Shakespeare’ and his first alb It’s Not A Rumour actually has a song called Shakespeare. not only that, but the boy is doing a series of workshops on the links between Shakespeare and hip-hop for inner-city kids!

    Safe to say he’s no Sir Andrew Aguecheek.

  4. September 2, 2009 6:14 pm

    Goddamn totally failing on me!

  5. September 2, 2009 6:15 pm

    tag closing* failing on me… oh, the shame.

  6. bookfreeq permalink*
    September 2, 2009 6:27 pm

    KJB! You like Akala! No end of surprise over here. I was going to note down his Sharkespeare choon but I though he couldn’t really get a look in twice it’ll look like I’m his agent or something. Lol, what happened with your comments! Finger slipped? 😛

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