Sunday, 24 April 2016

Music on Sunday; Songs inspired by Shakespeare

Yesterday I made the quotes, today the songs that go with it; Enjoy;

From the album 'Nothing like the sun' which is also from Sonnet 130 just like the words 'My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun'

This is Morrissey in all his pretentious glory. The lyrics show the protagonist judging a girl on her literary preferences and on how she mis-quotes Shakespeare.

‘You say: “ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn”
And you claim these words as your own
But I’ve read well, and I’ve heard them said
A hundred times, maybe less, maybe more’

The quote here is supposed to be Ratcliff’s lines from Richard III:

‘My lord, ’tis I. The early village cock
Hath twice done salutation to the morn.’ (5.5.163)

She goes on to then quote in the lyrics:

‘You say: “ere long done do does did”
Words which could only be your own
And then you then produce the text
From whence was ripped some dizzy whore, 1804’

As Morrissey suggests, this line seems to be created by the girl in question as they are a jumble of words.

With this song, Morrissey is condemning plagiarism:

‘If you must write prose and poems
The words you use should be your own
Don’t plagiarise or take “on loans”
There’s always someone, somewhere
With a big nose, who knows
And who trips you up and laughs
When you fall’

He expresses the danger that if you just reproduce somebody else’s work as your own, there will be someone who is familiar with the original and will catch you out. However, at the same time, he is also saying that plagiarism is inevitable with the proof that the “dizzy whore” wrote the quoted words he believed were original.

The title of the album The Queen Is Dead could also be a reference to Shakespeare as these lines are reported  in Macbeth (5.5.16) and  in Cymbeline (5.5.27). However, it may also be a reference to one of the sections of Hubert Selby Jr.’s novel Last Exit to Brooklyn.

The title and the line ‘I’m a thousand miles from danger if I make a better stranger of you’ are inspired by the scathing line that Orlando delivers to Jaques in As You Like It:

‘I do desire we may be better strangers’ (3.2.253)

In an interview with Drowned in Sound, vocalist Mike Kerr said:

‘I got the title from a Shakespeare line, from As You Like It: ‘I do desire we may be better strangers’ and I thought: ‘What a brilliant insult!’ It really related to me, ’cause I’d been in a situation where I wanted to know someone a whole lot less, you know?’

The phrase “dogs of war” comes from Julius Caesar:

“Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war” (3.1.273)

The idea of soldiers being compared to dogs that have been trained for warfare was prevalent before Shakespeare’s time and I’ve found that, as my research goes on, I’m tending to look for allusions to Shakespeare where his inspiration is not intentional. Whether Pink Floyd are making a reference to Shakespeare with this song is unclear, they may well just be using a popular phrase.

Other artists that quote “dogs of war” are: Saxon, The Exploited, Ghostface Killah, Motörhead, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Biohazard and AC/DC.

‘The more I think about it, Old Billy was right
Let’s kill all the lawyers, kill ’em tonight’

The Eagles take Dick the Butcher’s ever popular line from Henry VI, Part II:

‘The first thing we do let’s kill all the lawyers.’ (4.2.78)
The song is about Don Henley and Glenn Frey’s frustration with people blaming their problems on others and the trend of suing to gain ‘cash’ from a ‘little crash’ and by killing the lawyers, this eliminates the possibility to do so.

The nickname ‘Old Billy’ disassociates the quote from Shakespeare and makes it more colloquial and, perhaps, more accessible.

Another fact is that this line is also echoed in the film Hook in which the lost boy, Rufio, shouts ‘kill the lawyer’ once it has been revealed that Peter Pan (Robin Williams) has become a lawyer after leaving Neverland (a profession akin to that of a pirate).

© KH

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Quotes and Pics 227, In honour of the great bard

Today is the celebration of Shakespeare's birthday. Historians believe Shakespeare was born on this day in 1564, the same day he died in 1616. So today it's a 400 years 'celebration' of his demise.
In the UK a huge day of course. So for today I made Shakespeare quotes. For tomorrow songs where these Shakespeare quotes are used in. Enjoy;

© KH

Thursday, 21 April 2016


Yesterday I was traveling by train to meet my mum for some shopping. After spending a very lovely day together in the sun, shopping, relaxing drinking coffee and having nice talks we each went our separate way again.
When I got to the station and saw I had to wait for at least 20 minutes I sat down on the bench next to a man who started to talk to me as soon as I sat down.

'Rest' he said.
I agreed with him. It had been a long day with a lot of walking.
'You live in this town?' he asked in English.
'No' I said 'I've been shopping here and now about to take the train home again'
'Not far from here?'
'No not far'
'Good' he nodded.
I asked him if he lived in town.
'Yes' he said 'but I fled from my home' he laughed at his own joke 'My wife, she has a lot of people in the house and I just had to go! Too crowded!' He waved his arms around.
I asked him where he was originaly from.
'Somalia' he said 'but I'm half, I'm chocolate'
Not really knowing what he meant by that but thinking it must have to do with the reason he fled his country I nodded. He didn't want to talk about it because he immediatelly went on to a different subject.
'You are good in English' he said with a big smile 'Dutch is so difficult! My wife and daughter can speak it a little but I think it's so very hard'
Meanwhile my train came rolling in and I said so to him.
'Well' he said 'good bye, bless you' and he walked away.
I said my good byes and stepped into the train.

Behind me some Moroccan boys were sitting talking about their day in school.
I heard that at the way they speak, boys born and raised in this country but still they have adapted themselves a certain dialect of Moroccan/Dutch. (Which is funnier in Dutch acctually)

'You know man, I drank ten cans of red bull a day! I was all shaking and shit'
'You did? Wicked!'
'Yeah but I stopped, first by drinking less now I stopped all together, I am a fanatic in sports man, I can't drink that shit! I am now going to drink those shakes'
'Shakes? What the hell for?'
'I need to gain weight you know, I'm a skinny ass mother f... '
'But with shakes? You're an idiot man!'
'I need to weigh 80 kg man!'

I had to get off the train at my station so I couldn't hear how he was going to plan on gaining more weight. I didn't even see if he was as skinny as he said he was. I'm taking his word for it.
Funny what you hear/or what great conversations you have when you don't have those silly earphones on. Real honest conversations, like you had when those smartphones weren't even invented.

© KH

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Music on Sunday; Songs inspired by poems

Yesterday my quotes and pics blog was about poem quotes; today I was looking for artists who were inspired by poems in their songs. Enjoy;

Robert Plant interpolates on the bridge of this psychedelic tune a couplet from Love is Enough, a poem by Victorian writer-designer William Morris.

Longtime Plant inspiration William Morris (1834-96) is considered the progenitor of the fantasy fiction genre thanks to his revival of medieval texts.

Morris' passion for the medieval also fed his unique style of domestic interior decoration and in 1861 he co-founded a decorative arts company in partnership with the artist Edward Burne-Jones, and the poet and artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The firm provided a complete home design service to their clients dedicated to the principles of medieval craftsmanship. Morris did this in order to counter the mass-produced works of the Industrial Revolution. The firm became highly fashionable and had a profound influence on the decoration of houses into the early 20th century.

This epic thirteen and a half minute track is divided into four parts and was inspired by Nightwish keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen's favorite poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892), and his famous free verse poem of the same name. The song includes a six-minute recitation of the Transcendentalist poem. He explained to Metal Hammer magazine: "I wanted to pay homage to him and do the lyrics in a way that he would possibly write. It's a real, open, thorough, personal catharsis – especially the spoken-word part."

Some of the lyrics are based on a poem by Hugh Mearns called The Psychoed:

As I was going up the stair
I met a man who was not there
He wasn't there again today
I wish that man would go away

This song is an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's 1839 poem of everlasting love beyond the grave.

The second line of this song, "when the evening spreads itself against the sky," is taken from T.S. Eliot's 1920 poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." Sting noted in Lyrics By Sting: "What is it Eliot said? 'Bad poets borrow, good poets steal'?"

Something like that. What Eliot actually said (from his 1920 collection of essaysThe Sacred Wood): "One of the surest of tests is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different from that from which it was torn; the bad poet throws it into something which has no cohesion."

This song was based on a 17th century poem by Thomas Dekker called Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes:

Golden slumbers kiss your eyes
Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby
Rock them, rock them, lullaby
Care is heavy, therefore sleep you
You are care, and care must keep you
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby
Rock them, rock them, lullaby

© KH

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Music on Sunday; Fighting your demons

Lately I'm a bit 'fighting' with my inner demons; so today a few songs about fighting or conquering them;

© KH

Sunday, 3 April 2016