Which Songs Or Pieces Of Music Are Inspired By Shakespeare?


12 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Emilie Autumn- Dead is the new alive could also be considered influenced by Romeo and Juliet

" A quick taste of the poison, a quick twist of the knife"
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Maybe a portion of "Limelight by Rush"

Shakespeares' "As you like it":
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:

Rushs' "Limelight":
All the world's indeed a stage
And we are merely players:
woo_willy @ Y!
Bil Nutt Profile
Bil Nutt answered
Shakespeare has inspired numerous musical works.

Several of his tragedies and a few comedies, including ROMEO AND JULIET and OTHELLO have been turned into operas and ballets. For example, Verdi wrote OTELLO. and FALSTAFF, You probably know Tchaivovsky's theme for the ballet ROMEO AND JULIET.

Felix Mendelssohn composed incidental music for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, including a rather famous wedding march.

ROMEO AND JULIET was also the basis for the musical WEST SIDE STORY, although no songs specifically mention Shakespeare or the play. A few other plays have been made into musicals, including TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA and COMEDY OF ERRORS (which became THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE).

KISS ME KATE by Cole Porter is a musical about a musical version of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. This is the show that has the great number "Brush Up Your Shakespeare." ("They'll think you're a helluva of a fellow/If you quote a few lines from OTHELLO")

Other songs:

"Just Like Romeo and Juliet" - this song was originally done by a band called the Reflections, but has been covered a couple of other times. My favorite version is by Scott Kempner.

"Romeo's Tune" by Steve Forbert was actually a hit in 1979.

"(Don't Fear) The Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult was a hit song about making a suicide pact with your love. ("Romeo and Juliet are together through eternity/We can be like they are")

Lou Reed's "Legendary Hearts" makes a joke of "Romeo, Romeo Wherefore art thou Romeo?" Unfortunately, he makes the same mistakes a LOT of people make, and he mixes up the word "wherefore" (which means "why") with "where."

Speaking of Lou Reed, his brilliant album NEW YORK opens with the song "Romeo Had Juliette," which is a sort of an updating of ROMEO AND JULIET set in contemporary NYC.

"Prince Hal's Dirge" by Loudon Wainwright III is based on the two HENRY IV plays.

"Hamlet Meets John Doe" by the Rave-Ups is a very cool song, even though I don't understand half the lyrics.

"Suicide Is Painless," the title song from the movie M*A*S*H, makes an allusion to Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy.

Kid Creole and the Coconuts interpolated Shakespeare's "Sonnet 116" ("Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments..." into their song "Agony...Ecstasy."

Bob Dylan frequently throws in allusions or direct references to Shakespeare and Shakespearean characters. For example, both Ophelia and Romeo show up in "Desolation Row" and Will himself is mentioned in "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again."

Finally, the soulful singer Terry Evans has a song called "Shakespeare Didn't Quote That."
Mark Westbrook Profile
Mark Westbrook answered
Not surprisingly, Shakespeare's work has influenced song writers all over the world and mentions of his work, himself and his characters are found across the world of music. Obviously there are those operas which take their names or stories from Shakespeare, but there are other mentions:

Band - Shakespeare Sister

Song - Romeo and Juliet - Dire Straits

Song - Romeo and Juliet - Indigo Girls

Song - I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor - Arctic Monkeys (mentions Romeo and Juliet)

Song - I am the Walrus - The Beatles - part of an audio version of King Lear are featured on this track.

Song -Summer Girls by LFO the lyrics read 'Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole lot of sonnets'

Song - The King Must Die - Elton John, Shakespeare mentioned a lot

Song - Let's Get It On in Public - Kelis featuring Nas - I can't write the lyrics, they are practical po*n!

This is just a short scan, the man gets everywhere!
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
The band Shakespeare's Sister was named after the Smiths' song "Shakespeare's Sister", rather than directly influenced by the Bard himself.
Anonymous commented
Taylor Swift's hit single Love Story told the story of Romeo and Juliet but gave it a happier ending.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
There are two new ones out:
  1. Check Yes Juliet by We The Kings
  2. Love Story by Taylor Swift
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
If you want a more international song, "OH MY JULIET" by LM.c [a japanese band] is a great Romeo and Juliet based song.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Semisonic has a song "Singing in my Sleep" which references Romeo and Juliet: Singing up to a Capulet/on a balcony in your mind.
Art Ramos Profile
Art Ramos answered
"The Cinema Show/Aisle Of Plenty" by Genesis from 'The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway' album is an updated Romeo & Juliet story:

Home from work our Juliet
Clears her morning meal
She dabs her skin with pretty smells
Concealing to appeal
I will make my bed
She said, but turned to go
Can she be late for her Cinema show ?
Cinema show ?

Romeo locks his basement flat
And scurries up the stair
With head held high and floral tie
A weekend millionaire
I will make my bed
With her tonight, he cries
Can he fail, armed with his chocolate surprise?
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The Quality of Mercy by Michelle Shocked uses the line the quality of mercy is not strained which is from the Merchant of Venice song included on the sound track to Dead Man Walking
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Iced earth's Album: "Something Wicked This Way Comes" was taken directly from Shakespeare's Macbeth. It comes specifically from the part when Macbeth approaches the Weird Sisters and they proclaim the aforementioned quote.

Answer Question