~posted by Cameron
Friends, Seattleites, King County-men, lend me your ears. In celebration of the First Folio exhibit, here are five suggested downloads using the Freegal music service available using your Seattle Public Library Card.
Kiss Me, Kate (Original Broadway Cast Recording) – “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”
With music and lyrics penned by American treasure Cole Porter, Kiss Me, Kate tells the story of the conflicts that arise during a production of The Taming of the Shrew. A couple of gangsters figure the best way to a lady’s heart is through the words of ol’ Bill Shakespeare. Personally, my favorite line is: “Just declaim a few lines from Othella/and they’ll think you’re a hell of a fella/If your blonde won’t respond when you flatter her/Tell her what Tony told Cleopatterer.”
Vintage Radio Collection – William Shakespeare – “Julius Caesar – July 26, 1937 (Part 2)”
A marvelous assemblage, this Vintage Radio Collection contains some of Shakespeare’s most famous works including Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth and Hamlet, amongst others. The second part of Julius Caesar begins as Caesar’s corpse is carried into, and laid upon, the senate floor. Brutus ascends to the pulpit to deliver an impassioned speech to his fellow politicians: “If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Caesar’s, to him I say, that Brutus’ love to Caesar was no less than his. If then that friend demand why Brutus rose against Caesar, this is my answer: –Not that I loved Caesar less, but that I loved Rome more. Had you rather Caesar were living and die all slaves, than that Caesar were dead, to live all free men?”
Herman’s Hermits – Greatest Hits – “I’m Henry the 8th I Am”
Yeah, I know this song is not really about the same Henry the 8th as The Bard of Avon wrote the historical play about but in my humble opinion, it’s still a really fun little novelty song. A man named Henry marries the widow next door who has been married seven times before, all to men named Henry because she wouldn’t have a Willy or a Sam.
The Georgian Festival Orchestra – The Tchaikovsky Album – “Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture”
If this piece is not immediately familiar to you, just wait until you get to the finale. The love theme at the end of the piece has become so ingrained in the collective consciousness, that when you hear it, chances are you’ll think to yourself, “Oh yeah, I know that from ____.” Maybe not, but there’s a chance.
Something Rotten – (Original Broadway Cast Recording) – “God, I Hate Shakespeare”
Something Rotten is a musical following brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, two aspiring playwrights frustrated with their lack of success while being stuck in the massive shadow of their contemporary, William Shakespeare. The number “God, I Hate Shakespeare” is Nick Bottom’s hilarious rant against The Bard in front of his shocked acting troupe, many of whom idolize Shakespeare.