Monday, February 3, 2014

Top Ten Songs Inspired by Shakespeare

I've decided to do another Top Ten. This list will involve popular songs that were inspired by Shakespeare's writings. This list will be based not only on it's popularity but it's clever usage in making his works musical. Listed below will be the name of the song followed by the musician and the Shakespeare play it is referencing. Here we go:
10-"Cruel To Be Kind" by Letters to Cleo- "Hamlet"
I liked this song because it is not only written by one of my favorite girl punk bands, but it is also part of soundtrack of one of my favorite 90's movies "10 Things I Hate About You". Hey! Ironically, it happens to be number ten on the list!

9- "Sigh No More" by Mumford and Son's- "Much Ado About Nothing"
This band is slowly growing on me. I'm glad that they made a Shakespeare reference in their songs, especially from one of my favorite Shakespeare movie adaptions "Much Ado About Nothing". 

8- "Don't Fear The Reaper" by Oyster Cult- "Romeo & Juliet"
 I didn't even know that this song referenced Shakespeare. It took me a double take, but with that "take" I have now learned to like it more. "More Cowbell"? Yes please!

7- "Ariel" by October Project- "The Tempest"
What's not to like about this song? It is a duet by two women, their voices are very melodious and it tells the story about Ariel's imprisonment as a slave to Prospero from "The Tempest". 

6- "Miss Macbeth" by Elvis Costello- "Macbeth"
 This song was a bit unique. It was very upbeat and it too told the tale of a Shakespeare character. Lady Macbeth!

5- "Hey There Ophelia" by MC Lars- "Hamlet"
 I love this one! The whole song sums up the long play of "Hamlet"! You also feel well educated in Shakespeare's work after listening to it.

4-  "Check Yes Juliet" by We The Kings- "Romeo & Juliet"
It is by an awesome band that is basically telling a girl that if she loves a boy to run away with him, and leave her parents behind. Just be careful, "Romeo & Juliet" is not a happy ending.

3- "Double Trouble" from the movie "Harry Potter: And the Prisoner of Azkhaban"- "Macbeth"
All right Harry Potter fans, this is a perfect theme song for the witches in "Macbeth"! What's not to like about this? It is totally "Wicked"!

2- "Wytches Brew" by Omnia- "Macbeth"
This is another song that tells a tale. This one focuses on the evil witches in "Macbeth" and their plot to ruin a future king's downfall. Perfectly modernized and fits the theme of pagan worship and ritual that the witches were obviously practicing.

1- "Sigh No More" from Joss Whedon's "Much Ado About Nothing"
 The reason this gets number one is because of it's adaption with the ancient sonnet and modern music. They both worked perfectly well with each other and sounded beautifully as one. Plus this song has some family sentimental value to me.


  1. Fyi - Cruel to be Kind was NOT written by Letters to Cleo. They covered a Cheap Trick song.

  2. Nick Lowe also wrote a great tune called "Cruel to Be kind," not sure if it's the same song.