Tag Archives: Shakespeare

Top 5 Shakespeare Inspired Pop Songs

April 23rd was an important date in the life of Mr William Shakespeare- he died 396 years ago today, and is estimated to have been born 448 years ago today as a record of his baptism was dated April 26th 1564 though the actual date of his birth is unknown.

To celebrate this date in a slightly different way, I thought I would share with you a playlist of my Top 5 Shakespeare Inspired Songs. And yes, it’s a little dominated by Romeo and Juliet but that’s because it’s cool, okay?

1. Dire Straits- Romeo and Juliet

This is my absolute favourite Shakespeare inspired song, and with lines like “You promised me everything, you promised me thick and thin. Now you just say, “Oh Romeo, yeah, y’know I used to have a scene with him,” how could I not? A bit of a bittersweet one for me because it reminds me of a good friend who is no longer in my life.

 MC Lars- Hey There Ophelia

If you haven’t experience MC Lars yet, you need to check him out of Spotify or Facebook then buy his albums. So many of his songs are funny, clever takes on classic literature, but this is one of my favourites. An emo retelling of Hamlet, this is brilliant example of textual transformation but with a damn catchy chorus. I just love the end:

“If you’re ever up in Denmark on a moonlit night
You’ll hear Ophelia’s sad song when the full moon’s bright
Baby I’m sorry I messed up, good night my sweet princess
May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest” –MC Lars

 Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More

Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, it depends whether I’m after a tragedy or comedy but I just can’t get enough of B+B’s love hate relationship. I also love Hey Nonny Nonny. I especially enjoy singing it to the tune I learned in the Kenneth Brannagh version. Quoting almost directly from the play in places, Mumford and Sons have created their own eerie take with this song which to me follows some of Claudio’s character progression.

 Taylor Swift- Love Story

Okay, so Taylor may have changed the story a little bit in this song? But who cares?! I studied this play through school and university, taught it to numerous classes when I was teaching and have seen it performed countless times. And I still hold out hope that fate will let the star-crossed lovers wriggle through her net.

 We The Kings – Check Yes Juliet

If Romeo had ever been in a power pop band… okay, it’s a little more tenuous than the others, but don’t let that bother you. Just turn it up, jump around the bedroom singing, “Forever we’ll beeeeeeeeeee, you and me.” Try it. You’ll like it.

What are your favourite Shakespeare inspired songs? I’ll add them to my playlist, cos I’m cool like that…

Shakespeare’s… Milkshake Bar?

Are these the most bizarrely named milkshakes in the world?

I consider myself a bit of a Shakespeare aficionado yet still I don’t remember any reference to milkshakes in his plays. In fact the closest I can get to that is the “too full o’the milk of human kindness” from Lady Macbeth… that and her knowing how tender it is to love the babe that milks her…

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw that the milkshake shop I used to frequent in Oxford which had closed in February had been reopened today rebranded as Shakespeare’s Milkshake Bar. They’ve broken away from the parent company and have had to come up with something different. I’m not sure if the Shakespeare bit was an attempt to lure tourists (very limited Shakespeare connection in Oxford) but it has given rise to a series of milkshakes which are named (completely randomly) after Shakespeare plays.

Today my boyfriend and I opted for the All’s Well That Ends Well containing those classic Shakespearean snacks Reese’s peanut butter cups, toffee crisps and minstrels. Well at least they technically had minstrels in the time of Shakespeare.

Further bizarre combinations included:

Hamlet Banana, coconut and malt (knew there was a reason I didn’t like that play…)

Macbeth Oreo, bournville with mini oreo top (missed the chocolate thing when I read it)

Romeo and Juliet Strawberry and nutella with a flake top (Romeo was a bit flaky…)

The Comedy of Errors Skittles, bubblegum millions with a popping candy top (one word: error)

The full list also includes Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest. The most baffling use of play names I have ever come across. Still, the milkshakes are delicious even if the whole name thing is weird.

If you were going to make a Shakespeare milkshake, what would yours be called and what would it contain? I think I’d have things like a Bloody Dagger with lots of red like strawberries, jammy dodgers and strawberry millions. Or Puck’s Potion with love hearts, sherbert fountain and wham bar (for that I’ve just woken up and find myself in love with a person who hates me experience…)